This is an item than can instantly create a mouth water and any number of vadai´s you consume, you will always be left wanting for more and more! And the best masala vadai is always got in the street shops. I remember Appa used to buy this delicacy from a shop near Appar swami koil. The shop opens at 4pm and the vadais are already sold out by 5pm. For 1 Rupee, one can get 2 vadais wrapped in an old Hindu or Dhinamani or Anantha Vikatan. Also in the train journeys, the vadai used to be so tempting. The entire bogie would be automatized but Amma would never allow purchase fearing hygene factor. I should confess that during my lone trips to Bombay, masala vadi always accompanied Ayn Rand!
The first time I made this in Germany was for 2008 Christmas party and it was finished the very second I presented it. Lentil cake with spice was how I advertised it. What is in a name when the aroma and the taste are going to dominate?! Yet again, here is an item that is juiced with cinnamon and fennel.
Soak the channa dhal for at least 40 minutes. Drain the water completely and transfer into mixer. Add one pod of garlic, an equal size of ginger, few cinnamon sticks and salt. Grind coarsely. Add whole red chili and give it a few more spins with resting time in between so that it does not become a batter, but remains coarse. Add little water if it is very dry. Transfer to a bowl and add lots of chopped onions, fennel seeds, curry leaves and coriander leaves. Mix well. Roll into medium balls and press between the palms to obtain the vadai shape. If the batter doesn't hold, don't add water into it! Just sprinkle some besan (channa dal powder, kadalai mavu) and mix well. Fry in oil at medium heat until cooked. Serve along with hot tea!
Last Sunday, 8.8.2010, I went to Tez`s house to make this. Making Masal vadai for 6 grown ups is not ordinary feat I say and I get high when my friends eat it and their expression tells it all. Prakash could not keep away from the kitchen. So I gave him the first vadai for taste. After relishing it, he stole yet another and ran away just like a kid! Who can resist it?!
I am awaiting pictures taken by Yathi. Once they are in my inbox, they will be in my post.