'Medhu Vadai' is a tasty and protein rich fried doughnuts made in South India. At all special occasions at home, festival , function or party , you will find this vadai in the menu. Urad dal/Husked Black gram is soaked in water for a couple of hours, drained and ground to fluffy consistency. They are then spiced according to taste and deep fried in the shape of doughnuts.
As the Vadai is shaped with hands , it requires skill and practise to get the shape right. I must admit that I had initial difficulty in shaping these, but as my entire family has a tremendous love for the vadas( including me), and as it is a tradition in our household to cook this Vadai on all major festivals, I now make them with ease.
When I make the Vadai for festivals, I do not add onions. Instead I flavour the Vadai with peppercorns and green chillies. You can eat the Vadai just like that or dunk it in sambar. You can make traditional onion sambar or hotel style tiffin sambar to dunk the vadai. It will taste delicious, either way.
Another popular way of eating these Vadai is by soaking them in spiced curd garnished with boondis and they are called 'Thayir Vadai'.
So, once you make the Medhu Vadai, you can enjoy them in so many ways.
Medhu Vadai | Ulundu Vadai :
Preparation time : 3-4 hours
Cooking time : 30 minutes
1 cup = 250 ml cup
Makes -25 to 30 medium size Vadai
Special Vessel/Equipment : Iron Wok, Ladle, Mixer
1 cup Urad dal
1 onion (finely chopped)
1/2 inch ginger ( grated) -optional
1 green chilli ( finely Chopped)
2 sprigs curry leaves ( roughly tear them)
oil for frying
salt to taste
1. Wash Urad dal four to five times and then soak it for 3 to 4 hours with water till once inch above the dal.
TIP: The water should be transparent .ie., you should be able to see the urad dal clearly when it is soaked.
2. Drain the water completely and grind the dal to a Fine batter. Add little water if required.
TIP: Though grinding in wet grinder will give natural airing to the batter, I have got same result by grinding in mixie as it is more convenient to grind in mixie for smaller quantities.
3. Now air the batter, by beating the batter with hand in a round motion.
TIP: Beat the batter for 10 minutes for great vadai. This is an important step if you are grinding in mixer.
4. Add the desired spices.
TIP: If you are preparing the Vadai to carry for picnics or gettogethers, then you can add 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder to the batter.
5. Heat oil in an iron wok.
TIP: When you use iron wok, you get great colour and texture.
6. Drop a small piece of batter to check temperature. If it sizzles and foats up instantly, your oil is ready.
7. Keep a plate with water beside your work space .
8. Place your hand on the water, then take small portion of batter and make a small hole with your thumb and dunk them immediately in oil.
TIP : Keep the gas in low to medium flame.
9. When one side is done, turn and fry the other.
10. Repeat the same for the entire batch.
11. Drain them in a kitchen towel.
Your crispy Vadai is ready . When you bite into them, they will be crisp on the outside and soft inside.
Happy Cooking !