What better way to start a Monday than talk about deep fried snacks, particularly Keerai Vadai?
However, this recipe, like a few others, is going to begin with a disclaimer. I don’t claim that this is the authentic keerai vadai recipe that all Tamilians are probably proud of. I used what I had in the pantry and whatever took the fancy.
What I can guarantee is that its super simple and very crunchy. An ideal, quick tea-time snack.
Its also quite crazy in a way that you can customize all you want.
I used amaranth leaves / mulai keerai. I like the flavour and use it in pretty much all dishes that call for spinach / keerai.
This picture reminds me how long back I made this recipe.
My cutting board is not even close to its original colour that’s seen here!
I also used channa dal / kadala paruppu in this recipe although most vadai recipes call for toor dal or peas paruppu, which amma is what most South Indian restaurants use because its a much cheaper alternative to the expensive toor dal.
Soaked Channa Dal
I love the way it brings a smile on TH’s face when I talk deep frying. Something about dunking stuff into hot oil and then eating it makes that man happy. So happy that he even stood by patiently while I took 83 different angles of the following picture.
Lentil and Spinach Vadai / Keerai Vadai RecipeMakes about 18-20What I Used:2 cups channa dal / kadala paruppu1 bunch spinach leaves, tough stalks removed1 onion, finely chopped2 green chillies, finely chopped1″ piece of ginger, grated or finely chopped10-12 curry leaves, finely choppedSalt to tasteOil for deep fryingHow I Made It:1. Clean and soak the chana dal in water for an hour. Meanwhile, wash spinach and place in a pan over lot heat until the leaves wilt. Then, chop finely.2. Once soaked, drain completely and pulse the dal in a mixer or food processor into a coarse paste. To give the vadai some texture, I keep about 1 tbsp dal aside and add it after pulsing the rest.3. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.4. Shape into lime-sized balls and flatten slightly. Deep fry in oil until golden brown. Drain and serve hot with chutney.
I haven’t posted the recipe for this chutney before so here goes:
For the Coconut Chutney:Grind together 1/2 cup grated coconut (fresh or frozen but not dessicated), 1 green chilli, a small piece of tamarind, 2 shallots and salt with very little water. I also added some fresh coriander leaves to this but its optional. We love the flavour so if I have fresh coriander leaves, I always add them.