Medhu Vadai and Coconut Chutney - AFF Indian Subcontinent May 2014

Like I mentioned in a previous post, I didn't know that this particular doughnut-lookalike thingy sold at Indian food stalls is called Medhu Vadai or Ulundhu Vadai. I also didn't know that Indians usually eat it with a sambar or chutney. Somehow I liked the taste of it on its own and would just buy one piece for takeaway. Haha.

This time I'm all set to make it at home! And as usual, there are many variations to Vadai like Kurunai Vadai, Masala Vadai, Paruppu Vadai etc, the key difference is different types of lentils used I think. Anyways, I decided on Medhu Vadai made using Urad Dal since I still have half a packet left from the Thenkuzhal Murukku.

In addition, I also made a coconut chutney to go with the Vadai, seeing how easy it was from Wendy's attempt. Have never tasted coconut chutney before and very curious to know how it tastes like.

Basically just need to grind white coconut with some salt and water into a paste, then fry some black mustard seeds with Urad dal, dry chilli and curry leaves (this step is called tempering), finally add the tempered ingredients into the coconut paste.


To make Medhu Vadai, first step is to soak the Urad Dal for an hour. Thereafter grind it into a paste, add green chilli, onions, shallot, cumin seeds, curry leaves, salt and pepper. Mix well, shape into doughnut and deep fry.

Initially I was worried about grinding the Urad dal as I only have a small blender and it might not be powerful enough to grind the Ural dal into paste. Previously when I tried to grind the Urad dal (without soaking) for Thenkuzhal Murukku, it was very difficult and I took a long time to grind it into powder. This time, the soaking helped to soften it, so it was fairly quick.

The next tough part came during the deep frying. Read about the difficulty in shaping the Vadai into doughnut (as it would stick to the hand) from several blogs so I was apprehensive about it. I wet my hands with some water and it helped a lot in shaping, but it was very difficult to put the Vadai into the hot oil. I realised that the movement must be swift in sliding or gently dropping the Vadai into the hot oil. Was okay for the first attempt but a little tentative during the second attempt, ended up dipped two of my finger tips into the hot oil! Ouch :( Luckily it was just a little bit of the tips.

Medhu Vadai
(recipe from Sharmis Passions, halved the original recipe, yields 8 pieces)

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup Urad Dal (about 100g, skinless type)
  • 1/2 piece Green Chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 Purple Onion, finely chopped
  • 2 Shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Curry Leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp Cumin Seeds/Jeera, crushed
  • Dash of Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • Water, as required
  1. Soak Uradl Dal for 1 hour at least.
  2. Drain and grind it into a smooth and fluffy paste. Sprinkle water little by little if necessary while grinding.
  3. Once the batter is ready, add the green chilli, onion, shallot, curry leaves, cumin seeds, pepper and salt. Mix well and set aside. *The batter will be thick and sticky. When dropped into water, it will float.
  4. Heat oil in a pot/wok in medium heat. Wet your hands, take a small ball of batter and put it onto a plastic sheet (I use freezer bag). Pat and shape the ball into flat disc, and make a hole in the middle with a finger (helps if the finger is wet).
  5. Carefully slide or drop it into the oil. Fry the Vadai till golden brown on both sides. Remove and drain on kitchen towel.
  6. Best serve warm.


The recipe for Coconut Chutney is from Table for 2... or More. Will not be re-producing here, please hop over if interested :)

Now for the taste test. Yep, the Medhu Vadai tasted how I remember it to be, slightly crispy on the outside and bread-like inside, probably a little bland as compared to the ones from stall vendors. I like the bits of onion and curry leaves which were usually absent from commercial ones. It'll turn a bit hard when cold, but still nice to eat coz I like it :)

As for the coconut chutney, it's very unique! Creamy and milky, I love how the salt brought out the sweetness of the coconut, and the very crunchy bits of mustard seeds and Urad Dal.

When both Medhu Vadai and Coconut Chutney were eaten together, the combination was special. Couldn't describe how it tasted like, just all the tastes and texture mish-mashed. Interesting indeed!

I am submitting this to Asian Food Fest Indian Subcontinent Month

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