Medhu Vadai / Medu Vada/ Ulunthu Vadai/ Uzhunnu Vada is a staple South Indian tiffen recipe. The most favorite pairing would be Ven Pongal, Sakkarai Pongal, Coconut Chutney, Sambar and Medu Vada (or) Idly, Vadai, Sambar & Chutney. Usually Medu Vada's are served hot lovely puffed up in hotels. But at home usually the vadas are small to medium sized with and without holes. Amma usually makes Vadas very rarely and if there are left overs she makes Sambar Vadai or Thayir Vadai (Curd Vada). Medu Vadas are deep fried and there cannot be a compromised in this recipe, skinless ulunthu / urad dal is soaked and later ground into a fluffy batter (airy), mixed with spices and then deep fried. In most homes medhu vadas are usually shaped in a milk cover or polythene cover and then fried in oil but recently we started to shape the vadas in one hand and fry them. Its mess free and easy too. Now lets move on to the recipe
(read notes before doing the recipe)
Recipe Source - Amma
Soak time - 4-5 hrs
Prep time - 12-15 mins
Cook time - 20 mins for the entire batch
Makes - 15-16 medium sized vadas
Serving Suggestion - Sambar, Coconut Chutney
Urad Dal (Skinless) - 1 cup levelled
Water - as required
Salt - to taste
Curry leaves - 7-8 nos (chopped)
Hing/ Asefotedia - 3 pinches
Coriander leaves - 3 tbsp (chopped, optional but recommended)
Rice flour powder/ arusi mavu - 1 tbsp (used to get crisp texture)
Oil - to deep fry ( be generous)
1. Wash urad dal 2 times in water and soak with more water (just till immersed) for 4 hours. Now drain the water if any to a bowl and start grinding the urad dal in a running grinder.
2. Keep sprinkling the separated water little by little to help in grinding process else the urad dal will get stuck to the base of the grinder.
3. Continue grinding sprinkling water as required until the batter is smooth and fluffy. The whole process will take 12-15 minutes. Once done switch off the grinder and remove the prepared batter with care gently, collect the batter in a vessel.
4. Now add the hing, curry leaves, coriander leaves, salt and rice flour, using a folk fluff up the batter gently to combine
5. Heat the oil in a wide vessel be generous else the vadas will get stuck to the kadai/ pan
6. In a small bowl add cold water dip hand in cold water and place a kitchen towel to absorb excess oil in vadas.
7. Take a ball of batter place on your fingers (joint) and make a whole with your thumb and drop the vada in hot oil.
8. The Vadas will start sizzling in oil the vadas will turn golden now drain with a slotted spoon and place of a kitchen towel.
9. Once the oil is drained serve hot with coconut chutney & sambar.
Use good quality urad dal that you use for making soft idlies.
Make sure you do not over grind the urad dal else the vadas will not be fluffy and sticky
If you find the vadas too oily then there is more water in the batter, make sure you adjust accordingly next time
I have not used onions, peppercons, green chilli or ginger while making this vadas. We love it that way, you can go ahead and use them. Before adding to batter you can use a motor to form a coarse paste of them.
Adding rice flour helps the vadas be stay crisp even after turning cold / to room temperature