An Andhra special street food and snack, most often seen being sold at Indian Railway Platforms, these crunchy on outside but soft inside vada’s are my favorite tea time snack along with chutney and some warm chai. They are made out of lentils, herbs, spices and chopped onions. Sometimes I also dunk these vada’s into warm sambar and enjoy the vadas as a mini meal.
This time I added a few dill leaves that were lying in the refrigerator. You can add fresh chopped cilantro or mint or amaranth leaves or even spring onions (if using spring onions, skip chopped onions in the recipe and add both the chopped greens as well as the whites) instead.
Masala Vada – Lentil Fritters
Chana dal – 1 cup
Green chillies – 4-6, finely chopped
Ginger – 1 tsp, minced
Red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves (fresh/dried) – 1 sprig, finely chopped
Salt – to taste
Onion – 1, small, finely chopped
Dill leaves – 1/4 cup, finely chopped
Canola oil – to deep fry
1. Soak the chana dal in a bowl with surplus fresh cool water for 2 hours. Later, drain and reserve about a fistful of the soaked chana dal aside in a bowl. Add the rest of it into a food processor. Process until coarse, do not puree the mixture, and do not add any water while grinding. Remove the coarse chana dal into a mixing bowl. Add the reserved soaked chana dal and add the rest of the ingredients except oil. Mix well, and shape into patties.
2. Heat oil to deep fry in a kadai or a deep saucepan. Once the oil is hot, fry the patties one by one on both sides until golden. Remove into a wire mesh strainer or a paper towel lined platter for excess oil to drain away and serve warm along with coconut chutney or coriander and mint chutney or sambar.