Split black gram dal is a very nutritious pulse. Soak some, grind with spices, and fry, and you get the versatile Uluttam Vadai! Besides being the perfect accompaniment with idli, for an ideal breakfast combination, this vadai makes a tasty dish in a variety of avatars! Vadai Curry is prepared by immersing the cut pieces of crisp hot vadais in hot and spicy sambar. For the exotic Thair Vadai, dip the vadais in warm water, gently squeeze out the oil, and immerse in seasoned curd. Rasa Vadas are hot vadais soaked in flavourful rasam, and lighter on the stomach than the Sambhar or Vadai Curry! The best Vadais we have tasted so far are the ones distributed at the Hanuman temple on Saturdays. The fact that the vadais had adorned Lord Hanuman as a garland along with the tulasi (basil) garland lends it a divine flavour. Whenever we visited our village, Rukmini prepared the most exotic vadais. That is the magic of this dish. Whenever and wherever you happen to relish it, it seems to be THE best. To prepare the delicious Rukmini Vadais (as we have named it) we can follow the given recipe.
Split black gram dal – 2 cups
Fresh ginger – 1’’ piece
Salt – ½ tsp
Pepper – ¼ tsp
Onion – 1 very small
Curry leaves – a few
Cooking oil – for frying
1. Wash and soak black gram dal for half an hour.
2. Cut onions very finely into thin thread like slivers.
3. Drain the dal. Add ginger and salt, and grind coarsely without water.
4. Sprinkle very little water if the dal mixture sticks to the jar.
6. Add onion slivers, curry leaves and crushed pepper and mix well.
7. Heat oil in a kadai.
8. Dip your hands in water, and the take a lemon size ball of the dough, and pat it into a thick vadai.
9. Make a hole in the center using your finger.
10. Gently slide the vadai into the hot oil.
11. The vadais can also be patted to shape on a banana leaf or a sheet of plastic.
12. Fry the vadais in batches of four or six, till golden brown in colour.
This vadai will be slightly crisp and firm on the outside and soft inside, as shown in the picture.