Masal Vadai (has other names as Masala/Dal/Paruppu Vadai or Vada) is a famous street food available in Tamil Nadu. This is cooked at home during festivals and is mostly prepared with Bengal gram or chick pea. But some people add little toor dal with chick peas. Onion and garlic is also added to make it more tasty (those who don’t like onion, garlic they avoid using in this).
Bengal gram is called as Kadalai Paruppu in Tamil and as Channa Dal in Hindi. I added chopped pearl onions in this as pearl onions give nice flavor. We can use any onion as per convenience. Adding ginger, garlic and fennel seed gives good taste and aroma and improves digestion.
- Bengal gram/chick pea – 2 cup
- Pearl onion – 15 no
- Green chilli – 2 no
- Red chilli – 2 no
- Red chilli powder – 1 tea spoon
- Turmeric powder – ½ tea spoon
- Fennel seed – 2 tea spoon
- Garlic – 4 cloves
- Ginger – small piece
- Coriander and curry leaves – few
- Salt – as per taste
- Oil – for deep frying vadai
- Soak Bengal gram in sufficient water for 2 hours minimum; wash, drain and keep aside; finely chop onion, green chilli, coriander and curry leaves.
- In a mixi jar add red chilli, half of fennel seed, salt and run the mixer for few seconds; now add ginger, garlic and run the mixi for few seconds; do not use water to grind.
- Keep a handful of soaked Bengal gram separately for later use and add the remaining in the same mixi jar; grind it to a coarse paste without water and put it in a bowl.
- In the same bowl, add separately kept handful of soaked dal, chopped onion, green chilli, coriander/curry leaves, remaining fennel seeds, turmeric and red chilli powder; mix gently.
- Heat oil in a pan; when hot take with wet hands small amount of ground mix; shape it like a round, thick, flat disc; reduce flame to low and put it in hot oil carefully; you can add more discs as per the capacity of the oil in the pan; cook in low/moderate flame for few minutes till vada is crisp; the surface also turns golden colour; turn sides in between; keep fried vada on kitchen tissue for few minutes to absorb excess oil.
- Serve hot with sauce.
- Here is the cutaway section of a Masala/Masal/Dal/Paruppu Vadai.
- Deep frying in low/moderate flame helps to cook vada evenly outside and inside.
- While deep frying leave sufficient space in oil for each vada to fry freely.