There’s this nifty little kitchen utensil called the appa patra…. The jugal bandits use their’s extensively….so does my namesake….see her version of no fry pakoras… and nupur dished out this kofta curry from the same kind of pan…needless to say, this caught my fancy, so the last time amma visted….she bought me this pan…I for one am on a ‘not buying anything unless my life depends on it’ mode….so when amma said she wanted to buy me a gift, I said ok…why not buy me something I really want instead of clothes..or anything else…. That’s how I got my appa patra
Ever since I got it, I have been making some kind of stuff in it…the fact that they haven’t featured here is testimony to the fact that they didn’t make it to the photographs!! the easiest is to make use of souring idly batter, add chopped onions, green chillies, curry leaves and cumin seeds and make appey…. Instantly, some sooji / Bombay rava mixed with curd and baking soda and spices too will do the trick.
I made dahi vadas. With batter made from 2 cups of dal soaked for 4 hours, we got about 35 small vadas. Most of them we ate as is, with chutney and sauce…the rest I dunked in yogurt and added seasoning.This one is not going to cheat you of the smooth and creamy texture of the original deep fried version…its going to be your favourite if you like dahi vadas purely because the whole thing gets made in less than 4 T of oil… how great is that??
While the fried ones aren’t as crisp as they deep fried versions, this is the only compromise you will have to make. Taste wise they’re the same. this is a great way to have your favourite foods minus the extra calories ofcourse. for the original deep fried version of the same thing, look here.
Cheater’s Dahi Vada (makes about 18 vadas)
Time taken: 15 mins to cook, 4 hrs of soaking
1 c skinned whole urad dal, soaked for 4 hours and ground with ¼ c water to a buttery batter
2 T finely chopped onion
2 green chillies, finely chopped
4-5 black pepper, crushed coarsely
1 t cumin seeds
5-6 curry leaves, chopped fine
Salt to taste
3 T oil
2 c yoghurt, whisked to remove lumps
A pinch of salt (remember the vadas are already salted)
For the tempering:
1 t oil, ½ t mustard seeds, 1 T urad dal, 2 dry red chillies, A few curry leaves
In a bowl, mix together the urad dal batter with the cumin seeds, crushed pepper, green chillies, curry leaves and onions. Heat the appa patra on medium heat, put ½ teaspoon of oil in each of the depressions.
With a spoon, spoon in a dollop of the vada batter into each of the depressions. Fry them for a few minutes and using a fork or a spoon, turn them over and fry for another few minutes. If you want them crisp, use smaller dollops and increase the oil in the slots of the appa patra to a tablespoon each.
(The vadas can be eaten at this stage as is, with chutney, sauce or sambhar / rasam) if you want dahi vadas, read further.
Dunk the fried vadas into 2 cups of warm water and let them sit there for a couple of minutes. Retrieve and plunge them into the whisked yoghurt.
In a small pan, heat the oil for tempering, splutter the mustard seeds, fry the urad dal till golden, fry the red chillies till they change colour and add the curry leaves and fry till they are crisp. Spoon this onto the yoghurt. Chill for 30 minutes before serving.