Lentil Fritters (Parippu Vada)
Parippu vada is essentially a savoury snack that many Keralans enjoy along with their piping hot, afternoon chai. These lentil fritters are crunchy, mildly spicy and somewhat meaty in their texture. (So much so that a close friend of mine who has a dislike for lentils devoured a plateful before realising they were not made from chicken)
For me, vada has childhood memories of travelling by train between Trivandrum and Cochin as we shared out our holiday time between both sets of grandparents. At many points during the journey, chai wallahs and one-man food vendors would parade down the aisle bearing hot sweet tea and snacks, and without fail, Parippu Vada was always available.
In some homes, vada is eaten with a coconut and chilli chutney but growing up, my mum always served them with a spicy tomato sauce. Personally I love them with my tomato & dhal chutney! Totally amazing with a chilli kick at the back! My dad on the other hand eats them alongside a ripe banana (a bite of one and then the other!) which is also common in Kerala. If you enjoy the contrast of sweet and spicy flavours then this is a combination to try.