Some days I am just not in a mood to blog or write anything at all. But since I have cooked and clicked a particular recipe, or just for the sake of keeping the blog active I write. And I admit, I write terrible posts those days. I fail to comprehend simple sentences, I mix up two different topics together, I even have once named a recipe incorrectly for Heaven’s sake! But yeah, whenever I do get some spare time out I make a point to revisit those posts and correct them. Thankfully, today is not one of those days and am in a relatively cheery mood due to the reason that I have reached my targets for the Quarter. Which has earned me a fairly good bonus after some 9 months. Phew! Hard work pays.
There are a few developments going around on the Blogging front too. After almost 2 months of sulky silence, the site is perking up again. Gradually. I have got a few assignments I have been working on and hopefully they will yield positive results soon. Also, I will soon be taking my Nutrition certificate in a few weeks so that will make me a certified Dietitian. A big yayy!
Returning back from the dreamy world to the recipe of today- Spinach Lentil fritters, commonly called “vada” in the South of India. A vada is a very popular lentil fritter which can be prepared with a lot of variations. You may experiment with various kinds of legumes and lentils, keeping base recipe the same. Of course, you may go further and try different vegetables to mix in and enjoy the variations. Vadas usually go very well with an assortment of chutneys and Sambhar.
I have used Chana Dal (Bengal gram) and Urad dal (Black gram), both to prepare this Vada. You may however, prepare it using any one of these two singly. In my experience, Chana dal makes these vadas crispy and the Urad dal contributes to the soft texture from within. Adding spinach to this vada brings out totally different flavours and enhances the crispiness as well.
These fritters make an excellent tea time snack or a great party pleaser. Once you have prepared the batter, frying them in batches don’t take much of time and hassle. People in South India are experts in shaping these Vadas in perfect circles. But I havent cared much about that factor and simply have tossed them randomly. As long as they taste good, I don’t worry about the shape.
Don’t be scared looking at the long list of the ingredients, the items are all easy to find and the procedure is simple. Since its deep fried, we use ginger, asafoetida, fennel seeds, cumin etc. to aid digestion. If you have any of these missing, don’t worry too much. But having them will definitely help in better digestion, and of course, tastes good too 🙂
What you need?
- ½ cup Chana dal (spilt & husked bengal gram)
- ½ cup Urad dal (spilt and husked black gram)
- 2 cups finely chopped spinach leaves
- 1-2 green chilies, chopped
- ¾ inch piece of ginger, finely chopped or grated
- ¼ cup fresh Coriander leaves, rinsed and chopped
- A handful of curry leaves, chopped (optional)
- ½ tsp fennel seeds (saunf)
- ½ tsp cumin seeds jeera
- ½ tsp black pepper powdered or crushed
- A generous pinch of asafoetida (hing)
- Salt as required
- Oil for shallow frying or deep frying the vadas
How to make?
- Rinse and soak the two lentils together in enough water for at least 4-5 hours. Drain well and keep aside in a mixing bowl.
- Add all the spices to the bowl and mix. Now grind this mixture to a very smooth batter using a few drops of water, only if required. You should see bubbles from the batter to know its good consistency.
- Add spinach leaves, coriander leaves, curry leaves, grated ginger and give it a good mix.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a heavy and deep bottomed pan OR wok. Give it 7-8 minutes to reach medium hot point.
- Test the temperature of the oil by dropping a pinch of batter in it. if it sizzles and come on top, and don’t burn immediately- the oil should be good.
- Drop spoonful of batter into the oil, keeping the oil at medium-low flame. Fry the fritters in batches of 3-5, giving them space to swell and come up.
- Fry all the vadas till golden brown and crisp. Take care not to burn them from outside.
- I have used Baby spinach leaves for this recipe but regular spinach can be used.
- The amount of Spinach will depend on how much spinach you like you like in your fritters. You may increase/decrease it if you like.
- You may use Kale instead of spinach in this recipe.
- Keep the size of the fritters small so they are properly cooked from inside and outside both.
You can use the leftover Vadas to make a delicious curry afterwards commonly known as Kuzhambu. Check out this
recipe which is basically Bengal gram fritters simmered in spiced yogurt gravy. Very comforting and nutritious curry. Goes best with rice.
Sharing it with Kalyani’s “Monsoon Mojo” event