Masala vadai/Vada is a popular (and one of my favourite) snack from South India. It is another easy to make snack is a great potluck food or an appetizer. You could serve this with coconut chutney or coriander chutney or eat it by itself.
Masala vadai brings back memories of traveling in a train anywhere in the South, where hawkers come selling hot vadais at every station. The smell of the vadai reaches you even before you can see the hawker, serving you the vadas on newspaper. These made long train journeys fun, eating different hot deep fried snacks depending on the region and station, every station famous for certain snacks. When I moved to Sweden, we would eat falafels which were the closest we could get to masala vadais.
Try it and let me know what you think. This recipe makes around 15 vadais.
1 cup channa dal
1 red chilli
1-2 green chilli
2 onions, chopped finely
8 – 10 curry leaves
2 tbsp chopped cilantro/ coriander leaves
salt to taste
oil for frying
Wash and rinse channa dal
Soak in water for 2 hours (to hasten the process soak in hot water for an hour)
Drain and set aside 2 tbsp channa dal
Grind the rest of the dal coarsely, with chillies, ginger and curry leaves.
Transfer to a bowl, add the rest of the channa dal, onions, cilantro and salt and mix well.
Flatten a ball of the mixture, and slide it into the hot oil. Fry them for a few minutes till it is golden brown, then turn around and fry.
Once golden and crisp, remove with slotted spoon and remove excess oil on a paper towel.
Serve with chutney or by itself.