These delicious deep fried vadais were among Narayan’s favorite food when he met Rukmini Srinivas and her husband in America.
- 2 cups urad dal or split black beans, soaked for two hours and drained
- 1 tspn salt, or to taste
- 2 finely chopped green chillies
- 6 coursely ground black peppercorns
- 8 curry leaves, torn in pieces
- 1/4 tspn asafoetida powder
- 1/4 cup grated fresh coconut
- 1 tspn grated fresh ginger
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 cups oil for frying
Grind the split black beans in the food processor to a thick, creamy batter, adding approximately 1/4 cup water while grinding. Remove in a vessel and keep aside.
Add the salt, green chillies, black peppercorns, curry leaves, asafoetida, coconut and ginger. Mix well.
Heat the oil in a frying pan to medium heat, not smoking hot. With wet hands make balls out of the batter, flatten each slightly, then make a hole in the centre and drop them one at a time into the hot oil. You can fry approximately 5 or 6 vadais in one batch depending on the size of your pan.
Initially the vadais will sink to the bottom and as they fry they will rise to the surface. Gently separate them if they stick to each other. Fry them on all sides to a golden brown color.
Once done, remove them with a slotted spoon and drain on absorbent paper. A well done vadai will be crisp on the outside and soft and spongy on the inside.
Serve hot with onion coconut chutney.