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 use sparingly in vegetable kurma & masal vadai. Masal vadai (lentil patties) are prepared by deep frying lentil dough and served as a snack along with coconut chutney as a dip.
Typically masal vadai or aama vadai is prepared with split chickpeas (Bengal gram). Here I used yellow peas as it is does not cause much flatulence. (You can also check out my aama vadai recipe using Bengal gram.) Besides I find masal vadai crispier & tastier when yellow peas are used. So here is 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
- 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.
- 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 masal vadai from oil.
- Place them on paper towels to drain excessive oil.
- Serve hot and spicy masal vadai with coconut chutney.