Friday, January 23, 2009

Maddur Vadai - A fried snack from Maddur

Maddur Vadai
In the 1940 – 50s, my grand father was employed in the Southern railways. Adorned in kakhi half trousers, a well pressed full sleeves shirt, brown belt and brown boots, stockings pulled up to the knee, and a hard bonnet like hat he looked every inch like a star from the western movies He was a very handsome old man with his bright set of real pearly teeth and an immaculate smile. As a child, I enjoyed traveling with him in the trains and felt very proud when all and sundry greeted my grandfather with great respect. Our family of six enjoyed the privacy of the first class compartment, and grand father never forgot to buy us the idly and maddur vadai parcels as soon as our steam engine pulled up into the Maddur railway station. The aroma of Maddur vadai filled the compartment even before we could unwrap the parcel made of news paper lined with dried muttugada yelae (a dried leaf which is used to wrap food). I still can not forget the aroma and the heavenly feeling which I experienced when the hot Maddur Vadai melted in my mouth .
My father too, never forgot to take a diversion to the Maddur Railway Station hotel to get a parcel of the vadais when ever he drove to or from Mysore. Later when the popular eatery - Maddur Tiffanys came into existence, we had an easy royal access to the Maddur Vadais right on the side of the high way. It has been 55 years since I started relishing Maddur Vadais. Yet I feel that nothing can beat the taste of the vadais, which grand father bought for us. I used to wonder with horror when my uncle teasingly said that the vadais I ate, were prepared out of engine oil and hence the taste!
There are various recipes with different proportions of the ingredients to make Maddur Vadais. Dibs has prepared the vadais with her version of ingredients and she said it turned out very well and melted in the mouth as it should do. I missed the taste but I am at least contented with the look of the virtual Maddur Vadais, which has brought out the old memories from my heart.
- Chitra

Fine chopped onions – 1 cup
Chopped Green Chillies – 2
Curry Leaves – a few
Cashew nut – 6 pieces broken into pieces
Plain unbleached flour or maida – 1 tbs
Rice flour – 2.5 tbs
Semolina (rava) – ½ cup
Salt – ¾ tsp or to taste
Unsalted Butter – 1 tbs (about 15 grams)
Sufficient Oil for deep frying 
1. Mix onions, green chillies, curry leaves and cashew nuts in a large bowl
2. Add plain flour and rice flour and salt.
3. Next , add the semolina and toss everything together.
4. The butter should be straight out of the fridge, and not soft. Cut it into pieces and add it to the mixture.
5. Combine the butter with the ingredients, such that the mixture resembles bread crumbs. (If you are using salted butter, adjust the amount of salt you add in step 2 accordingly)
6. Now add just ½ tsp of water and combine everything into a smooth dough. Be careful, while adding water and add drop by drop – as even a drop of extra water will make the vada mixture dilute in seconds!
7. Heat oil in a pan.
8. Take a lump of batter and shape it like a ball. Then flatten it to about ½ cm thickness, and drop it into the oil. Wait until the vadai is firm, and then turn the side.
9. Fry until reddish brown and place it on a paper towel, to absorb any excess oil.
Note:I tried this vadai for the first time, and it was a little softer than the original Maddur Vadai! However its tasted superb. The next time I will probably avoid butter and use heated oil! While the butter makes the vadai very yummy, it made it very heavy too!
- Dibs
I am updating this to send to the Just For You event at Sindhi Rasoi! It was just for my mom, aunt to remember their grandfather (my great grand father!), and of course, I really made this for my hubby who had never heard of this vadai before! 

- Dibs

20 Post your Comments:

Finla said...

I love love love this vada.
We alwaus buy in the train trips in S.India.
These ones lokk delicious.

Lakshmi said...

this is the first time ever I have seen a recipe which listed onions first and in large qty and maida later! we had a canteen beside our house and we were always treated to delicious hot vadais! he taught us to make vadais with more onions and less flour. My hubby is here saying 'naale maadthiya plzz :D'

Asha said...

LOL @ "prepared out of engine oil". Now I know the reason for that taste!

I make them too, use hot oil to add. Looks yummy, I will try your version this weekend. My parents always stopped t Maddur to eat these on the way to my grandparents farm. I remember the chutney and vades wrapped in leaves too, long time ago. Missing them now! :))

Asha said...

Oh, here is mine, take a look! ))

Sunshinemom said...

Maddur vadai is named after a place? I thought it was Madhur vadai! Thanks for the info., and your virtual ones make my mouth water too! My Mother used to make this on some weekends, and I remember their taste so well! Dibs, I think my Mom uses oil too and not butter.

anudivya said...

I always adore the way you write your intro to each recipe, so much interesting history and stories... the vadais are fab.

Unknown said...

We never miss eating Vadas while travelling to and fro Mys and Blr.
Nice reading..Maddur vadas looks perfect.

Vaishali said...

Dibs, That's a lovely story and description of your grandfather: I could picture him in my mind. And that story about the engine oil made me smile because it reminded me of the silly rumors on the Bombay-Poona train about the famous Karjat batata wadas being fried in snake oil :) So much for those tall tales!
Your maddur vadai looks crisp and delicious. I must say I have no resistance to deep-fried foods.

Cham said...

In my whole life, I travelled only once up and down to my in-laws place (karnataka). I felt travelling in train is totally different experience, eating all the snacks, drinking tea... I remembered having this kind of vada near Tumkur! Delicous...

jayasree said...

Love this vadai. Looks yummy. I too make use of oil instead of butter. It sure adds to the crispness.

Raks said...

I havenot tasted this before sadly,carving for some now,sure should try sometime:) Thanks for sharing the recipe and lovely writeup:)

YOSEE said...

Dear old Thatha ! Nice reminiscence. I tried the maddurvada mix of MTR. It was ok, but not as flavoursome and crunchy-chewy as the original "engine-oil" ones !

S.R.Ramachandran said...

maddur vada-a very tasty dish. we never miss it while driving from Bengaluru to Mysooru. also reminded of my sitappa with whom i have seen many hindi movies. a fine gentleman. appa

FewMinute Wonders said...

Vadai! I love them. I have not tasted this one.Will give it a try.

Malar Gandhi said...

Interesting recipe...heard about this vada, never knew the xact ingredients tho'...I am glad that you posted about it...wish to try this in future...looks crispy and perfect...

Unknown said...

The vadai's look yum, great post...enjoyed reading it :-)


Dear Dibs, I hope my language won't be a problem, you can always find the recipe here:
Thanks for visiting me!
Bon appetit!

hariharan mani said...

I also remmber those early days when hot maddur vadais used to be sold on the train between bangalore and mysore.cant resist its aroma and at mysore a sweet n snacks stall near my house makes lipsmacking maddur vadas .they are crisp alomost like nice to hv a bite with evening tea/cofee.

Jayashree said...

Dibs,I made this tonight and we finished it off almost as soon as it was made. Thank you for sharing this beautiful recipe.
I have posted it on my blog too.

Kalyani said...

yummy ! brought on memories for me too - from my childhood days !! bookmarked :)

Lovely space dear :)
Event: One Pot Meals