"Athai, how much uzhundu (urad dal) shall I add to make vella vadai?" (Athai = ma in law)
"Hmm may be kal padi" (Kal padi - the 250 ml traditional measuring cup)
"And vellam?" (vellam = jaggery)
"ahmm....you have to add it along until you can shape them into vadais.."
Ma in law makes 'Vella vadai' really well. Ask her the recipe, she stammers!
The most difficult source to extract a recipe from, is thus her! ;) Hope she doesn't read this! ;)
I am not at all a fan of these sweet vadais but had wanted to try this and blog for quite some time. These cuties are traditional and probably disappearing from our tea tables ! I had googled to find the recipe a while ago but was not happy with the results.
Just 2 major ingredients and all you have to be careful is with the measurements and the consistency, meaning more chances of a mess up!
So, how did I make them, finally?
Ma was off to the nearby town for a couple of days and I was asked to take care of ammayi and the house..
On another note, I dint utter a word about her Godhumai jira put up in the site but I knew Ammayi simply loves these vadais.
Our maid Azhakamma, fondly addressed as Aggu, who serves my in-laws for the past 2 decades, came to my support..:). But she was again confused with the measurements but we decided to do it together and amaze Athai ( for me, a chance for a loud evil laugh, contented to have taken that sweet revenge) when she got back home ;)
Aggu asked me to soak a cup of urad dal, crush a ball of jaggery and weigh, while she grinds in the Aattu kal or the grinding stone. She'll keep on adding as ma in law mentioned, and I should weigh the remaining jaggery finally after the grinding. That way, we could measure the right amount of jaggery that went in.
Love you Aggu! :)
Here's how we made, that yielded 20 medium sized vadais.
Vella Vadai / Urad Dal Jaggery Dumplings
Whole urad dal / Uruttu uzhunthu- 1 cup or 150 gms
Jaggery/Vellam- 120gms or 3/4 cup after ground coarsely and measured
Pinch of salt
Oil- to deep fry
Wash and soak urad dal for not more than 1/2 an hour.
Drain water completely. Spread on a dry towel and wipe gently to remove water sticking to it.
The Aattu kal (grinding stone) was washed and wiped with a towel to remove moisture.
The urad dal and the jaggery was ground together without adding even a drop of water!
Half way through..
Salt was added and the stone was rolled for a few more times for the final sticky sweet dough.
which was transferred to a flat bowl.
Now, shape them one by one into vadais with fingers dipped in water.
And deep fry in hot oil.
The oil should not be smoking hot. Keep the flame to minimum and
fry 1 or 2 at a time. The vadais cook very fast and attain the brown colour. So take care not to over cook / brown them.
They look almost like medhu vadai or the spicy urad dal vadais but have a deeper brown hue due to the added jaggery, if you can't make out the real colour here.
A peep into the soft insides.
Obviously Aggu did the grinding part. She never let me try in a mixie and I really have no idea how these vadias would turn out if done so. Would appreciate if anyone would try the grinding part in a mixie and let me know about the outcome.
Preparing this post demanded 2 whole days as I had to do the editing, uploading and typing whenever I could grab some time in the system at my in law's place, amidst the commitments.
Clicking the publish button while Athai is savouring my vadais....of course me with those devilish grins ;)
(if you don't understand the reason of these wicked smiles, you have missed the intro, please scroll up and read again)