Ulundu Vadai or Medhu Vadai is one of the most popular South Indian snack. Like in any other South Indian household, these vadais are our family favourite too.
Now, though I love these vadas, it was not until very recently that I started making them on my own. And the credit of teaching me how to make them goes to my MIL. Now, making these vadas, though may seem very easy but I must tell they are tricky. It does take some practice and patience to get the perfectly shaped, crispy and fluffy vadas.
The consistency of the batter is the key to getting the perfect vadas. I should also tell you that, the vadas made from the batter ground in the wet grinder turn out to be much better than the ones made from the batter ground in a mixie. But what do you do, when you don’t have a grinder?
I don’t have a grinder now, and I have been grinding the batter for these vadas in a mixie for some time now. The first time I ground the batter in mixie I was really disappointed with the outcome of the vadas. Though I got perfectly shaped vadas, but they were way too hard. But after a couple of more trials, I got the hang of it and I have tried to write down all the points and tips that I follow to get crispy yet soft vadas.
What you’ll need
- Whole skinned Urad Dal – 1 cup
- Green Chillies – 1 or 2, finely chopped
- Ginger – a small piece, peeled and grated
- Curry Leaves – few, finely chopped
- Coriander Leaves – 2 tbsp, finely chopped
- Salt to taste
- Oil to deep fry
- Wash and soak the urad dal in water for 2 hours (if grinding in mixie, if using wet grinder, then soaking for 30 to 45 mins is enough)
- Drain the water completely.
- Now, add the dal to the bigger mixie jar and grind without adding any water, once the dal is crushed, add water little by little and grind to a smooth batter. Make sure not to add too much water as it will become difficult to shape the vadas also, the vadas will drink too much oil.
- Transfer the batter to a bowl, now, with your hands mix the batter very well in circular motion. Do this for couple of minutes. This helps in making the batter fluffier and lighter. (This step is not required if you grind in wet grinder) I got this tip from Vah re vah.com
- Add the other ingredients and salt, mix well.
- Heat enough oil in a Kadai, drop a small amount of batter into the oil, if it goes down and comes up immediately then the oil temperature is right.
- To shape the vadas, take a bowl of water, dip your hand in the water, take a small ball of the dough with the wet hand, and make a ball, now insert you thumb finger in the middle of the ball to make a hole and gently slide the vada into the hot oil. Be careful while sliding into the oil.
- Repeat the same with the remaining dough. Fry the vadas till golden, filp and cook on both sides.
- Fry in batches of 3 or 4 or depending on the size of your kadai add more or less.
- To get crispy yet soft and fluffy vadas, consistency of batter is very important, if you add very less water while grinding and the dough is very tight, then though you will get perfectly shaped vadas, but they will be very hard. And if you add too much of water, then it will be very difficult to shape the vadas and they will drink too much oil.
- How much water is the right amount is difficult to say, as much depends on the quality of urad dal. Try to use a good quality urad dal.
- If you feel the dough is just a little watery, try adding a tsp of rice flour.
- You could also soak a tsp of raw rice along with the urad dal to get crispy vadas.
- Refrigerating the dough for sometime also helps in getting shaped vadas.
- Add salt and onions (if using) just before making the vadas.
- The oil should not be smoking hot, else the vadas will turn black on the outside and not be cooked inside.