Creating a blog was out of the question for a long time for me, as measuring everything in the kitchen was like biting into an eggshell. I enjoy cooking and don’t want to waste even a slightest bit of enjoyment in that small world of mine. But little did I know that everything will change, when my husband came home with the Oscar nominated film ‘Julie and Julia’( a real life story) where Julie Powell (part played by Amy Adams) challenged herself to make all the 524 recipes from Julia Child's cook book ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking’ and blogging all her experiences (The Julie/Julia Project). It was an inspiring movie. A few days later when we were discussing this casually with a friend of ours over tea…everything changed dramatically…..” How about you making at least half of it in one year? Not French but your own. 262 recipes that will inspire others and present it as a blog?” For a minute my mind traveled faster than light… With an experience as a helper in my mother in laws kitchen for 6 years followed by a three year everyday struggle to satisfy the palate of my foodie husband, if I cannot do it then why should I cook? But on the other side with an experience in English literature extending no more than expanding outline stories in English grammar class when I was 18 and two small kids that come in handy at times, will a commitment for the next one year work? Anyway my ‘cook's ego’ didn’t allow me to say no...

So my friends …here I am opening my recipe book, trying to perfect and present 262 recipes in the coming 365 days….A Challenge that will of course tastes good. Come.. Have a walk with me along my journey.. Cheering and inspiring….Forgiving and tolerating…Testing and tasting….for ‘A Tasty Challenge’

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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Parippu Vada/ Fried Lentil Cakes

Recipe No: 93
Parippu Vada is one of the most popular tea time snacks in Kerala and is available in most of the road side Teashops. Well this happened to be one of the favorite Tea snack at my house too. My mother used to make this with Thoor Dal (Sambar Parippu), Channa Dal (Kadala (Chick Pea) Parippu) and even half of both and I should say every one of them tastes awesome. Whatever kind of Lentil you use this recipe remains the same. And don’t forget the popular combination of Parippu Vada and Pazham (Banana).
Ingredients                                 Makes 12
  • Split Channa Dal/ Kadala Parippu…….1 Cup (Wash and soak in water for 4 Hours)
  • Sliced Shallots………………………………..1/2 Cup
  • Ginger Chopped……………………………..2 Tablespoons
  • Green Chilly Chopped…………………...3 Tablespoons (Adjust according to your heat tolerance)
  • Salt…………………………………………..…..1 Teaspoon (adjust to your taste)
  • Curry Leaves………………………………….1 Sprig (Tear into small pieces)
  • Oil for deep frying
Method of Preparation
  1. Drain the Dal/ Lentil from the soaking water and transfer into a food processor or a dry grinder of your regular Mixer Grinder. Don’t use any more water and don’t overfill. If there is too much Dal, grind it in batches.
  2. Grind it into a course consistency. There will be some lentils still lying whole which are good in this. When done you should be able to make it into balls without falling apart.
  3. Grind Shallots, Ginger and Green Chilly for 2 seconds or a single pulse if you are using a food processor. This will make them small so that it will not fall out while making the Vada.
  4. Mix together the Lentils, Shallots mixture, Salt and Curry Leaves and mix really well.
  5. Divide the Lentil mixture into 12 equal parts, each with the size of a Golf Ball.
  6. Press each portion between your palms and drop it into really hot Oil. Once dropped , lower the temperature to medium high and let it fry till they are light brown in color. Don’t forget to turn them over in between.
  7. Crank up the heat in the last part of the frying to avoid Vadas from absorbing too much of Oil.
  8. Drain the excess oil by putting them on paper towels and serve hot with Banana and a cup of Tea.
  • Drain Dal only when you are ready to grind because you need the moisture that is till on the Dal. Be sure to drain the rest of the water.
  • Mix in the Salt and the ground Shallot mixture only in the last moment. Otherwise Salt will drain the water out of the other ingredients, making it watery.
  • Don’t fry it in high heat as it will crisp up the outside without cooking the inside. So keep the high heat while dropping the Vadas. But once dropped, reduce the temperature a bit; let it cook and crank the heat back up just before taking it out of the Oil.
  • The thickness of the Vada depends on your liking. If you want a real crispy one flatten it as much as possible. On the other hand if you want a thick center, don’t flatten it too much. But keep in mind that the center of the Vada has a tendency to puff up a bit while cooking.

Make it , enjoy the deliciousness and 
serve it to your family with love…


Gaayathi said...

Chechi njan same try cheythu , first time vellam kudi ppoyi ,2nd time nannayi arangilla ,3rd try cheythappol bakki ellam ok aayi vannu (consistency was fine) ,pakshe ente vadakal vegathil color maarunnu (kariyunnu - cooked in medium heat only) so njan vegam edukkum ennayil ninnum,appol nannyi cook aayittum undaavilla... enthaavum kaaranam?

Asha said...

Hai Gaayathi, hmmm interesting...I can think of some possibilities... you didn't mentioned anything about the thickness of the Vadas. If too thick this may happen because Vadas tent to shrink a bit in diameter and increasing the thickness. So next time try to reduce the thickness. Did you keep the mix for sometime after grinding? Even though I am not sure if that is the reason, try to avoid that next time. Make Vada immediately after grinding. Another wild guess is that your lentil ball was too thick and tight...well that is only a wild guess... let me know if this helps..
Thanks a lot once again...

Jose Robins said...

Thank you for the notes on adding the salt and the shallots only at the last moment and the other points. I had been having this issue of both the vada not really sticking together when being molded as well as the insides being not too well cooked. I suspect both the water seepage due to the salt and the high temp. So I'm going to try your suggestions today.

I've found it helpful to use an IR temp sensor to check the temp of the oil before and while cooking. Sometimes it is more helpful to reproduce results based on cooking temperature rather than the flame/heat level because stoves vary wildly.

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