When amma is here with me, I always try and make some stuff which she loved to make and feed us as kids, but now because of her eyesight she can’t…..she loves watching me in the kitchen and will stay perched on a morra while I keep up with the experiments….all the while talking nonstop….filling me in on family gossip, stories that are a blast from the past and just about anything else…..she refuses to sit quietly….offering her help while I shoo her into a corner….she claims that shes not used to ‘idle time’ …infact given half an opportunity, she will insist on making atleast one meal per day….. each time she stays with me, I discover something about her that I was totally blind to earlier….i know that’s shocking considering how long we’ve lived together, and the relationship we share….but sometimes, we take for granted the things closest to us….people and relationships more importantly…..on one of her trips, I discovered she totally digs Dahi vadas…..i mean like, she can eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner…. I never had noticed this…ever!! I swear!! The last thing I’d have guessed was that dahi vada can make my mother almost loony!! Since I am a little watchful about deep fried stuff, I sacrifice items like puris and papads to fry these orbs of delight for my mother atleast once during each of her stays…though it needs a little preparation; they are well worth the effort.
thanks mansi for suggesting that i send this over to your Monthly Mingle….this month is all about appetizers and hors’deouvres . Dahi vada is a sure fire party hit!! MM is the brainchild of Meeta and this month hops over to Fun and Food
Dahi vada (makes about 30)
1 kg of fresh yoghurt (make sure it isn’t sour)
1 cup whole urad dal, soaked for 3-4 hours and ground to a smooth batter with salt and very little water. To this add the following: ½ cup really finely chopped onions, 2-3 green chillies chopped fine, 9-10 black peppercorns crushed coarsely, 1 T finely chopped fresh ginger, 10-12 curry leaves finely chopped
For the seasoning:
1 T oil
1 t mustard seeds
1 T urad dal
1-2 dry red chillies
10-12 curry leaves
Heat a kadai / wok with about 3 inches of oil, scoop a dollop of batter into your palm, make a hole in the centre and drop into the hot oil. Dip hands in water for each vada to ensure it slides off. I prefer this to using a plastic bag. Drop as many as you can manage in the pan, ensuring it isn’t overcrowded and leaves room for the vadas to be turned. Fry till golden. Remove, drain in a colander, and when still hot, place in a bowl of water for about 3-4 mins and remove into a serving bowl. This ensures the oil is removed, and gives the dahi wada an unbelievably silky texture. Continue to fry, drain and soak the vadas till all the batter is used up.
In another dish, whish the yoghurt till smooth and there are no lumps. Add a little salt (remember the vadas are already salted). Pour this over the fried vadas till they are all well covered, remembering to pour extra yoghurt because the vadas will soak it up.
Heat oil in a pan, splutter the mustard seeds, add the rest of the seasoning ingredients, toast till the urad dal is golden, pour it on top of the dahi vadas. Chill and serve. Enjoy!!