I have heard of a gigantic cousin of my grand father who used to consume a basketful of vadais at one sitting as he chatted with his friends. Just imagine the plight of the old aunt who had to grind the enormous quantities of the vadai dough in those ‘pre- electric mixer’ days!
INGREDIENTS: Bengal gram dal - 2 cups
Red chillies - 4
Ginger – 2 inch piece
Asafoetida – 1 pinch
Curry leaves – a few
Fresh grated coconut- ¾ tea cup
Salt – 1 1/2 tsp
1. Soak Bengal gram dal with red chillies for half an hour.
2. Grind ginger, asafoetida and the soaked chillies with little of the soaked dal.
3. Now add the remaining soaked and drained dal and salt to the mixer and grind into a coarse mixture. Do not add water, as the mixture should be thick.
4. Mix in the grated coconut and shredded curry leaves into the dough. The vadai mixture is now ready.
5. Heat oil in a kadai.
6. Take ¾ tablespoon of the vadai mixture and shape into a small ball using your hand.
7. Keep the ball on the palm of one hand, and lightly press and flatten with three fingers of your other hand, giving the vadai the shape of a turtle’s back.
8. Drop it in hot oil and immediately decrease flame. Frying on high flame will cook the outer parts faster, and leave the insides uncooked.
9. When the vadai looks cooked, increase heat and continue to fry till it is golden red in colour.
10. Vadais can be cooked in batches of six or eight.
Enjoy them plain or savour it with mint or coconut chutney.
This is the traditional Ama vadai prepared for festivals or as prasadam /offering to Gods.
Add chopped onion, grated carrot, mint leaves, garlic and cinnamon to the vadai dough to make Party Vadais.