Most Hindus avoid onion and garlic during the ten days of Navratri. It is basically a kind of cleansing done to rid the system of toxins. Some even undertake a strict fast making a meal of only one vegetable throughout the nine days. These vadas are a blessing when children crave for something crunchy. Though these are sans onion and garlic they are super tasty. I thank my friend Bhama Narayanan who shared this recipe with me. I have added a couple of spices to enhance the taste.
1/4 cup Chana Dal/Split Chickpea
1/4 cup Arhar Dal/Split pigeon peas
1 heaped tbsp Urad Dal/Split black gram
3 dry red chillies
2 green chillies
1 heaped tsp coriander seeds
5 pepper corns
1/2 tsp Jeera /Cumin seeds
A kidney bean size piece of Hing/ Asafoetida
2 sprigs curry leaves
3 tbsps coriander leaves
Oil for frying the vadas.
Wash and soak the three Dals in enough water for three hours. Drain well. Powder the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, pepper corns, dry red chillies, green chillies and Hing. Tip the powder into the large mixer jar and drop in the drained Dals. Grind the Dals to a coarse paste in batches, using pulse mode. Do not use any water to grind. Remove the dough into a bowl. Add finely chopped curry and coriander leaves. Add salt, mix well. Take a small portion of the dough onto your palm, roll into a ball and flatten it to form a vada. Heat oil in a pan. Gently slide in 5-6 vadas at a time and fry them to a golden brown on a medium flame. Remove and drain on a kitchen towel. Serve hot.
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