Uzhunnu Vada & Thenga chammanthi/ Medhu vada & Coconut Chutney

What is your Favorite Food? This is a question that we ask and are being asked every now and then , or at least when the topic in the hot seat is FOOD...Though i have many favorites among food, i always  answer " Uzhunnu Vada". I dont know whether it's because of the wonderful aroma of deep fried Lentils onion, curry leaves donuts- especially when you happen to pass by a Thattukada, or the heavenly taste of "vada" with "thenga chammanthi", or the memories of my childhood days  enlaced with the very " Uzhunnu vada". Have i told you before my nick name was Uzhunnu vada while growing up? Yeah it was :)..The story goes like this.....
We used to live in a tiny town of Kottayam, where every body knows every body and there are no secrets as such , if at all there was something, it used to be a well known secret.Sounds too Utopian??? Trust me , it was like this...My dad was working for the government in a different town , and he used to go in a bus from the junction. So this junction is like a hub for all the people there, which decorates itself with some shops for  grocery , bakery ,a medical store , a bus stop etc etc and at the center Ayyapan's Thattukada (Thattukada is the street side stall where Ayappan sells Thattu Dosa, parippu vada, uzhunnu vada, porotta and beef curry, appam ....omelete ) ..
When my dad comes home in the evening , he gets me a "Pothi"( a small packet covered with oil paper and newspaper) of "Uzhunnu vada and coconut chutney"from this "Thattukada". This was his daily ritual for many years, or till he was transferred to a far away place."A ritual he carefully does to see his little star's face glowing with a honeyed smile..."Yeah i was kin of like Pavlov's salivating dog...!!!!!but The honeyed smile only at the sight of the pothi, and not my father arriving ..how silly of me...I was not that classically conditioned huh??

By the time my dad reaches home, the "Pothi" would have drunk well with oily Vadas and the inside would be a beautiful mix of  "Choodu vadayum Chammanthiyum"(hot vada with spicy chammanthi), and i will be waiting just for this and a sweet kiss form my dad, before i go to bed. This love affair of mine and my dad's daily ritual earned me a name " uzhunnu vada" in that part of my place. I used to hate( i m not sure whether to call it hate) Ayyappan and his wife Meenkari omanachechy ( the fish vendor) for publicising my name, yet i was never ready to get rid of that affair of mine.i grow over it with time and  Later i used to blush at this name :). When my dad told me recently that somebody asked about me by the name "uzhunnu vada" it brought back a lot of good old emotions.i tried to recreate it by making some vada on a weekend , telling Navi ,the stories all along making it. 
The golden vada and  curry leaf flavored coconut chutney tasted similar to Ayappan's but the feeling never the same...

Recipe for Uzhunnu vada and Thenga chammanthi

Ingredients:-
Urad Dal - 1 cup
Shallots chopped - 5-6 nos
Green chili chopped - 2-3
Ginger finely chopped - a small piece
Curry leaves crushed or chopped
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying
Baking Soda - 1/4 tsp ( Optional) I dont really recommend using this, but it makes your vada soft.
Method:-
Clean and soak Urad dal for 3-4 hours and drain it
Grind it to a smooth paste without adding water. I used Food processor which gave me the best consistency. if you are using blender you will have to add a little water(if you think its a bit loose add some urad dal powder or rice powder to make it tight, but too much of it can make the vada hard too )
Transfer to a bowl and add chopped shallots, ginger, green chiles and curry leaves(& baking soda if using)
Mix it well and keep refrigerate it for 10-20 minutes. You can keep it in the room temperature, but refrigerating makes it easy to roll the vada.
Heat oil in a Wok. Keep a medium flame and never change it. This helps to give us perfectly cooked Vada. crispy on outside and tasty on inside.
Keep a bowl of cold water near by. Wet your hands and Take a small portion of the dough, and keep it in the palm. Shape it to a ring with a small hole in the center. Slip the vada into the hot oil , repeat the process and fry till golden.Drain on paper towels.Serve with Chutney

Recipe for Coconut Chutney/ Thenga Chammanthi
Grated coconut - 1 cup
Shallots chopped - 3
Dried red chili - 4-5
Curry leaves - lots( 7-8)
Salt to taste

Soak Dried red chili and curry leaves in 1/2 cup water for 10 minutes.
Put all the ingredients in a coffee grinder or in the small jar of mixi ,add little water and grind to a corse paste.

Note:-
--Adding aripodi - rice powder can make the vada less soft, so always try to grind urad dal withvery less water
--Street vendors add baking soda to the batter, to make it more soft. Its better you do not use it.
--Always keep the flame consistently in medium, so that you will get the perfect vada
--To check whether the oil is  hot, drop a tiny portion of batter and if it sizzles with oil bubbling from and around it , the oil is perfectly hot.
-- In both recipes reduce the number of  chiles , if you dont want it to be spicy. but trust me the heat of the chile in the coconut chutney , when combined with vada is awesome.You can always substitute green for red chiles in the chutney.
--I dont usually use the remaining oil , since its not healthy to reheat oil. What i do is , i immediately fry  a big batch of  pappadoms, dry bitter guards, Ivy gourds  and curd chiles and keep it in air tight containers. Never ever drain it in your kitchen sink or it will clog, keep it in a container and throw it your trash.

