Things have been little slow in our kitchen since the long awaited summer sunshine is finally here and we Seattlites are making best use of it. Every weekend is a fun filled getaway with friends and family.
Just as we talk about the hot weather, here is one very cooling Indian delicacy, a snack or a meal by itself that is absolutely refreshing.
Prep Time: 40 mins + soaking time
Curd:1 1/2 cups
Urad Dal/Uzhunnu Parippu: 1 cup (yields about 15 small vadas)
Ginger(chopped): 1 1/2 teaspoons
Green Chilies: 2-3
Curry Leaves: 4-5
Hing/Asofoetida: 1 teaspoon
Chili Powder: 1 teaspoon
Roasted Cumin /Jeera Powder: 1 teaspoon
Salt to taste
Oil to deep fry
* As we have heard, Dahi vada is the north Indian version, whereas thayir vada is the south Indian version where every thing remains the same except for the final garnish is done by a seasoning of mustard seeds, dried red chillies and lots of curry leaves.
*A tip given to us is that if you over soak the urad dal, it drinks up more oil while frying.
Soak urad dal in about half cup water for about 1 1/2 hours. Once its fluffed and well soaked, drain all the water and grind it into a smooth paste. While grinding add the green chillies and ginger. Take out the batter, add salt and asofoetida and mix well. Tear up the curry leaves finely and mix in. You could also add a pinch of pepper powder to this batter.
Heat oil in deep pan. Drop medium sized balls of this batter using a spoon into the hot oil and fry until golden brown. We didnt create the doughnut shape only for convenience sake. However its your personal choice to have the lil hole in the vada or not.
Once all of these are fried, drain the excess oil on a paper towel. Bring a bowl with some lukewarm water. Dip these vadas into the water and squeeze out the water between your palms and keep aside. Whisk the yogurt with salt, sugar and a pinch of roasted jeera powder. Take half of this yogurt mixture in a bowl. Dip the squeezed vadas once again into the yogurt mixture and without squeezing out, arrange them in a serving dish. You could do this procedure much earlier and let it refrigerate. You need to finish with the final arrangement only about 1/2 hour before serving.
To wrap up, pour the remaining yogurt. Sprinkle roasted jeera powder and red chilli powder in whatever pattern you like. Garnish with some meethi (sweet tamarind) chutney and fresh coriander leaves. You could refrigerate it for some more time before serving it.