to be ground:
- ½ cup chana dal/husked and split bengal gram
- 4 dry red chilly
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- ½ tsp coriander seedseeds
- 1 tsp jeera
- 4 to 5 curry leaves
to be added to the ground lentils later:
- 1 small onion, chopped or ¼ cup chopped onion
- a pinch of asafoetida/hing
- salt as required
- oil for frying
- water for soaking chana dal, as required
- rinse the chana dal for a couple of times in water. then soak in enough water for 3 to 4 hours. for a quicker option, you can heat water and the soak the chana dal for an hour.
- later, in a grinder, add the following whole spices - 1 dry red chili,1 tsp fennel seeds, ½ tsp coriander seeds and soaked chana dal . grind the coarsely.
- grind the dal coarsely. some whole chana dal should be there. no need to add water while grinding. i did not add any water. if you add water, then it becomes difficult to shape the vadais. if you are not able to grind at all, then add 1 to 2 tbsp water and grind. Take mixture into the mixing bowl and add chopped onion and salt as required , mix very well.
- shape to medium sized vadas. make medium sized balls and then flatten them. if not able to shape vadais, then add 1 or 2 tbsp of rice flour.
- heat oil for deep frying in a kadai or pan.
- on a medium flame heat the oil. check the oil temperature by dropping a small portion of the batter in the oil. if the small vada comes up steadily, the oil is hot enough for frying.
- now carefully slid the vadas in the hot oil.
- fry them for a couple of minutes and then turn over with a slotted spoon and fry the other side.
- fry till the vadas become golden and crisp. drain them on kitchen paper towels.
- serve the masala vadai hot tomato ketchup or with coconut chutney.