Saturday, August 6, 2011
Indian festivals are not complete without the preparation and distribution of a number of prasaadams. Delicious dishes which are prepared with great care and devotion are first offered to the deity and then savoured as prasaadams. When it is not possible to prepare all the customary dishes , a paayasam and vadai are enough to add grandeur and cheer to the festival.
Ulutham Vadai, Milagu Vadai, Aama vadai, Ravai vadai,Thair vadai are some of the vadai varieties which can be prepared for Varamahalakshmi pooja.
One of my favourite vadais is Urulaikizhangu vadai . I learnt to make this vadai from the famous cookery book titled 'Samaithu Paar' ( Cook And See ) written by the culinary legend Meenakshi Ammal. This book was one of the precious gifts I carried with me as a young bride to my new home.
Split black gram dal - 1 cup
Rice - 1 heaped tbsp
Grated patatoes - 1 cup
Ginger - 1'' piece
Green chillies - 2
Crushed black pepper - 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Chopped curry leaves - 1 tbsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Oil - For frying
1. Wash and soak blackgram dal and rice together for half an hour.
2. Grind the soaked dal and rice with salt, ginger and green chillies into a thick and slightly coarse or smooth paste.
3. Mix in crushed pepper , cumin seeds and chopped curry leaves.
4. Peel and grate raw potato and mix the gratings with the vadai dough.
5. Heat oil in a frying pan.
6. Drop a pinch of the vadai dough into the hot oil. If the batter rises immediately the temperature is perfect for frying the vadais.
7. Wet your hands in cold water and flatten a ball of batter on your palm.
8. Make a hole in the center using your forefinger and gently drop the vadai into the hot oil.
9. Make four or five vadais after dipping your hands in cold water each time and drop them into the hot oil .
10. Decrease flame and let the vadais cook undisturbed.
11. When the vadais become firm and start to change colour , flip them and cook on the other side.
12. Increase heat and fry the urulaikizhangu vadais till they become crisp and golden in colour.
13. When done remove from oil using a perforated ladle and drain them on a paper towel.
Offer the delicious crispy golden urulaikizhangu vadais to Varamahalakshmi and savour the prasaadam.