Lentil Dumplings in Spiced Yoghurt / Dahi Vada:)
1 cup urad dal, soaked in water for 1/2 an hour
2 green chillies finely chopped,
2 sprigs of curry leaves cut fine,
3 tsps of ginger chopped fine,
a pinch of asafoetida,
4 cups of plain yoghurt,
1/2 cup of grated coconut ground into a paste adding a little water in the mixie,
Oil for frying
Grind the soaked urad dal in the blender, adding very very little water to it. It should be ground perfect, with as little water as possible. While blending add the ginger, green chillies, and peppercorns. Once ground, add asafoetida, salt and the curry leaves. The batter will be thick enough, if you have successfully ground without much water, to be taken using a spoon and dropped in the oil. Meanwhile take the yoghurt in a flat serving dish and mix in the ground coconut into it. Add salt to taste and keep aside. Heat oil for frying. At the same time take a bowl of water and keep aside. When the oil is hot, take spoonfuls of the batter and put them in the oil, 5-6 at a time, fry till golden brown. Take out when golden brown (as in the picture) and immediately transfer them into the bowl of water. Meanwhile put another batch of vadas for frying. After a minute of putting the previous batch of vadas in the water, take them out, sqeeze them lightly, taking off some water, but not all the water. Then put them into the yoghurt mix. Continue with the whole of the batter in this way. Once all the vadas are mixed in the yoghurt, keep them aside till serving time. You can do the south indian tadka which is optional.
FOR THE SOUTH INDIAN TADKA:
1 tsp mustard seeds,
2 broken dried red chillies,
1 sprig of curry leaves.
Heat a tiny bit of oil, add mustard seeds. When they crackle, add the red chillies and the curry leaves and immediately transfer to the yoghurt-vada mix. When ready to serve, sprinkle some red chilly powder on top. I also like to sprinkle some MDH Dahi Vada Masala on top but that is again optional. Check salt. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Serve chilled.