உளுந்து வடை/Urad Dal Vadai is one of the most popular deep fried snacks from Tamilnadu. Starting our day with Pongal Vadai, Idli vadai breakfast combos is a norm in TN. Also festival menu or any celebration in our household is incomplete without this vadai. From Deepavali, Pongal, Aadi Velli, Thai Velli, Karthigai Deepam, Vinaykar Chadurthi, Navarathri etc this Ulundhu Vadai is offered as Neivedhyam/Prasadham to God. If there are guests at home the typical Banana Leaf feast menu will mandatorily have Payasam(Kheer) and this Urad Dal Vadai or Channa Dal vadai. I have made Urad dal batter in grinder years ago and the vadais turn out lot more crunchier, it will be soft inside too.
But for the past 5-6 years I always make the vadai batter in mixie.
Since I soak only one small cup of Urad dal for us & it used to turn out pretty decently. However this year (especially in lockdown) for all the occasions I took extra effort and made the batter in Grinder. Cleaning up all the mess was worth it. The vadais were so soft inside and crispy outside. They didn’t become hard even after hours of making it.
Notes to remember when making Ulundhu Vadai :
- Rinse the Urad Dal atleast 7-10 times thoroughly. Use hands and try to mash the dal while rinsing. The water should run clear after few rinses
- You don’t have to add Raw Rice or Rice Flour to get crispy vadai
- Add water using a small spoon inbetween grinding. Don’t add too much water. Vadai Batter consistency is crucial
- You can make the batter a day ahead and keep it in refrigerator. . Few say the batter from fridge soaks up too much oil. Though I haven’t personally experienced such issues I would still suggest you to use the batter & make vadai within 10-12 hours
- You can add finely chopped onions to the batter before deep frying them. When I make vadais for Neivedhyam/Prasadham I avoid onions. When I make as an evening snack I generally add onions generously
- Always have a bowl of clean water to soak your hands before shaping the batter
- If you are using Induction stove make sure to keep the heat in medium temperature all the time. If you feel the oil has become too hot then kindly move the oil pan to a different base for few seconds and let it cool for sometime. This way the outer layer doesn’t get cooked quickly & change color. We want even cooking both inside and outside
- I shaped Vadai in my fingers. If you aren’t comfortable you can use a banana leaf or plastic sheet greased with little oil to shape them and then slide them into hot oil
I added an Insta Reel of Vadai that I prepared during this Navarathri. You can check it here (https://www.instagram.com/reel/CGxUelvF6qY/?igshid=cmfozf419iz7)