Deep frying is becoming a rarity at our house now. Gone are those days when we would have deep fried stuff every week or so and yet managed to keep a tab on weight. OK, OK …..we were young then and we had our fair share of running and playing around and that helped to keep up balance.
But then, I do make it on some special occasions. Dear Husband celebrated his birthday few weeks ago and I generously offered him the option of choosing his favorite deep fried food. He agonized as he had a tough job of choosing just one amongst his top 5-6 favorites. But then after much pondering, lamenting he finally settled for Medu Waada (Gaarelu, Uddin Vade).
Medu Vada is a traditional South Indian recipe that is eaten for breakfast. At Bangalore restaurants, this is served along with warm idlis and accompanied with sambhar and coconut chutney. This combination is a match made in heaven and the taste is simply divine.
It took some years of practice and advice to learn to make this crispy and delicious. In restaurants, the shape of the Medu Vada is like a ring with hole in the middle (more like a doughnut), but I find it easier to handle it this way in small rounds. This is also called as Biscuit Ambode in Konkani.
Some tips, do’s and don’ts to make this crispy:
Do not add too much water while making the batter, lesser the better.
Please remember that the water should be sufficient enough for the mixie motor to run smoothly.
Grind for a good amount of time, until the batter becomes fluffy and you see some bubbles on the top.
Do not add anything like ginger, coriander leaves etc while grinding. Only salt should do it.
Update: Keep this urad daal batter aside for 3-4 hours and let it ferment a bit.
While deep frying make sure that the oil if of the right temperature.
Add little fine sooji (rava) to the batter and mix well before deep frying.
Take small amounts of batter while deep frying.
Looking for low-calorie medu vada? Check this out!
1 cup urad daal
2-3 green chillies
1 Tbsp grated ginger
3-4 curry leaves
10-20 small pieces of coconut(optional)
1 Tbsp of fine rava (sooji)
1 tsp Jeera (cumin) seeds
handful chopped coriander leaves
· Soak the urad daal in enough water for about 4-5 hours.
· Cut the green chillies very finely, cut the curry leaves into pieces and grate the ginger.
· Drain the water completely from soaked urad daal, add salt and grind it to a smooth paste. (Do not add too much water, if required add only spoonful of water at a time).
· Grind until the batter turns fluffy and you notice faint bubbles on the top.
· Update: Keep this urad daal batter aside for 3-4 hours and let it ferment a bit.
· When ready to make the vadas, add green chillies, cumin seeds, curry leaves, ginger, coriander leaves and coconut pieces (if using). Mix thoroughly and check for taste. Add more salt if necessary.
· The salt should be on the higher side as most of the saltiness goes away when deep frying.
· Finally add the rava just before deep frying and mix well.
· Heat oil on medium high in a thick bottomed pan sufficient enough to deep fry.
· Check to make sure that the oil has reached the correct temperature, by putting in small amount of batter. If there is a sizzle that means the oil is ready.
· Take about golf ball size of the batter from the tips of your hands and put it in the deep fryer. Add about 4-5 depending on the size of the pan at the same time.
- After about 20-30 secs turn them around, making sure all sides get cooked evenly.
- Transfer them to a plate with absorbent paper so that the extra oil drains. Continue the above process with the remaining batter.
· This can be eaten as is or with chutney, sambhar and forms a wonderful accompaniment with tea or coffee.