Vada is often made for many south Indian and Sri Lankan religious festivals alongside numerous other delicious snacks. Nowadays many people are more health conscious in both India, Sri Lanka and abroad and the Vada is one snack which people would find difficult to make without deep frying in oil. Until now! Having parents, relatives & friends who need to keep their cholesterol levels to a minimum, I decided to research a method by which they could still enjoy the taste of a Vada without worrying about the results of their cholesterol test at the next Doctor’s appointment. My initial attempts were not successful and they burnt easily and looked awful! (see photo below)
So it was third time lucky. They look very similar to a deep fried Vada but due to the shape of the baking tray the baked Vada do look more like doughnuts. However, most importantly, the taste is not compromised! I really hope you are as pleased with them as I was! Please do comment – I would love to know your thoughts and if you tried this out.
This makes 8 vada’s
- Urad dal – 1 cup
- Rice flour – 2 tablespoons
- 1 medium Onion/ 5 indian shallots – chopped (not too finely)
- 2 green chillies – chopped finely
- Ginger – 2 inch piece grated
- 5 – 6 Curry leaves – torn
- Black Peppercorns – 1 tablespoon, crushed
- Sodium bicarbonate – 3/4 teaspoon
- Salt – to taste (I used about 1 heaped teaspoon)
- Oil – 4 tablespoons in a small bowl
1. Soak the urad dal for about 3.5 hours in just enough water to cover the dal.
2. Take out the urad dal from the water and put into a food processor and then add half of the water used for soaking and salt. Grind the urad dal into a paste, adding the other half of the water a little at a time. The batter should be a paste but should be a little ‘gritty’ to touch. The batter should be a little more watery than the usual vada batter as the water will be absorbed during the baking process.
3. Line the doughnut tin with oil (I used a brush).
4. Add the rest of the ingredients (apart from the Sodium Bicarb) and mix well ensuring they are all well combined. Add the sodium bicarbonate and mix again.
5. Use a tablespoon to pour the batter into the tin, ensuring that you only fill each doughnut mould up to the top and not over the hole.
6. Pour a few drops of oil on each vada and place in a pre-heated oven at 200 C for 20 minutes or until they turn a golden brown colour on top.
7. Take out of oven and gently ease the vada’s out of the baking tray with a blunt knife. Serve immediately.
Serve with your favourite chutney or use for making sambar vada, rasa vada or thayir (dahi) vada.