Whenever there is a sadhya, banana leaf meal on the horizon, the first things we look forward to is the vadai and payasam. All the other items on the plate are immaterial if the vadai and payasam don’t feature against that green leafy background. The sugar fatigue, while you consume a ladle full of the warm payasams, is broken with the salty slightly spicy break while consuming the vadai fritter.
What makes vadai click?
Among the melange of Indian recipes, the fritters feature a couple of times during the day. We South Indians love the crunch lentil bite of vadai to have for breakfast. At lunch, we love to treat ourselves to a bit more of the vadai and then carry over the love to the evening snack.
Vadai comes as medhu vadai or as parippuvadai. The softer medhuvadai pairs well with the pillowy soft steamed idlis, the coconut chutney and piping hot sambhar. Whereas the crunchier parippu (lentils and dals) vadai features more like snacks. The easiest equation of this vadai to any of the global foods is to falafel. The soft inside and the crunch of the crispy exterior is actually what clicks. Mind you, it is a highly addictive snack.
Making the Masala masoor vadai.
Traditional parippuvadai are made with Bengal gram. No offence, but there are a ton more options. My local market carries brown lentils, these are so much easier to procure than the long drive to the Indian grocery store. So we have been experimenting with brown lentils. The masoor vadai with this brown lentil is softer and pairs well with Kerala paal payasam and ada prathaman. When serving for teatime, try it with pudina chutney or green chutney and a cup of masala tea.
The major time spent on this recipe is to just soak the brown lentils. The rest of it is as quick as grind mix and fry. Follow the recipe card below for the detailed recipe and step by step images to guide you through the making of this vegan, gluten-free, brown lentil fritters.
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Masala Masoor Vadai
- deep fryer
to soak the whole brown lentils
- 1 cup brown lentils ( whole masoor )
- 3-4 cup drinking water
to make the vadai batter
- 4 shallots
- 1 tsp red chilli powder
- 1/2 tsp roasted cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp coriander powder
- salt to taste
For deep frying the fritter.
- 3 cups cooking oil
- Wash and soak the lentils for 3-4 hours.
- Drain the lentils after the time and place it in the processor.
- Add some peeled shallots, red chilli powder, cumin powder, and salt into the processor.
- Blend this mix to a smooth mix adding water only if needed.
- What you need is a coarse mix which will hold shape when pressed together .
- Collect this mix in a bown and set aside till the oil heats up.
- Set your deep fryer at 180 degree or oil in a kadaii ( frying pan)
- Shape the batter into small balls and place it on the palm of your hand and gently press to flatten it out slightly.
- Drop this gently into the oil and continue shaping more out of the batter.
- When you have about 5 to 8 in the deep fryer, watch for the ones that stop sizzling and flip over to cook the other side.
- Once both the sides are golden brown, remove from heat and drain on paper towels.
- Place on a serving tray and serve with chutney.
- Store in a tight container in the fridge for up to a week.