Parippu Vada (as it is known in Kerala) or Masala Vadai or Paruppu Vadai (as it is known in Tamil Nadu) is a very popular snack in Southern India. Nothing can beat the taste of a good Parippu Vada with some tea (or coffee may be) on a cloudy/rainy day.
When munching on Vada or any savoury fried items for that matter with some tea, I always wonder about the cultural difference. To start closer to home, in Kerala most people prefer to have tea with Vada where as in Tamil Nadu (especially in my husbands place) it is always coffee. I like my vada and tea at the same time (one in each hand), where as I find most tamilians prefer to finish their snacks and then drink their coffee.
Now moving on to place where I am now, yes you got it in UK. On a daily basis biscuits are enjoyed with tea (by dunking). Well, that is one thing Indians have learned from British. The taste of dunked biscuits is just awesome. On special days or when a few ladies meet (what could be more special than friends getting together), it is cakes with tea/coffee. In India we almost always associate cake with dessert. So for me it is quite hard to get my head around cake with tea. Does something sweet not affect the taste of the drink? Well, to each their own.
What is your tea time story? Do share with me!
The Key to a good Parippu Vada is the crunchiness. Though quite simple to make, getting the texture right can be quite daunting if you do not know the trick. If you add too much water, the batter will be too soft resulting in a vada that does not have that crunch and texture to it. If you add little and you do not shape it right, it will disintegrate the moment you drop it in oil. Read below for tricks of how to get that perfect crunch!
Channa Dal 1 cup
Rice Flour 2 tbsp
Onion 1 finely chopped
Coriander Leaves finely chopped
Salt little less than 1 tsp (or to taste)
Oil for Deep frying
Make a paste
Curry Leaves 2 sprigs
Ginger 1 inch piece
Fennel seeds 1 tsp
Green Chilli 1 (more for spicier vada)
Method of Preparation
1. Soak the channa dal for 3 hours. Drain the water.
2. Make a rough paste of curry leaves, ginger, fennel seeds and green chilli without adding any water.
3. Pulse the channa dal without any water in a food processor till it is broken dal kind of stage. Take 1/3 of this and add to a blender with 1-2 tbsp of water and make a fine paste. If you do not have food processor, take 2/3 of dal and pulse in a blender/mixie. Then take the rest 1/3 and make a paste.
4. Take all of the dal in a bowl. Add the curry leaf paste to it. Add rice flour, salt, finely chopped onions and finely chopped coriander leaves to this. Mix everything well.
5. Heat oil in pan for frying. Keep a big bowl of water for dipping your hand.
6. When the oil is ready, keep it in low flame. Dip your fingers in the bowl of water. Take a small walnut size portion of the vada mix. Roll into a ball. Wet your fingers again and gently flatten the ball making sure that it does not crack on the top or sides.
7. Gently slide it into the oil.
8. Repeat for 2 or 3 more balls.
9. Increase the flame to medium. Do not touch it till the bottom side is cooked.
10. Once done, flip them over and cook the other side.
11. Drain on to a paper towel.
12. Repeat from step 6 for the rest of the mix.
Enjoy with a piping cup of tea (or coffee).