Do you remember how the heroes were introduced in 80’s and 90’s Malayalam movies? I think the most common one was where the hero gets down from an old bus, in front of a chayakada (tea shop). The hero then proceeds to the chayakada, order a tea and some snacks all the while keeping the curious chayakadakkaran (tea shop wallah) on suspense about his trip intentions. Fast forward to today’s movie… the hero alights from a helicopter or at least a S class Benz and goes straight to shoot a gunda (gangster). To be fair, I think the movie makers should not be blamed. They are trying to make realistic movies these days and in today’s reality chayakadas are a rare sight and the roads are crowded with Audi, BMW etc;
May be I can suggest an alternative introduction scene. The hero can alight from his fancy car in front of a Bhel Puri stand. During my past visits to Kerala, I’ve noticed more number of “Yadav Bhel Puri Stand/Corner” than chayakadas. I’m referring to Cochin here. I’m not saying Parippu Vada and the sort has become extinct but looks like they have found a more comfortable space in well lit shelves of bakeries than the “niram mangiya kannadi koodu” (fainted glass box) of chayakada, just like our heroes coming in a fancy car instead of a bus! All I can say is whenever I see a Bhel Puri Stand, a phrase comes to my mind “Kochiyude marunna mukham” (changing face of Cochin), I think I read it in some Newspaper or magazine. Well, I’m not saying this is bad, it’s change! Whether you like it or not, change is the only constant thing or so the experts say….
See what all things came to my mind when I sat down to write about this humble snack, no wonder the typical Kerala communist used to thrive on it ;) Anyways, parippu vada dominated my evening tea sessions during the last trip. Mummy (my MIL) makes very good parippu vadas. So here’s her recipe specially for you :)
As promised in the earlier post, I do have step by step pictures taken in mummy’s kitchen. Here you go…
Soak chana dal for 2-2.5 hours. Drain the water completely…
Pat dry the drained dal with a clean kitchen towel. Grind the dal in mixie for a few seconds. Please note that that the dal should be crushed and should not be made into a smooth paste.
Add all the other ingredients, except oil, to the dal and combine it gently. Make small balls with the dal mix.
Heat oil in a deep pan. Meanwhile, wet your hands and flatten each ball within your palms. When the oil is hot enough add the flattened dal mix…
Fry the vadas on low-medium heat, till it becomes crispy and a dark shade of brown. Drain the fried vadas on tissue paper…
- Chana dal (split bengal gram/kadala parippu) - 2 cups
- Onion - 1 big, finely chopped
- Green chilli - 2-3, finely chopped
- Ginger - 1-2 tsp, finely chopped
- Fennel seeds - ¼ tsp (optional, refer notes)
- Curry leaves - 3-4 stems, finely chopped
- Kayam (asafetida) - ⅛ tsp
- Soak chana dal in water for 2 hours. Drain the water completely. Make sure that the water is dried well, pat dry the dal with a clean kitchen towel.
- Crush the soaked and drained dal, just run it in mixie for a few seconds. Make sure you dont grind it to a smooth paste. Add all ingredients except oil to the crushed dal and gently mix it together. Make small balls with the dal mix (gooseberry size).
- Heat oil for deep frying pan on high flame. When oil is really hot, reduce the flame to low-medium and add the vada. Before adding to the oil, just flatten each ball in your palm. Wet your hands before flattening the dough. It is better to flatten the dough just before adding to the oil, otherwise it may break.
- Fry till the vadas (fritters) become golden brown or if you like it extra crispy, fry till you get a darker shade of brown. Drain excess oil on a tissue paper. Serve hot.
- You will get around 20-25 parippu vadas of small-medium size, with the above qty.