Cheers
Sarah 

72 comments:

Padhu said...

Vada looks irresistible!! Lovely pics

Swathi said...

Sarah,

Uzhunnu vadayum chammanthium adipoli. Oru chaya kodi und ennal kusal aayi. Njan eppol flight pidican nokkummu.

Satya said...

those vada looks soooo inviting ...love that platter served with chutney ..yummy

Satya
http://www.superyummyrecipes.com

Kairali sisters said...

ohh..i loved reading the story "Uzhunnu vada" :-P..

Vadas look perfect and with chutney ohh as swathi sadi, oru chaya koode kittyal mathye.....

Nandini said...

What a superb meal. Looks perfect and yum.

Anncoo said...

Lovely clicks! Your delicious meal making me hungry ;D

Sayantani said...

I love this name of yours more Sarah. Uzhunnu vada sounds so cute. loved this post dear. and the vadas are so so very good.

Cooking Blog Indexer said...

ayyo kothi sahikkunnilla..adipoli uzhunnuvada..reg. unakkachemmen, i'll look for it in the grocery stores here...thanks sarah...

Foodie Ann said...

Those looks so perfect....:)

Hari Chandana said...

Wowww... looks perfect and delicous.. very tempting clicks dear !!

Sharmilee! :) said...

Crispy perfect vadas u've got....luv it with chutney

Pushpa said...

Mouthwatering delicious vadas....Yum! Yum!

Pushpa @ simplehomefood.com

Biny Anoop said...

Gr8 recipe Sarah........the uzhnu vada exp written is soooo nice to read.....i can feel as if I am der......thx for the recipe and thx a milln for such a simple but serene presentation......keep going

Hamaree Rasoi said...

Great looking vadas. I wonder how many minutes they have lasted after you cooked them . Excellent recipes.

Deepa
Hamaree Rasoi

Sushma Mallya said...

Yummy & crispy...

Fuat Gencal said...

Çok leziz, çok güzel ve iştah açıcı görünüyor. Ellerinize, emeğinize sağlık.

Saygılar.

Mrs.Menagasathia said...

lovely clicks n crispy vadai looks perfect!!

Treat and Trick said...

Really perfect and delicious, great click too..

Shabitha Karthikeyan said...

Loved the cute story and awesome vada.

♥Aps♥ said...

Wada's luk so nice... wud love to sip it in dahi nd eat :) Yummmmmm

Reshmi said...

awsome story n fantastic vada...my dear sarah!!!

Madhavi said...

OMG I love medu vada, looks yummyyyyyy and awesome clicks :)))

Suja Sugathan said...

OMG looks irresistible..so perfect

Susan and Abraham said...

simply beautiful....

meeso said...

(((Drooling))) Looks so good!

divya said...

Lovely clicks! Your delicious meal making me hungry ;D

Uma said...

lovely wadas! i dont get the shape right.. these look perfect!

Laya said...

Dear sarah
You are really good at making everything . I cant even imagine making such perfect vadaas. No words about the color too.Your cooking talent plus the photographic skills makes you the best sarah.

kitchen queen said...

lovely vadas and delicious chutney combo.

Ann said...

Sarah - that is such a sweet story. Your dad is definitely a special man for indulging you this way. But here is a Kottayam shout out- hey, (even though we are NRI's) my parents house is in KTm, near Baker junction and the YWCA!

Nostalgia said...

Hm..Kerala and vada and anybody bringing home kada food was like a big thing for me and still continues to be. Nice.

Padma said...

Vada and coconut chutney is a lovely combo. This looks yummy.

Gulmohar said...

kothiyayittu vayya...my hubbys most fav vada :-)
CO-il varunnundel theerchayayum ennodu parayane..

An Open Book said...

ayyooo sarah...u are so so so making me drool over this

aipi said...

You are making me drool lady!.they look scrumptious!

US Masala

freerangegirl said...

These look delicious . I love your writing it - I can almost taste the flavors!

Umm Mymoonah said...

Wow! Very tempting, I'm just feeling hungry now.

Sulagna said...

Such a beautiful post..Lovely memories..Those Vadas look fabulous.I happen to loooooove Vadas.Great recipe !!

Best Regards
Sulagna
http://e-senseofspicenfragrance-sulagna.blogspot.com/

Krishnaveni said...

looks so perfect and yummy

RAKS KITCHEN said...

Gorgeous looking vadas and perfert with chutney!!

Nitha said...

Perfect vadas dear..

