Crunchy, chewy and savoury. I can't recall how many times we made emergency U-turns when we saw peddlers with big steel woks selling these freshly fried masala vadai on newspapers.
This is the kind of street food which is easier and more economical to just buy instead of making at home. Moreover, its just so intimidating to heat a huge pot of oil to fry a few pieces of vadai. So, when there is a recipe for the baked version, I took the leap to try it out at home.
The fritters used the same recipe as the fried version, so to fry or to bake is a matter of choice. For the baked version, I added a tablespoon of oil into the mixture. While it doesn't have the glorious sheen of oil and the smoothness to go with every bite, they are decent and taste almost similar.
Baked Masala Vadai Recipe
Recipe credits: chefinyou.com
1 cup of mixed lentils (I used chad dhal and mysore dhal)
1 medium sized onion, chopped finely
2-3 green chillies chopped finely
2-3 red chilli chopped finely
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp mixed spices (whole)
salt to taste
- Soak the 3 lentils in sufficient water (after cleaning in cold water) for at least 1 hour.
- Drain the water well and blend it in a food processor. DO NOT ADD WATER. If its too hard to blend, add a few drops of water gradually until the mixture resembles coarse thick paste with bits of visible lentils.
- Remove from processor and add in chopped onion, chillies, garam masala, spices and oil.
- Oil baking sheets or line with baking paper. Preheat oven to 205C, or 400F.
- Form vadai patties with hand. Try to flatten them as thin as possible. Arrange vadai on baking sheet and brush some oil on the surface.
- Bake them for 10-15min or until cooked. Lift them in the middle to check if they have browned on the underside. Flip them and bake again for another 10min until golden brown.