Parippu Vada and Chai/Chaaya is one of the quintessential Mallu tea-shop favourites. Chaayakada= tea shop tea is a strong 'pulled-tea' with frothy topping! With this heritage, the Parippu Vada, has also not been immune to political colour; claimants bestowing it with an egalitarian/ poor man's snack along with Kattan Chaaya = strong tea. [obviously men gathered around in the tea-shop to discuss all those worthy subjects :-)]. Moi version here might well be accused as the neo-liberal- imperialistic version, more so for the geographical location and as one seen through the lens of nostalgia, plus for making it more milky ! :-D
Parippu Vada and Chai...
...reminds one of those iconic Malayalam comedies of the 1980s; especially Ponmuttayidunna Tharavu = The Goose that lays the Golden Egg. The movie revolves around a small village in Kerala. One of the important events in a village is the local temple festival. The much bissi and respected village elder completes his discussions at the local tea-shop and hurries to his regular, evening rendevous with the local village belle...with the hot packet of Parippu Vadas, wrapped carefully in layers of wilted benana leaves and newpaper sheets. He hurries in with the Parippu Vadas only to find the village Oracle, comfortably ensconced inside. The village elder stammers an excuse, hurries away, happily leaving behind the parippu vadas to be savoured by the Oracle and his consort for the evening!!!
Parippu Vada/ Dal Vada: It is made from Channa Dal or Bengal gram, with chopped onions, green chillies, ginger, cummin and red chillies; the soaked channa dal is ground coarsely, allowing it crunch and texture, then spiced with the above ingredients, shaped into discs and deep fried.
Had been waiting to post this recipe for a long time; saving the newspapers that came wrapped around some goodies, about 8 months ago. At that time, Manju had posted the same, so the recipe lapsed into the 'to-do's'. A spot of cleaning turned up these newsprints... and prompted a friday snack. This goes to Melodie's Vegetarian Foodie Fridays. It also goes to My Legume Affair # 26 originally started by Susan.
1 Cup of Channa Dal, soaked for an hour or more]
2 green chillies, [1 hot green chilli and one green cayenne used here]
1/4 tsp cummin seeds, lightly crushed
1 tbsp ginger, chopped fine or cut into thin slivers
3-4 shallots, red sambhar onions, pearl onions sliced in thin rounds
1/2 stem curry leaves, chopped roughly
Pinch of asafoetida
11/2 Cup of vegetable oil to deep fry the vadas
Heat the oil in a deep kadai/ wok.
Meanwhile drain the channa dal and pulse/ grind the channa dal into a coarse paste with texture. Do not add water; scrape down and pulse again.
[A few whole legumes add to the texture and look of the snack.]
Finely slice the pearl onions Chop the green chillies and the ginger fine
Add these alongwith the coarsely chopped curry leaves to ground channa dal mixture
Season with salt, a pinch of asafoetida and mix well
Test the oil with a pinch of the above mixture. The mixture should not brown immediately. The vadas should be fried on medium high heat.
Take 1 1/2 tbsps of the mix and shape into a ball,
Gently flatten the mix in the palm of your hand,
Slide into the hot oil and fry until a deep golden colour, turning to a crisp light brown. Drain on paper towels and serve with hot, sweet milky tea. :-D