BTW in case u add more water, you can make the dough thicker by adding urad flour instead of rice flour. Thus you dont have to compromise on the softness..

Soumya said...

Hi, u got a sunshine award http://traditional-indian-cooking.blogspot.com/p/awards.html

AshKuku said...

I kept drooling over that plate for long hours.... If not hours, but minutes yes! Very tempting captures of that yumminess.... :)

Ash....
(http://asha-oceanichope.blogspot.com/)

Sreelekha Sumesh said...

Perfect Uzhunnu Vadas.Chammathi de koode ulla pics kandittu sahikunnilla.apo njanum eni 'Uzhunnu vade' nu vilikam ;)

lissie said...

vadayum chammanthiyum...oh, what a combination! my favorite, dear... :)

Priya said...

Wat a delicious combo, my fav..mouthwatering here..

Akila said...

medhu vadai looks so lovely....

women-wisdom.com said...

Irresistable Vadas. Dried red chillies in chutney tempts me more.
Perfect combo.

Hamsamalini chandrasekaran
http://indianyummykitchen.blogspot.com

kothiyavunu.com said...

kidilan!! aaa plate ingu thanneru njan theerthu tharam...:)

Silence Sings said...

very very tempting indeed...

BTW...got your mail..will mail you shortly...

Biren said...

Vadas are delicious! I can eat several of these at one go. Yours are fried to a golden perfection! Thanks for sharing your childhood memories :)

Jaisy James said...

wow vada adipoli ayittundu ketto

Pavithra said...

Vada looks gorgeous and it makes me drool in this morning..crispy , golden and perfectly done.

♥LOVE2COOK♥ said...

U r simply torturing me with those vadais n chutney ya! I love them alot..used to have them for breakfast at an Indian restaurant here!

Now, I'm craving for Urs! :D

Home Cooked Oriya Food said...

Yummy combo! Would love some...

Rachana said...

Wow! Vadas look so crispy, crunchy and yumm. Love the clicks!

Ananda Rajashekar said...

beautiful crispy vada...am drooling here Sarah...can i have one vada pl?

Rekha shoban said...

wow!!perfect and crispy vada!!nice presentation sarah!

Jaleela Kamal said...

yummy uzunthu vadai with thengka chutney.

n33ma said...

Classis comination,lovely!

Anumol said...

Hey Sarah, I use to try many of ur recipes, though this my first post for you.I tried Uzhunnuvada.It was tasy but not soft. Tell me a solution for this? should I add baking powder??

Sarah Naveen said...

Hey Anu... Thanks for stopping by..
I dont advice you to add baking soda, since its not god for health.But if you really wanna get spongy soft vadas, go fora pinch of it...
But you can still make it soft without adding it. I make it without adding baking soda and i usually get soft vadas...The key in getting soft vadas is in the following things.
--Make sure the urad dal is well soaked at least for 3-4 hours.
--Grind it without adding water and add less rice flour. One of my readers also suggested adding Urad dal powder to get you in the right consistency..
--- The heat level is also important , if it is too low or too hot , it can turn hard.
While i searched in the web many suggested the idea of beating the batter well , to make it more soft..
Hope this was helpful.

Susan and Abraham said...

Just to let you know dear your recipe is on 'The 30 Best Recipes of 2010' ~ thanks for your nomination

Thas @ Cooking with Thas said...

Congratulations! well deserved recipe for the 30 best recipes from 2010. Btw, looking at the picture my husband couldn't resist and has requested me to make this tomorrow. I'll follow your recipe.

Mishmash ! said...

Hello Sarah,

Loved, loved reading this post..beautiful :)

Shn

Susan and Abraham said...

hey dear posted this recipe on CURRY LOVERS in FB.

Zo-Ya said...

Hi,
Beautiful blog here.. Any time achan goes to the railway station in the morning to either see off or pick up some one visiting, he gets home a ' pothi' of uzhunnuvada, wrapped now-a-days first in 'vazhayila' and then paper over it.. And we enjoy it with breakfast( since he is not supposed to eat deep fried goodies,he tells amma that he gets it for us:-) just brought back the memories when I read this post!
Will try this sometime soon!
Cheers

Sarah Naveen said...

Hey Zo-Ya ..thanks for stopping by...glad that the post brought back some memories for you too :-)..yes i know the railway station tea shops serves it in vazhayila :-)..it has a damn good smell too right !

Veena said...

Hi,
Very good. And you presented it in a very good manner

@nc said...

Very good recipe. Tried it today and came out just the way it's shown in your photographs. I added a pinch of crushed cumin seeds and few black peppercorns to it, as I remember the taste of biting into tbe peppercorns when I used to have them in Bangalore. Brings back fond memories as they're so hard to find in the US.

Mrs.Hainz said...

Such a sincere description added as note....thanks a lot...

Mrs.Hainz said...

Such a sincere description added as note....thanks a lot...

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