Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Ulunthu vadai

When I was searching something else in my blog I found out that I am missing one of the most cherished delicacies of India, the 'Ulunthu Vadai'. Then only I realized the old picture remaining in my draft for a very long time.

Ulunthu vadai is a kind of spicy snack available in India along with hot tea or coffee.

Now it is the time to recollect something behind this recipe for my younger brother, who always looks for my nostalgic anecdotes:) It is my mom's most favorite snack and she used to prepare it along with coffee whenever we have a guest. She used to cut a small piece of banana leaf from our garden and use it as the surface to flatten the vadai. Very rarely I have seen her using a well washed empty milk sachet (Aavin milk cover) to flatten the vadai. But vadai made over a banana leaf is always a pleasant sight to me:)

My grandmas' cousin (Sulochana Achi) taught me to do it with just one hand, without any base to flatten the dough. I find it much useful after practice and thanks to her, everyone in my family loves my vadai. I love the way my father in law appreciates my vadai. After marriage I planted some plantain trees in our backyard just for leaves and tried my best to serve the meals over banana leaf for my in laws, who absolutely love the native food.

Along with the most favored food comes the best memories too. Right!

Hot crispy urid dal vadai served with chutney. Save some for thayir vadai:)


Vadai mavu (batter)
Vadai batter - Urid dhal soaked and ground to a fine paste.

Ingredients: (For 12 small size vadai)
Urid dhal - 1 cup (200 gm)
Oil (corn oil / canola) - 200 ml
Shallot / red onion (chopped) - 1/2 cup
green chilly - 2 (finely chopped)
cumin - 1/4 tsp
whole black pepper - 1 tbsp + 1 tsp
curry leaf - 1 sprig
Ginger - 1 tsp (finely chopped) -> (I don't add it)

Method:
Wash the urid dhal twice thoroughly. Soak the urid dhal in cold water for 1 to 1 1/2  hours. Grind it to a fine paste with very little water. The final consistency should be like the above photo. Imagine the consistency of soften butter to get the correct batter(vadai mavu).

Add the required salt + 1 tsp black pepper and grind again for a while.

Pour the batter to a mixing bowl. Taste and adjust the salt now.
Mix the finely chopped onion, green chilly, curry leaf , whole pepper, cumin with the batter.

Heat the oil in a wok. Wait till it reaches the hottest point. Reduce the flame to medium.

Wet a plastic sheet or banana leaf (small square). Take a small ball of batter , place it on the sheet, gently flatten it and make a small hole at the center.

Deep fry the vadai in medium heat till it gets the golden red color.

Drain the oil , take out and place on kitchen towel / multi holed basin to drain excess oil.

Ulunthu vadai is ready!

Serving suggestions;
Serve with coconut chutney along with hot coffee or tea in the evening.
Also makes a good side dish with Idly, Venn pongal, sarkarai pongal etc.

Tips for a perfect ulunthu vadai:
Making ulunthu vadai is always a challenge for many. So I insist on the following points whenever any one asks me.

1.Always use unsplit, whole skinless urid dhal for making vada and idly. (If we are using split dhal with skin then increase the amount of dhal while soaking. But we can't get more fluffy batter with them).

2.It is better to soak the dhal inside fridge. The purpose is to prevent fermentation of urid dhal, as leaving the batter in hot weather results in little fermentation, which makes the vadai absorb more oil while frying. So I always soak it inside fridge.

3.The batter can be prepared 2 days earlier, but should be kept inside fridge till we add onion and fry.

4.Never add more water to grind the batter. The vadai batter made using Indian grinder yields more number of vadai than that of the Indian mixer made.But I am making it using mixie only.

5.If the vadai batter becomes little watery,add a tbsp or more of rice flour. But it will reduce the taste. So leave the watery batter overnight in fridge to remove the excess water.

6.The vadai should be crispy in the outer layer and soft at the inside. So fry it in medium heat. Never allow the oil till smoking point.

30 comments:

Sandhya Hariharan said...

V inviting and totally yummy.. Viki..
Blog hopping after a while.. Glad tat i m here for the right post!!

Sandhya Hariharan said...

V inviting and totally yummy.. Viki..
Blog hopping after a while.. Glad tat i m here for the right post!!

Gita Jaishankar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sukanya said...

Awww... This is my mom is a specialist in doing this :) And any special occasion in Tamil Nadu is incomplete without Ulundhu Vadai. Nice post Viki !!

VineelaSiva said...

the vada looks perfect even me too love this in breakfast.

Sailaja Damodaran said...

My all time favorite

Ann said...

Looks so crispy outside, batter looks to be in perfect consistency Viki. Awesome. Love to have them with tea:)

Ammu Madhu said...

always mu fav.

Premalatha Aravindhan said...

Lice vadai,Luks gr8...

malarvizhi said...

very nice.my alltime fav.a regular dish during festivals in my kitchen.i like this vadai along with curd. it looks perfect and good.

Ms.Chitchat said...

Loved the crispy and crunchy vadas. Need not wait for tea time to have those:):)

Priya said...

My all time favourite, loved ur tips, never let the soaked urad dal in fridge, thanks for sharing Viki..

SathyaSridhar said...

Viki, ulundhu vadai rombha crispy ah vanthurukku enakku rombha pidikkum neenga sonna mathiri perfect side with coconut chutney,idli, sambar n ven pongal paa,,,tips rombha use fullah irunthathu paa..

sowmya's creative saga said...

love it..looks delicious..

Aruna Manikandan said...

Vadai looks perfect ... One of my favorite too :-)

Hari Chandana said...

Yummy recipe.. looks awesome..

simply.food said...

Vadais look love and crispy.My 1st visit here ,You have anice collection of recipes.Following your blog.Do drop by simply.food sometime.

Gita Jaishankar said...

Vadai looks very crispy Viki.

Soma Pradhan said...

The Medu Wad alooks wonderfull..Lucky to have FIL who praises your wadas...

Malar Gandhi said...

Thats an interesting story behind it...hope your whole family will like this nostalgic memories:) Vadai looks fluffy and perfect, just the way I want it...so let me know...when can I stop by, hehe

Priya said...

lucky u and ur inlaws...vadai is crispy and nice..

Preethi Rajeev said...

Yummy crispy vadai, would love to have some with strong coffee

Sumi said...

I can gobble up the whole plate myself

Suja Sugathan said...

Vada looks perfect..my favorite..

Sushma Mallya said...

Vadas looks crispy viki, loved that you added spices in it too..very flavourful

AshKuku said...

That is one delicacy which appeals to all..... Would never go out of fashion..... forever we would slurp at the sight or even by the thought.... at all ages for sure...

Ash....
(http://asha-oceanichope.blogspot.com/)

Siddhi S said...

wow very tempting vadai viki...nice n fmaous snack...i love it wid green chutney...vl try ur version soon

Jaleela said...

mmm very perfect

enakkum rompa pidissathu
tips also nice

Neetz said...

woww..super one... tempting too :)

Anu said...

Looks so crispy and yummy...