Parippu vada, or lentil fritters, are a tasty savory snack enjoyed on a chilly day along with hot chai tea. They're crunchy, just a bit spicy, and totally delicious! Serve them up hot with your favorite chutney.
1 cup channa dal (soaked for at least 4 hours)
2 green chillies, finely chopped
3 shallots finely chopped
1 ½ tsp. minced ginger
½ tsp. asafoetida
1 tsp. salt
10-12 curry leaves, roughly chopped.
Oil for deep frying
Using a food processor, grind the soaked and drained dal until it resembles a coarse crumb like texture (NOT a paste). In a large bowl, add all the ingredients including the ground dal and combine. Leave this aside for 15-20 minutes (this allows the moisture from the onions, ginger and dal to blend, making it easier to form the vada patties)
To make the vadas, make a ball (slightly smaller than a golf ball) from the mixture and then flatten using the palms of your hand. Heat the oil in a deep pan; it is crucial that the oil is hot enough- the vadas should sizzle as soon as they are dropped in the pan and should take around 2-3 minutes to turn golden brown. I suggest you test one first to ensure the correct temperature of the oil and to be able to check that they are cooked all the way through. Fry in batches of 3-4 (but this will also depend on the size of your pan)
Serve immediately with a chilli sauce or coconut chutney (or banana!)