In most South Indian homes, ulundu vadai is a must on any given auspicious day. It is a great snack too. The crispy golden outer layer and spongy inside mmm... makes my mouth water. Though easy, it is also quite tricky to make. The batter has to be in the right consistency or else it will become oily and soggy.
Urad dal, the main ingredient here is one of the few beans which has "Essential Fatty Acids" (EFA) which is not produced in our body. In simple terms, urad dal is called "brains food". Many researchers believe that the reason behind "brainy Hindus/Indians" might be because they eat a lot of urad dal fermented food like idly, dosa or vada. It is also quite important for women. During puberty time girls are given "ulundu kali" to strengthen their back bone. Researchers also believe it might even help people with brain disorders like Alzhimers, Parkinson's etc...
With enough introduction lets get back to this super delicious snack
- Urad dal - 1 cup
- Onion - 1 (chopped)
- Curry leaf - a few
- Coriander leaf - a hand full (chopped)
- Ginger - 1 tsp (grated)
- Green chilli - 1 (chopped)
- Pepper - 1/2 tsp (coarsely crushed)
- Salt - to taste
- Oil - to fry
- Soak urud dal for 1 - 2 hrs. Drain the water completely and and grind it by sprinklikng water little by little at regular intervals (Add very little water. The batter should be thick. Adding more water will make the vadais oily).
- To it add and all the above mentioned items and mix well.
- Take a polythene bag or milk cover and grease it with little oil.
- Wet your hands. Place a spoonful of the batter in the greased cover. Make a hole in the center.
- Now carefully transfer the vadai to your right hand and drop it in the hot oil to fry.
- Serve hot with coconut chutney.
- When grinding with mixer, do not over grind it. Once ground to a thick batter remove it (it wont look glossy or fluffy). Over grinding will loosen the batter.
- Wetting your hands will prevent the batter from sticking to your hands, making it less messy.
- If your batter is little watery add little rice flour to it. This will thicken the batter as well, makes the vadai more crispier.
- Be cautious not to add excess rice flour as it may render the vadai to taste like siyyam.
- You will achieve the mastering of the right shape of the vadai with the hole in center upon practice.