Masala Vada's are a very popular tea time snack from The Southern region of India. These Vada's are made with Chana Dal or Split skinned Bengal Gram.
Soaked Chana Dal is ground with a mix of Spices and Deep fried. These Vada's are very delicious and flavorful, the outside is crispy while its soft and moist inside. A perfect teatime snack on a rainy evening.
Here is an easy to follow recipe of the Masala Vada.
Chana Dal - 1 cup
Ginger - 1 inch piece
Garlic - 4-5 cloves
Green chilies - 2 chopped
Onion, chopped - 1 large
Curry leaves,finely chopped - 8-10
Green coriander, chopped - 1/4th cup
Fennel seeds - 2 teaspoon
Dry red chili, whole - 2 pcs
Rava /Rice Powder - 1 tablespoon
Salt to taste
Oil for frying the Vada's
Wash and soak the chana dal for 2-3 hours,
Grind the ginger, garlic, fennel seeds, red chilies along wiith a handful of soaked chana dal into a coarse paste. Add the remaining Chana dal and grind to form a coarse mix. A few whole dals are perfectly fine as they will add texture to the Vadas.
Transfer the Ground dal mixture into a mixing bowl, add the finely chopped onions, chopped coriander and curry leaves, green chilies, rice flour along with salt, Mix well. The mixture might look crumbly bust don't worry it wont fall apart. Do not add water as adding water will make it difficult to shape the vadas.
Wet your hand with water, take a golf ball sized portion of the mix and shape it into a disk, once the vada is shaped, keep aside and continue making vada's from the remaining mixture. (I made around 16 vadas which were approximately 2 inches in diameter)
Heat oil in a frying pan, approximately half inch high from the bottom, carefully slide one vada at a time into the hot oil, fry on medium flame until the vadas get a nice golden colour, flip and fry on the other side.
Once the Vada's get a nice golden brown colour, Drain and keep on absorbent paper. Continue frying the remaing vadas until all are done.
Serve hot Vadas with your favorite chutney and a hot cup of tea or cofee.
I have added a handful of chana dal while grinding the masala as my grinder is big in size and was difficult to grind.
Try not to add water while grinding as it will result in a smooth and watery mix, hence it will be difficult to form the vada's.
I have added rice flour as well as 1 teaspoon of rava too.Adding rice flour gives the vada a nice crispy shell but the core is still soft and moist.
Never over crowd the pan while frying.
These Vadas can be easily frozen and they stay well for 5-6 days. Just remove it from the freezer and thaw it for an hour and fry in hot oil.