Tested and Perfected by Food and Wine

Mixed Dhal Vada

  • SERVINGS: MAKES ABOUT 30 VADA
  • VEGETARIAN

At teatime Maya Kaimal's aunt serves these freshly fried vada, or fritters, made with two kinds of ground dhal.

Plus: More Vegetable Recipes and Tips

  1. 1/2 cup split urad dhal (3 1/2 ounces)
  2. 1/2 cup thoor dhal or yellow split peas (3 1/2 ounces)
  3. 2 tablespoons water
  4. 3/4 cup finely chopped onion
  5. 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  6. 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  7. 1 serrano or Thai chile, minced
  8. 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  9. 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  10. 1/8 teaspoon asafetida
  11. Salt
  12. Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  1. Rinse the 2 kinds of dhal separately in several changes of water, then soak for 4 hours. Drain before using. In a food processor, combine the dhals with the water and pulse until finely ground but not pureed. Transfer the dhals to a medium bowl and add the onion, cilantro, ginger, serrano chile, cumin, cayenne, asafetida and 1 1/4 teaspoons of salt.
  2. In a wok, heat 2 inches of oil to 325°. Scoop scant tablespoons of the vada batter onto a wax paper—lined plate and flatten slightly. Slide 5 or 6 patties at a time into the hot oil and cook, turning once, until deep golden brown, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fritters to paper towels to drain. Sprinkle with salt and serve at once.
Serve With Sweet small bananas.