Feb 15, 2013

Uddin Vada

Craving. Drive. Closure.

 That would really define our Friday breakfast. For the whole day yesterday conversation around our house was centered around the Uddin Vada. Over the past year there has been a conscious decision on our part to cut down on the number of times we eat out. Also abetting this decision is the fact that the frozen, reheated stuff on offer in Indian restaurants here is below average. And there is only so much of pizza that one can eat. Moreover one doesn't trust Thai and Mexican food to be completely vegetarian. For T's birthday we decided to go dine at Cheesecake Factory to get that authentic American culinary experience. But I was left very disappointed by the size and rubbery feel of the patty inside the fall apart burgers. In a first of sorts we could not finish up the fries served on the side. I am very convinced that home cooked meals with twists once in a while is best even on the most exhausting days. Unlike the conventional idli, dosa as the time-saver meals in most south Indian houses, in ours there is always pasta to fall back on!


On all our visits to Indian restaurants, the mouth watering Uddin Vada had evaded us in a very big way. I think the last time I ate it was in St.Louis, more than a year ago, but it was so hard in the middle that it felt like eating cardboard.


Yesterday I found this video blog on making this crowd pleaser and geared up to give it a try. The recipe I tried came from here



Uddin Vada

Servings: 18-20 small sized ones (nearly 1/3 the size you get in Udupi Hotels in India)
Prep Time: 8 hrs (including overnight soak)  Cook Time: 1 hr

Ingredients

1 cup Urad Dal
1/2 cup Water
5-6 Peppercorn whole (optional, I forgot to put it in)
1 tsp Ground Black Pepper
1/2 tsp Asafoetida
1 tsp grated Ginger
Salt to taste

Instructions


  1. Wash (3-4 times under running water) and soak the urad dal overnight or atleast for 6 hours.
  2. Gring the urad dal into as fine a paste as possible using as little water as possible. I used less than half a cup of water to grind the soaked dal. Scrape down the sides of the mixie/blender jar multiple times while grinding. Patience is the key here.
  3. Add salt, ginger, pepper, asafoetida to the ground paste and mix with a spoon. Mix the batter with the spoon atleast 10-15 times to ensure the vada comes out light and airy and not hard. 
  4. Heat oil for frying in a heavy bottomed kadai.
  5. Dip your fingers into water and shake off excess from it. Now scoop a spoon of batter on the wet fingers. Flatten and Shape it using the wet thumb. Slowly spread your middle and ring finger and insert the thumb into the gap to make a hole in the center of the flattened batter. 
  6. Very carefully turn the hand upside down and drop the batter off into the hot oil. (If you had wet your hands, it should slide off easily. Take care not to have drops of water into the boiling oil!)
  7. Deep fry till golden brown. I kept the heat at a little less than Medium-High throughout. 
  8. Remove and pat excess oil down on a paper towel.
  9. Serve with coconut chutney. 
  10. Drinking hot filtered coffee to wash it all down is like using fork to eat pasta :)

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