After having success with the no-fry Malai Koftas, the next item on my agenda was the no-fry dahi (thayir) vadas. In short, the kuzhipaniyaram pan is my new best friend and I use that as a substitute for deep frying everytime something requires frying followed by dunking in a gravy. Thayir vadais are my favorite and my grandmother would make them every Diwali... I also tasted the North Indian version when visiting relatives in Jhansi and loved the tangy tamarind chutney addition so what I present here is a recipe that combines the flavours of south & north india - just the way I love it. My grandmother makes the usual Ulundhu vadai and dunks them in flavoured yogurt but I used a slightly different recipe for the vadai this time and it was pretty good.
DAHI VADAS / THAYIR VADAI
Urad dhal - 1 cup
Mung dhal (yellow split) - half cup
Ginger - 1 inch piece, chopped
Green chillies - 3, chopped finely
Curry leaves - few, chopped
Salt, Pepper - to taste
Yogurt - 2 cups, thick
Milk - half cup (approx)
Water - as required for the consistency
Green chillies - 2
Coconut - 2 tbsp, shredded
Salt - to taste
Cumin powder, Chilli powder - to sprinkle on top
Tamarind-date chutney (optional)
Coriander leaves - 2 tbsp, chopped
1) Wash & soak both dhals together for about 2 hours and grind to a thick paste with as little water as possible till light and fluffy. Add some salt towards the end so it gets mixed uniformly. I use a grinder for this.
2) Add in the chopped ginger, g. chillies & curry leaves with pepper and mix thoroughly. One could deep fry the batter after forming them into patties similar to this. I used the kuzhipaniyaram/appe pan instead following RedChillies' fabulous method. I add about a drop of oil in each depression on medium-low flame and once the batter is filled, cover with a lid and allow to cook till light brown. Flip over and cook the other side as well.
4) Keep some hot water on the side and dunk the vadais once they are cooked into this. This will enable them to get soft and will remain that way when put in the yogurt sauce later. Take them out after a few minutes, squeeze gently to remove excess water.
3) Grind g. chillies & coconut to a smooth paste and blend with milk, yogurt, water as required & salt to form a smooth, thick liquid. Soak the vadais in this blend for atleast 2-3 hours - the longer the better.
4) Just before serving, sprinkle the top with chilli powder, cumin powder, tamarind-date chutney and coriander leaves and enjoy this tasty treat.
Since this is high in protein and low in fat and combines the goodness of lentils and yogurt, I think this will make for a healthy & tasty dish for pregnant women and would like to send to Sangeeth's event Eat Healthy - During Pregnancy.