Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Rasa Vadai

One of my favorite things to make for parties is rasa vadas.  My friends love it and it is perfect for the cold Colorado winter days.  Or if you’ve been having spring days like we’ve been having, with 14” snow, it is perfect for those days too.

I first had rasa vadai at Saravana Bhavan and loved it.  It seemed like such a simple dish to make and tasted so good.  Now I make it frequently.  My younger son will only eat vadas if there is rasam to go with it.

Ingredients for the vadas:
  • 1 cup urad dal soaked for two to three hours
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  •  2 tsp. whole peppercorns
  • Oil for deep frying

To make the vadas:

1.     Drain the water from the dal completely. 
2.     Grind it to a smooth batter in your grinder (see note) adding little or no water.   The thick batter is easier to shape and also soaks up less oil.
3.     To this batter add the salt, cumin seeds, and peppercorns.
4.     Mix the batter so that the spices are blended in.
5.     Heat enough oil in a kadai or saucepan.  Reduce heat to medium when the oil is hot.
6.     Keep a bowl of water next to you. 
7.     I use a sandwich ziploc bag to shape the vadas. Wet your hand as well as the ziploc bag.
8.     Take a big lemon size ball of batter in you hand and put it on the Ziploc bag. 
9.     Shape it like a donut with a hole in the middle.
10. Drop this gently into the hot oil.  You can fry a few vadas at a time.  Keep flipping the vadas gently till they get a beautiful golden hue.
11. Drain them on some paper towels.

With this quantity, you can make about 15 vadas.

Note: If you don't have a grinder, then you can use a food processor or blender.  It is more difficult to make the batter without water in a blender.  If the batter is difficult to shape, you can add a little bit of rice flour to make it thicker.  Or, you can fry them in the shape of balls - they will still taste great.

Ingredients for the rasam:
  •  ¼ cup toor dal cooked (I make this in my pressure cooker till the dal is cooked completely)
  • 1 large tomato – washed and chopped
  • 1.5 tsp. tamarind paste (if you are using tamarind, soak a ping pong ball size portion of tamarind in hot water and then squeeze out the pulp)
  •  2 tsp. rasam powder (I use my mom’s rasam powder – any store bought brand should work)
  •  2 green chillies – washed and slit lengthwise
  • Salt to taste
  • ¼ tsp hing (asafoetida)
  • 1 tsp. ghee or oil
  •  ½ tsp. mustard seeds
  •  ½ tsp. cumin seeds
  •  Few curry leaves washed
  •  Few sprigs of cilantro – washed and chopped

To make the rasam:

1.     Dilute the tamarind paste/pulp with 2 cups of water
2.     Add the chopped tomatoes and crush them with your hand or a potato masher.
3.     Add the rasam powder, green chillies and salt
4.     Bring this mixture to a boil, and then reduce heat to medium. Let this mixture cook for about 10 minutes.
5.     Mix the cooked toor dal with 3 cups of water and add it to the tamarind mixture.
6.     Add the hing and let this simmer (don’t let it come to a boil) till it if frothy on top.
7.     Turn off the stove, add the curry leaves and the cilantro.
8.     Heat the ghee or oil in a small saucepan.  Add mustard and cumin seeds.
9.     Remove from heat when the mustard seeds start to sputter and pour this over the rasam.

To serve:

In a bowl, place a couple of vadas and ladle some hot rasam over them.  Let them soak up the rasam for a few minutes and then enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. So happy you finall started the blog, my dear genius cookess!!! And what ya shtart - our all star/time favorite.. Love it lady! Keep going, will keep these starving cooking challenged paavams going... This is Anu, btw, not sure how I got into my mom's blog! eeks!


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