Saturday, October 30, 2010

Medu Vadas

Medu Vadas are crispy doughnut shaped fritters made with urad dal (split skinned black lentil). They are usually served alongside idli (South Indian savory cakes) as part of a perfect South Indian breakfast.



  • Soak the urad dal in enough water for about 3-4 hours. Drain it.
  • Grind drained dal to a smooth batter (thick paste). Add only spoonful of water at a time if required. Grind until the batter turns fluffy.
  • Keep this urad dal batter aside for 3-4 hours and let it ferment a bit.
  • Now add all other ingredients except the oil. Mix well.
  • Heat the oil in a kadai or wok on medium heat.
  • Wet your fingers and palm and take a small portion of batter. Shape it into a ball and then poke your thumb in the center so that a hole is formed (doughnut like structure is formed). Gently invert the vada in the oil. Make other medu vada similarly and place them in oil. Do not overcrowd the kadhai/wok to avoid sticking of vadas with each other.
  • When the medu vadas are cooked from underneath, turn them over with a slotted spoon. Vadas should be golden brown from both the sides. They should be fried on medium heat otherwise they will be golden from outside and doughy from inside.
  • Drain on an absorbent paper.
  • Serve hot with Sambhar and Coconut Chutney.

Do You Know?

In South India eating from a banana leaf is very common because it is considered hygienic and healthy. Any guest can be served on a banana leaf which is considered humble and respectful. It is considered auspicious to put a bit of sweet dish (dessert) on the banana leaf to eat before the actual meal is placed thereon.

According to tradition, one has to eat rice first, then dal, iron-rich vegetables and curd. This is the order in which food is served and consumed as well. It is even more traditional to sit on the floor on a mat and eat one’s food.

To show your appreciation after a satisfying meal, fold the banana leaf towards you (i.e. inwards) to signify that the meal was good. Folding the opposite direction (i.e. upwards /away from you) signifies that the meal was not satisfying.

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