Sunday, April 1, 2018

Pepper Flavored Vada Mala / Milagu Vadai / Hanuman Vada.

“Pepper Flavored Vada Mala / Milagu Vadai / Hanuman Vada” … Today for the first time I prepared this Vada also known as Anjaneyar Vadai for Naivedyam for "Hanuman Jayanti" about which I came to know a few years back from my Tamilian Friend … This vadai is prepared in Hanuman temples and offered as Prasadam making a Mala / Garland of the same … Sharing my humble attempt after offering to Hanumanji among all my friends here … Stay Blessed …

** This is a Vada that is prepared usually in temple where Lord Hanumanji deity resides. These vadas are offered as Naivedyam / Prasadam and then distributed among the devotees. This is usually as offering of 51, 108 etc. by devotees to Lord Anjaneya (Lord Hanuman) on the auspicious month of Margashir or on Saturdays when a desire is fulfilled etc. The one’s available in temples depends from place to place, some make it soft like our own medu vada while some make it crisp with loads of pepper and it has a unique taste of its own which no individual can match while preparing it at home. It is always so that, any Prasadam from temples has the grace of lord in it and though the one’s prepared at home is also with the same faith, somehow it is never the same. 

** I tasted this first when I had been to Ayyappa Temple in Thane, then often my friend who was a Tamilian used to share the prasadam with me whenever she offered it to Lord Hanuman in their temples. I will always miss my friend who unfortunately had an untimely death suddenly and left for her heavenly abode 2 years back. That year was really bad with many of my friends faced unfortunate untimely death. We never know why God takes away the good people, maybe he too needs them with him. My tamilian friend Bhanu had shared with me the recipe of preparing this one, though I never prepared it till date as she always shared the same with me. Today I somehow remembered her and this Vada, so decided to prepare it for the first time. Though I came across some hitches while prepare, I successfully prepared all the vadas, 11 in total as my offering to Lord Hanuman as it was Hanuman Jayanti. Thanks to Lord for making my humble attempt successful, we all loved it very much. 

** The recipe is really very simple, the difficult part is preparing the vadas. As I was in the habit of preparing the vada on my palm during other times, I could not do the same by placing and pressing them in between plastic sheets, the way she had advised. I successful did the same in my own method, yes on my palm which I always find easier. I will share the link with pictures to the preparation of Vadas, the way I do, I followed exactly the same method, except here the mixture was coarse and I made it into thinner disc and fried it crisp. As these Vadas are prepared in that manner. Just keep your palms slightly wet, just a layer / film of water, that’s it. But if you prefer you can prepare by placing in between plastic sheets after applying them slightly with oil. Whichever you prefer. As I said I prepared patting on my palm. Thank God they turned out perfect, I felt fortunate and blessed indeed when the task was done. 

** Here is the simple recipe for preparing the pepper flavored Vadas for Naivedyam …. 

** Ingredients : 
Urad Dal / Black Gram Dal (without skin) : 1 cup 
Rice Flour : 2 tblsp (use coarse powder not very fine) 
Black Pepper Corns / Kali Miri : 1 tblsp 
Salt to taste 
Oil : 1 tblsp 

Oil for Deep Frying (Use fresh unused oil if using for Naivedyam) 

** Wash and soak the urad dal in plenty of water for about 1 hour. Drain, wash and put in an colander for all excess water to get drained off completely at least for 15 minutes. Keep shaking the colander in between. Let the water get drained off as much as possible. 

** Put the drained urad dal in a mixer grinder and grind to a coarse paste without water. Keep mixing in between to get evenly ground mixture. Remember not to add water at all. Once the urad dal is ground to coarse powder add in the pepper corns and the salt and further grind it the pepper is also coarsely ground. 

** Remove the ground batter cleanly into a flat bowl, add in the rice flour / powder and mix well. Remember not to add in any water. Lastly add 1 tblsp of hot oil and mix well. Now the mixture is ready to prepare the vadas. Keep the oil for deep frying ready on heat and bring to smoking point. Lower the heat to medium and wait for few minutes and then begin to fry the vadas. 

** For preparing the Vadas : You can either make lemon sized balls and keep them between plastic sheets that are oil and press with the back of a lid to get evenly shaped round disk. Then remove the plastic make a hole in the center with index finger and then gently slip it on your hand and leave it into the hot oil. This is the general practice for preparing the vada. 

** However, I personally am never comfortable with this method and prefer making on vadas on the palm of my left hand by patting it with my right hand fingers. I know, you may find it difficult or even funny, but I find this method easy and fast. You may follow any method suitable to you, you can check the pictures of other vada to which I will post a link at the bottom of the recipe for pictures or I suggest you check on any You Tube for the same. 

** My Method : Keep a bowl of water ready. Sprinkle a few drops on the palm of your left hand and rub it evenly to form a layer / film of it on the hand. Now place a small lemon sized ball of the mixture on the palm. With the help of the right hand finger press slightly to evenly get a disc shape. 

** Keep wetting your hand with few drops of water and also keep gently flipping the vada on hand to get evenly pressed round shaped vada. Make it thinner than the normal medur vada, but see to it that it does not crack or break while doing so. Now wet the index finger with water and gently poke a hole in the center to make a small round even hole. Gently lift the vada by slightly inverting your handing and slipping it on to the righ hand and leave it into the hot Oil. 

** Be careful while you do it. Also see to it that your hands and not wet or else the water will drop in hot oil and splutter. That is why I suggest you either watch someone who knows prepare it or some video before you attempt the same. But once you learn the trick then it is breeze work. Initially, I too used to get worried, but now I am very comfortable with this method and find it very easy, neat and clean with a mess all round. 

** Remember to make a hole in the center as this is important to pass a thread through the vadas to make a garland of the same to offer to Lord Anjaneya. Add in a few vadas at a time into the hot oil and fry till golden brown by stirring and flipping it often. Once the vada is evenly browned remove with a ringed spatula and put it on an absorbent paper for excess oil to get drained off. Repeat the procedure with the remaining mixture. I got about 11 thin crisp Vadas of 4 inch diameter with this amount of mixture. 

“Pepper Flavored Vada Mala / Milagu Vadai / Hanuman Vada” is done and ready to be offered by making a garland / mala by passing a thread through the vadas and then tying the knot and offering as vada mala to Lord Anjaneyar / Hanumanji. The Prasadam can then be distributed among devotee or your relatives and friends along with your family. Remember to always share/ distribute the Naivedyam / Prasadam to people as it is believed that Prasadam distributed and had marks the importance of the offering and pleases the God much more than the rituals that are performed. Stay Blessed and do excuse for the late post, but you can always prepare it on any Saturdays and offer to Lord Hanumanji too.

** Here is the link to step by step picture of preparing the Vadas easily on hand … Please check the link give below and yes do be careful …. 

** You can use the search option for "Vada or Ambado" where you will get many more dishes prepared using it. Do try out various types of dishes to relish and enjoy the same. 

** An Earnest Request : There are many more recipes of similar type in the blog. For all my Recipes, use the search option or the label section in the Blog. If you are still not able to find it please leave a message in comment section or mail me the same. You can also go to my page (add on the left side of blog) and leave a message and I will try my best to get back to you as soon as possible … Thank you. I have also started a food group for "Konkani Saraswats" by the name "KONKANI DELICACIES" the link of which is posted on the left side of the blog page. Do join us in our culinary journey. I strongly believe in Sharing and always endorse that "Sharing Is Caring".

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