It is a bizarre phenomenon that some of the vegetarians here, particularly elders, avoid taking the foods spiced with fennel seeds. They do not like to use them in their recipes as they feel these spices are meant to go with meat based recipes only. Nevertheless we all like its sweet flavor and I like to add it into spicy vegetable kurma & paruppu vadai (lentil patties) for the strong flavor. I like to relish hot masala vadai & creamy coconut chutney along with a cup of cardamom tea on a rainy day.
Masala vadai recipe:
Typically paruppu vadai is prepared with split chickpeas (Bengal gram). Here I used yellow peas as it 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 masala 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.
How to prepare masala 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 along with tea or coffee.