Culinary companions

Food fix

The monsoon has arrived. Few things can be more tempting than a hot cup of tea along with some vadas or bhajjis in this wonderful season.

Lentils used in vadas make them nutritious as well as tasty. Go ahead and indulge in some kitchen experiments this time.
Masala Vada

Ingredients: 2 cups of chana dal (split Bengal gram), 10 to 12 cloves of garlic, 1” ginger cube, 3-4 green chillies, 2 cloves, ¼” cinnamon, 2 medium-sized onions (finely chopped), 1 cup dill leaves (finely chopped), ½ cup coriander leaves (finely chopped), ½ teaspoon fennel seeds, salt to taste, oil for deep frying.

Method: Wash and soak the dal for 4-5 hours. Drain and keep aside. Grind together garlic, ginger, green chillies, cloves and cinnamon. To this add the drained dal (saving 1 tablespoon) and grind it coarsely without adding water. Transfer this mixture into a bowl. 

Add onion, dill leaves, coriander leaves, fennel seeds, dal and salt and mix well. Heat oil in a pan, take a little of the mixture on your palm and flatten it slightly to form the shape of a vada. 

Immerse in the oil and deep fry on a medium flame till they are crisp and golden brown in colour. Drain the excess oil on a tissue paper. Serve hot with coconut or coriander chutney.
Mungeri

Ingredients: 2 cups moong dal (skinless split green gram), 2 medium-sized onions (finely chopped), 2-3 green chillies (finely chopped), 3 tablespoons coriander leaves (finely chopped), salt to taste, oil for deep frying. Method: Wash and soak the dal for 3-4 hours, drain properly and keep aside. Grind coarsely without using water and transfer into a bowl. Add onions, green chillies, coriander leaves and salt to taste, and mix properly. 

Heat oil in a pan and drop unevenly shaped marble-sized balls into it. Deep fry on a medium flame, turning them over frequently till they are crisp and golden brown in colour. Serve hot with mint or coriander chutney.
Tasty Bites

Ingredients: 2 cups urad dal (skinned black gram), 2 cups ginger (finely chopped), 1 tablespoon coconut (finely chopped), 2-3 green chillies (finely chopped), 5-6 pepper corns (pounded slightly), 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, 2 tablespoons coriander leaves (finely chopped), salt to taste, oil for deep frying.

Method: Wash and soak the dal for 5-6 hours. Drain and grind to a thick and fluffy batter using enough water. Transfer into a bowl adding ginger, coconut, pepper, green chillies, cumin seeds ,coriander leaves and salt to taste, and mix well. Heat oil in a pan and put lemon-sized dollops of the mixture and deep fry on a medium flame, turning frequently, till they are crisp and golden brown in colour. Remove and serve with sambar, rasam or chutney.

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