Happy Tamil New year wishes to you all. I had planned on posting this before New year but due to the phone lines not working it got delayed. Medhu Vadai / Ulundhu vadai is my ultimate comfort food and I can survive on it for days. All I need is a bowl of hot steaming sambar to go with it and I’m a happy person. No festival lunch is complete without these vadais.
I had always been in awe of the vadai that we get in hotels. I used to sigh upon looking at the huge vadas they serve and used to wonder on how they were able to get that size and make them stay that way even after they get cold. Finally after many repetitive endeavors to get those perfect looking vadas at home, Eureka! I got it.
(This click was taken immediately after they were made and the first one was taken 4 hours later)
Medhu Vadai / Ulundhu Vadai
- Urad Dal – 1 cup
- Corn flour – 2 – 3 tbsp
- Onion – 1/4 cup
- Green chilies – 2 tsp
- Ginger – 1/2 tsp
- Curry leaves – 1 sprig
- Salt – to taste
- Oil – for deep frying
Preparation: Soak Urad dal in water for 1/2 hour. Chop the onion, green chillies and curry leaves finely. Grate the ginger and keep it aside.
How to Grind the Batter:
The inside of the grinder / food processor should be wet. Grind the urad dal using 2-3 tbsp of water alone. To grind it well, dip you hand in water and run it along the sides of the wet grinder for even grinding. Do not add more water. When you think the batter is done, sprinkle the corn flour from the sides and let the grinder run for another 1-2 min for the corn flour to get mixed well with the batter. Transfer to a bowl. Refrigerate for 1/2 hour. I usually place the bowl in the freezer for 10 min.
How to check the consistency:
When you scoop the batter in your hand and hold facing the floor it should not fall from your palm. It should be that thick. When you place about 1/2 tsp of batter in a bowl of water it should float on top and not sink. The batter should be that light.
How to proceed:
Heat a kadai with oil. You will need either a plantain leaf or a clean plastic sheet for making vadas and small bowl of water too.
Take the batter out of the fridge and add the chopped onion, green chilli, curry leaves, grated ginger, salt and mix well. Dip your hand in water and wipe the leaf or sheet which ever you are using. Place a lemon size of batter on the sheet and give it a pat. Dip your index finger in water and make a hole in the center. Again wet your hands and shape the sides evenly.
To cook, take the sheet and invert it onto your hand and slide the vada smoothly into the oil from the sides. You can cook 2-3 vadas at a time depending on the size of the kadai. The vadai will first sink to the bottom and will then rise to the surface. Turn them after a minute or two and let it cook over medium flame. When cooked to golden brown remove on an absorbent paper and serve hot with either coconut chutney or Sambar.
These vadas will remain crunchy on the outside and soft and porous inside and consume very little oil. These also do not sag and become hard as they cool down and they maintain their puffed up shape. You can also check out this sambar vadai which is a bit different from this one.
In case you want to make these for prasadham avoid adding onions, green chillies and ginger to the batter. Just add curry leaf and freshly ground black pepper to make vadas. This one also tastes very good.