It is a bizarre phenomenon that some of the vegetarians here, particularly elders, do not like the strong flavor of fennel seeds and they avoid taking the foods spiced with fennel seeds even in restaurants. But I like its sweet flavor and I usually add them into spicy vegetable kurma & paruppu vadai (lentil patties) for the delicious flavor. Masal vadai are prepared by deep frying lentil dough and served as a snack along with coconut chutney.
Typically paruppu vadai is prepared with split chickpeas (Bengal gram). Here I used yellow peas as it is does not cause flatulence like Bengal gram. (You can also check out my aama vadai recipe using Bengal gram.) Besides I find pattani paruppu vadai crispier and delicious than kadalai paruppu vadai. Now the recipe for restaurant style masal vadai prepared using yellow peas and spiced with fennel, ginger & garlic:
Time Taken: 30 min
Yields : 12 vadai
- Yellow peas (pattani payaru) – 1 cup (200g)
- Red chillies – 5 Nos.
- Ginger – 1 piece (½ inch)
- Garlic – 2 cloves
- Fennel seeds (saunf/ sombu/ perunjeeragam) – ¼ tsp
- Salt – 1 tsp
- Onion – 1 No. (or shallots – 10 Nos.)
- Curry leaves – 2 sprigs
- Oil for deep frying – 350 ml
Masala vadai dough:
- Wash & soak yellow peas for 6 hours.
- Drain the water completely and grind into a coarse paste along with red chillies, ginger & garlic.
- Transfer the dough to a mixing bowl and add chopped onion & curry leaves.
- Add salt & fennel seeds and mix them together.
- Divide the dough into 12 lemon sized balls.
Frying Masal Vadai:
- Heat a frying pan with oil in high flame.
- When oil reaches about 225 deg C reduce the flame to medium.
- Pat each dough ball into 6-cm patties and gently slide patties one after another into hot oil at 180 deg C. (I have fried 4 patties in a batch.)
- Move them gently using a ladle so that they don’t touch one another and flip them over to fry evenly on both sides.
- When the sizzling sound stops, remove vadai from oil.
- Place them on paper towels to drain excessive oil.
- Serve hot masal vadai with creamy coconut chutney.