Dal Vada Recipe
Famous Street food of South India
Dal Vadas or deep-fried fritters are very popular on the streets of South India. They are the local version of fast food. Although it is a fried item, it still has a nutritive value because it is made of split Bengal gram called Chana Dal.
The taste of Crispy!
Chana Dal has a slightly nutty flavour to it like most other lentils. When made into DAL VADA, the nuttiness blends with the spices you add. The effect of the combination of the dal and the spices is a crisp rustic taste and flavour that you are sure to want again and again and again.
It is a speciality of Street Fast food
The common man’s fast food, the humble Dal Vadas are a tasty and cheap option to the more expensive fast food variants available on the streets. Vadas are deep fried fritters that are crunchy and crisp.
Dal Vadas can be made at home also. It is a quick and easy dish which can be easily made at home with minimal preparation time. Served with a spicy mint chutney and it becomes a wonderful anytime snack. Tomato sauce also goes well with this Vada.
Dal Vadas are made with Chana dal or yellow Bengal gram. Chana Dal also needs soaking like other lentils. Lentils are basically hard and soaking helps soften them. You can soak your Chana dal for about 2 hours.
You will need…
- 1 measure Chana dal (split Bengal gram)
- 1 or 2 chopped onions depending on how much onions you like
- ½ teaspoon ginger paste
- 2 tbsp chopped green coriander
- 1 tbsp curry leaves cut small
- 2 tsp red chilli powder
- ½ teaspoon asafoetida
- 1/4th teaspoon turmeric powder
- salt to taste
- oil for deep-frying
How to make
Take 1/4th measure of soaked Chana dal. Strain and keep the water aside. Put the remaining strained soaked Chana dal in the grinder. Grind to a coarse paste. Now put the ground dal in a mixing bowl.
Add all the remaining ingredients including the soaked Chana Dal kept aside. Mix it all nicely into a dough. It won’t be a wet dough, but it won’t be dry either. You should be able to make it in to small round patties on your palm.
Heat the oil. Test the oil using a small test ball of your dough. If it turns brown almost immediately it means your oil has become too hot. Lower the heat and wait for the temperature to drop a bit. If it floats up and starts turning a light golden, then the heat is right. Your oil is ready to fry your Dal Vadas.
Take your dough. Divide it such that you get about 15-18 Dal Vadas about 2 inches in diameter. You can make them bigger also but then you will get less number of Vadas. Use a little oil on your palm to give them shape. The oil will ensure that the Dal Vadas don’t stick your palms.
Using a spoon or your fingers drop a blob of batter in to the hot oil. Don’t drop each one too quickly, wait 20 seconds before the next one. That way your Dal Vadas will not stick to each other. Move them around using a ladle with holes or a slotted spoon which lets the excess oil seep through.
Fry your Dal Vadas till they are a nice golden brown on medium to slow heat because if you fry them too fast they will burn on the outside and remain uncooked on the inside. Take out and keep on an oil absorbing sheet.
Dal Vadas are best eaten hot with tomato sauce or a tomato chutney. You can add roasted and ground peanut powder to give your Dal Vada a little extra crispiness. Just add it at the dough making stage.
Here is a quick recipe for your tomato chutney.
2 tomatoes chopped small
1 finely chopped medium sized onion
8-10 curry leaves
2 dry red chilies
1 tsp mustard seeds
¼ teaspoon asafoetida
¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
1 tsp Chana Dal
1 tsp Urad Dal
3-4 chopped green chilies
Salt to taste
How to make:
Put 2 tablespoons oil in a small wok. Heat. Add the two lentils and fry till they turn brownish.
Add green chillies and curry leaves. Fry again.
Add onions, tomatoes, turmeric powder and salt. Mix well and cook till tomatoes turn squishy.
Once done, take off the heat and let it cool. Once cool grind without water in to a paste. Take out in to a bowl
Temper the chutney
Heat 1 tablespoon oil. Add mustard seeds and let crackle. Add asafoetida and the dry red chilies. Pour over the chutney and its ready.
Given below are some approximate values of Dal Vadas.
- Energy 91 cal
- Protein 2.1 g
- Carbohydrates 6.2 g
- Fibre 1.5 g
- Fat 6.4 g
- Vitamin A 89.8 mcg
- Vitamin B3 0.2 mg
- Vitamin C 1 mg
- Folic Acid 14.5 mcg
- Calcium 7.9 mg
- Iron 0.5 mg
- Sodium 7.4 mg
- Potassium 75.3 mg
- Zinc 0.2 mg
Put it all together and you have yourself a wonderful anytime snack that you can serve your guests. The Dal Vada and the tomato chutney looks good when presented on a platter garnished with chopped green coriander.
Make your Dal Vadas wholesome and healthy despite it being a fried item by adding green coriander, ginger, green chillies and finely chopped onions. The onions are the hero of this dish. You can even add some peanuts to the Vada to give that extra crunch. They are what give the zing and zest to the crisp Vada. This is one dish where you can use your imagination to make it different in many different ways