Nothing to beat this North Indian,melt in mouth snack with amalgamation of sweet,salty,tangy and spicy taste,stimulating every nook and corner of the tongue.The cooling effect of the yogurt and the refreshing taste of the green mint chutney along with the sweet and spicy tamarind chutney makes it unbeatable and most savoured dish especially during summers.It is a popular North Indian dish as a snack and also as an accompaniment. It is integral to most of the Indian vegetarian or non vegetarian party menus and the festival feasts too.These are fried dumplings made from soaked de-husked black gram lentil paste seasoned with salt and asafoetida,dunked in whipped creamy yogurt seasoned with sugar ,salt and roasted cumin powder,topped with mint and tamarind chutney.Below follows the recipe for the readers to cook and taste its divinity.
Makes 12 doughnut shaped vadas
- 1 cup dehusked black gram lentil (Urad dal)
- salt to taste
- pinch of asafoetida
- oil for deep frying
- 2 cups whipped yogurt
- powdered sugar to taste
- 1 tsp roasted cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp black salt
- 2 tbsp mint chutney (make by grinding 1 cup mint leaves,2-3 garlic flakes,2-3 green chilies,salt to taste with a dash of lemon juice)
- 2 tbsp tamarind chutney( made by cooking tamarind pulp along with sugar or jaggary till it achieves honey like consistency,seasoned with black salt,roasted cumin powder and red chili powder)
- chopped coriander for garnishing
- Soak lentils for minimum 4-5 hours.
- Grind it into fine paste adding little water and ensuring that the paste does not become too runny or else the dumplings wont be able to hold the shape.
- Add salt and asafoetida into the lentil paste and whip it some more time till it becomes light and fluffy.
- Heat oil in a skillet to medium hot.
- Wet palms with water and shape the dumplings in doughnut shape and gently slide into the oil.
- Fry on medium heat till golden brown.
- Drain on the kitchen towel and soak them in salted water till they sink to the bottom ,this will make them soft.
- Take them out and put in a sieve to drain excess water.
- Whip the yogurt,add salt and sugar to taste .
- Arrange the dumplings on a platter and pour the whipped yogurt over it.Top it with mint and tamarind chutney and sprinkle roasted cumin powder ,black salt and garnish with chopped coriander .
- To test that the lentil paste is whipped properly , take a tsp of paste and drop it into a bowl full of water,if it floats means paste is ready to fry into dumplings,if it sinks means some more whipping is required to further incorporate air into the mixture.
- If you find difficult to shape them into doughnut shape,simply drop them into round shape.