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Vadai for the Squirrels

Posted by tinako on January 12, 2010

Garlic and Greens Soup

I have a lot of collard greens on hand, so I made Garlic and Greens Soup, with collards, purple potato, and chick peas.  We had leftover Nut Brown Ale Rolls with it.

Gits Medu Vadai Mix

While I was killing time last weekend in an Indian grocery waiting for my Indian takeout next door, I picked up not only a bag of samosa snacks but also a mix for making vadai.  They looked so tasty in the picture, and the box was only a buck.  I knew nothing about this food, which is apparently a lentil doughnut, but the directions looked simple, and the ingredients were identifiably food.  The lady at the counter said they were good, so that clinched it.

Step one seemed simple, but somehow I messed it up.  I only had to dump the contents of the bag into a bowl with 220 ml of water to form a soft dough.  I measured carefully, but this made a batter.  I gave it a taste in front of my skeptical son.  “Well,” I said, “it tastes like lentils and it’s really salty, but it’s sour too.”  Not a good start.

I let it sit 10 minutes while I heated a cup of canola oil in my wok.  I did that part right.  The mix was still very battery, so I added some flour.  Then I added about 2 T sugar for good measure.  Because doughnuts are supposed to be sweet.  I was glad no Indians were watching.

Frying Vadai

Finally the oil was hot, and since there was no way I could form this mess into doughnuts, I just dropped blobs in.  I learned that the smaller blobs came out better, since they cooked through more thoroughly.  They were not bad, and way better than the batter.  My kids and I each ate one little piece, and then decided we wanted powdered sugar on them (again, glad no Indian saw us).  One more each and we had had enough, so the rest went out into a planter where I put stuff for the squirrels.  They’re gone now.

In case you don’t know, you can save fry oil.  I poured it into a measuring cup, then into a small jar via a funnel lined with paper towel to filter it.  Then tightly cap it.  My mom used to use this oil for popcorn, but you could also use it for anything where a little savory flavor won’t matter, i.e., don’t use it in a cake.

It was fun, it was something to try.

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