Paruppu Vada (Toor Dal Fritters)
Time really flies! I can’t believe we are in March and the last time I posted was 2 weeks ago! I am well, but have been really busy and those of you who follow me on Twitter or Facebook probably knew that I was in Paris last weekend. It was a great long weekend break, which I have quite a few things that I am looking forward to share. (I haven’t uploaded the photos to my computer yet! But, I promise that I will do it soon!) I was flipping through some old photo albums and saw a photo of myself with a lady, her name is Devi, who was a helper to my mom probably more than 20 years ago. She had very very long hair and was always tightly braided. Remembering the time that I used to spend talking to her and learning some Tamil phrases was long passed, but the memory did manage to send a smile to my face.
It was a hot and humid afternoon when most people were having their siesta. I was finishing my lunch and she walked near to me and tapped me on my shoulder, with a warm and sweet smile on her face. “Today, I will show you how to make Parippu Vada, using very basic ingredients.” She went on preparing and cooking. I remember she said: “This is great to be served between meals or when you feel like having some little bites.”
Parrupu is also known as Toor Dhal or yellow lentil. It has mild and nutty flavour and is slightly smaller than Channa dal. Using it to make a simple dal curry is another best ways of cooking it. However, one of the snacks that I will never forget is what I was taught to make – Parrupu Vada. Vada or Vadai varies in shape, sizes and ingredients. It hails from South India and is a typical street food, which can be found almost through out the day. I love to eat this by dipping it with some chilli sauce and since so many years ago I learnt how to make it, I have been falling in love with it since.
For the Paruppu Vada (Toor Dal Fritters):
500g toor dhal
2 red onions, finely chopped
2 red or green chillies, finely sliced
20 curry leaves, coarsely chopped
1 tbsp cumin powder
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tbsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp chilli powder
salt to taste
500ml oil for frying
1-2 tbsp water (if necessary)
1. Soak the dhal in warm water for about 4 hours or overnight. Drain well. In a food processor, grind in batches into a coarse paste. It doesn’t matter if some are left whole. Do not add water, as you want to have a stiff paste to shape it into round/oval shape.
2. In a big mixing bowl, mix the paste with the onions, chillies, curry leaves, cumin powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, chilli powder and salt. If the paste becomes slightly dry, add 1-2 tbsp of water to bind. Heat up a pan or wok with oil on medium heat. Moisture your hands and scoop about 1 tablespoon of the mixture. In your hands, flatten the paste and form it into a disc.
3. To check if the oil is hot enough, drop tiny bit of mixture in the oil. If it comes to the top sizzling with bubbles, then it’s ready. Fry in batches for about 10-15 minutes until golden brown. This can be served with chutney or chili sauce.