"Sago Chana Dal Methi Vada" ....... Again my very own concoction on preparation of Vada ...... Experimenting on various combos is really fun and when the vada turns out perfect you really feel satisfied and wonderful ..... This one is a good variation for those who want to avoid potatoes and yet get soft vadas ..... Enjoy with Coriander Coconut Chutney / Tomato Ketchup or any other Chutney of Your Choice ..... :) :)
Winter is the season when you get lots of veggies, fruits. Market is flooded with lots of fresh vegetables and fruits. I am in a fix as to what to purchase and what not. In my dilemma, I always end up buying more than what is required and then it leaves me in a tough situation on decision of what to cook out of them. My quest for new methods and innovations, twist to existing recipe is well known to my family and friends. They keep pulling my legs as to what will be the next on list. And this keeps me going with more enthusiasm. Methi / Fenugreek leaves are something that are available in huge bunches. I have to keep thinking 3-4 dishes to prepare out of the same to empty them without wasting. And wasting food is something not advice-able at all. It does not even exist in my dictionary. I do something or the other out of them as I very much value the food that God puts on our platter. Now coming to methi leaves, I pick them, chop them fine and put them in an air tight container and keep them in the fridge. This way they remain fresh for 4-5 days. When I needs I remove only as much as I want and rinse them well under running water and allow to drain properly. This vada is similar to our chettambado / dal vada but with the addition of sago pearls / sabudana and methi leaves. Once again there is no need to add any potatoes to the vadas as we do in sabudana vada. They turn out crisp from outside and soft within. Turned out really awesome. Sure to be on my list for guests. Let’s move on to the recipe so that all of you can prepare and enjoy the same with family and friends.
** Soaking of Sago Pearls / Sabudana : In a large bowl add one cup of large sized variety of Sabudana and add about 4-5 cups of water. Leave this covered aside for about 2 hours. Drain off the water completely and leave it aside to swell on its own for another 2-3 hours. Sabudana should swell properly and look like small white pearls for you to get the best spongy effect. So soaking and resting period is very important. You can not add the sabudana directly nor the soaked one immediately as that will not give you the above softness. So I recommend you follow the procedure of soaking and resting period for the Sabudana.
** Soaking of Chana Dal ~ Rice : Soak 2 cups of Chana Dal and 1 cup of ordinary rice together in plenty of water for 2-3 hours. Wash in plenty of water and allow to drain on a colander for about 20-30 minutes. All excess water from the dal should get drained off properly.
** Chopping of Methi / Fenugreek Leaves : Pick only the leaves part of Methi / Fenugreek and chop finely. You should have about 1 cup of the same. Rinse properly under running water. Strain well, squeeze out the excess water properly and allow to drain on a colander.
Now grind the chana dal ~ rice mixture along with 6-8 red kashmiri chillies and a small pinch of tamarind to a rava texture paste. Do not add water, if necessary only sprinkle water, mix well and grind the ingredients. I use electric food processor for this and it does the job very well without the addition of water. Put the ground paste in a large bowl. Add in 1 tsp hing powder, salt to taste and the drained methi leaves along with the sabudana / sago pearls. Mix well the mixture should come to making small ball consistency without spitting or cracking when making them. Keep the batter aside for 5-10 minutes. Make large lemon sized smooth balls out of the mixture and flatten them a little bit to shape them into vadas.
For Deep Frying : Add sufficient oil for deep frying in a thick bottomed kadai. Put it on high heat to bring it to full heat / smoking point. Reduce the heat to medium and wait for 5 minutes. Check the temperature by adding a little bit of mixture in the hot oil carefully. If the mixture comes up within a few seconds, it means the oil is hot and ready for frying. Keep the heat temperature constant through out frying of the vadas. Now add in the prepared vadas, one at a time carefully. Do not overcrowd the kadai, there should be enough space left for the vadas to get deep fried properly. Let it fry for 4-5 minutes. Now overturn and mix properly with a deep frying ringed spatula. Keep rolling often to fry them evenly. Once they are fried to golden brown remove and keep in an absorbent tissue paper for the excess oil to drain off. Continue with the remaining mixture.
Serve the Sago Chana Dal Methi Vada either with chutney or tomato ketchup as a snack or as an accompaniment with Rice – Dalitoy and some side dish curries for lunch / dinner. This is an excellent combination to be prepared when you have guests for lunch / dinner. You can prepare the mixture and keep it ready in the refrigerator. Remove it about 10-15 minutes before you need to fry and allow to cool a bit and then prepare the vadas and deep fry them. They come out excellent without any problem. I assure you your family will love these vadas with contains absolutely no potatoes in them.