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Pongal special recipe-yummy crispy Medu Vada (Ulunthu Vadai)


Posted on : 14/Jan/2018 14:33:51

The most popular South Indian main breakfast items form a trinity-idly, vada, and dosa-these 3 items have become a global rage now with a recent research establishing idly as the healthiest breakfast food at the global level!

All do play a part in answering the requirement of a balanced diet ice, black gram and fenugreek seeds (a small quantity) being the main ingredients rice provides the carbohydrate, The black gram provides the protein and the side dishes used for the item (a whole variety of side dishes)provide the minerals and nutrients.

Vada is one of the stars there are many varieties of vada that can be made the most popular vada, medhu vada (medhu means soft in Tamil), which forms a glorious combination with idly and Pongal as a great tasty and healthy breakfast item!

To compare, vada resembles the doughnut popular in the western countries. It is an integral item to be prepared on special festival days as well.

Here is the recipe for medhu vada

Preparation time: 40 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Serves: 4


        Split Black Gram (Urad dal) - 1 cup

        Ginger - 1" piece (grated)

        Green Chilies / Dry red chillies - 3-4 (finely chopped)

        Crushed Black Pepper - 1/2 Tsp

        Asafoetida - a pinch

        Curry leaves - 1-2 strands (leaves finely chopped)

        Oil - for deep frying

        Salt - to taste

        Water - very little for grinding (app. 1/2 cup)

        Optional Ingredients

        Onion - 1/2 (chopped)

        Cilantro - handful chopped

        Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp

        Any Vegetables - 1/2 cup

        Coconut pieces

The Method

        Soak the urad dal overnight or a minimum of 1/2 an hour.

        Drain the water and grind the dal in grinder/ blender/mixie using as little water as possible.

Take this urad dal batter in a bowl and add required salt, grated ginger, green/red chillies, crushed pepper, asafoetida and chopped curry leaves.

In the meantime, heat the oil for frying the vadas.

To shape the vadas, wet your hand, take a small portion of batter on the palm your hand. Instead of the hand, you can also use a polythene paper.

Using the finger of your other hand or the thumb of the same hand, make a small hole in the centre of the batter.

Gently slide the batter into the hot oil. The hole helps in even cooking of the vadas inside and out. The vadas should be fried over medium heat.

Once the vadas get golden brown on one side, flip it and cook the other side.

Once the vada fully turns golden brown, remove it and let it rest on paper towels to remove excess oil.

Some Useful Tips

The key aspect in the vada making is the grinding of the batter. Water should be added in drops in between. In case the batter becomes watery, add rice flour to the batter to get the right consistency.

Vadas need to be fried immediately after grinding, as keeping it out for a long time would result in the fermentation of the batter and make it watery.

Serving Suggestions

Serve the hot medhu vadai with coconut chutney or sambar as an evening snack.

You can also serve this vada with any south Indian breakfast items like idli, pongal etc.

Here are some more variations

        You could sneak in any veggies to get different vadas like cabbage vadai, spinach (keerai) vadai, carrot vadai, broccoli vadai etc.

        With the leftover vadas, you can make other delicacies like curd vada, sambhar vada, rasam vada etc.

        Diet watchers can do shallow frying in Kuzhipaniyaram pans. The ulundu Kuzhipaniyaram tastes the same like deep fried vada but with a large reduction in oils.

        MYSORE BONDA: This is yet another famous snack dish having its descendant from Karnataka. It is extremely easy to make. Add some fresh coconut bits in the vada batter and make small bondas and deep fry in oil. This is easy as we need not toil for the traditional vada shape and tastes as yummy as the vadas.