South Indian-Style Deep-Fried Bean Savory (Vadai)
Split black beans or gram (urid dal) are pale cream in color and cook to a thick consistency. This variety is very popular in South Indian cuisine.
½ cup water
1 cup split black beans
Salt to taste
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped fine
½-inch piece fresh gingerroot, peeled and chopped fine
1 fresh green chili, peeled and chopped fine
¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped fine
1 cup corn oil
Wash the beans and soak in a pot of cold water for 4 hours. Drain the beans in a colander.
Place the water, beans, and salt in a food processor and puree to a fine paste. Transfer the mixture to a bowl.
Add the onion, ginger, green chili, and cilantro and mix the bean mixture thoroughly.
Heat the oil in a wok over high heat. Reduce to medium heat. Using your right hand scoop a small portion of the bean batter and carefully place 5 or 6 in the wok. Fry the vadai for 3-4 minutes until golden brown. With a steel spatula turn over and fry for another 2-3 minutes, until golden brown. Remove the vadai and drain on paper towel. Repeat this process until all the vadai batter is fried.
Serve hot with cilantro or coconut chutney and chai.
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