These are wonderful vadai that incorporate beetroot, and are a specialty of Chetinand (an area of Tamil Nadu). They make delicious snacks, but can also be served as an accompaniment to a meal.
Like all of India’s deep fried snacks, these are healthy-ish, meaning that they are made from wonderful, fresh and balanced ingredients, yet are deep fried. Of course, eat in moderation. If you can.
Vada are interesting food items – a compact way to get lentils, vegetables and spices into the diet. They are eaten with a meal or as a snack during the day, grabbed from a walla on the street, or packed into tiffins to take to work or on long trips. Perfect balls of healthy ingredients that are always at hand.
Browse all of our Vada recipes, our Beetroot dishes, all of our Indian Snacks, and our Patties. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Spring recipes.
1 cup chana or toor dal
1 – 2 Indian dried red chillies
0.25 tspn cumin seeds
0.5 tspn fennel seeds
8 curry leaves
0.25 cup finely shredded beetroot
1.5 cups chopped onions
0.5 cups chopped coriander leaves
1 Tblspn finely grated or minced fresh ginger
0.5 tspn turmeric powder
2 green chillies, finely chopped
chickpea flour, rice flour or breadcrumbs (optional)
sea salt to taste
oil for deep frying
Rinse the dal well and soak for 2 – 3 hours. Drain well.
Grind the dal well in a food processor or blender with the curry leaves, cumin and fennel seeds and red chillies. Grind with minimum water to a thick batter.
In a large bowl add the beetroot, onions, ginger, turmeric, green chillies and coriander leaves to the batter. Mix well, add sea salt to taste and mix again. If the mixture is too thin add some chickpea flour, rice flour or breadcrumbs to achieve the correct consistency.
Form round patties from about 1 Tblspn of the mixture, first forming a ball in your hand then flattening it with your fingers.
Heat the oil in a kadhai or deep pan. Drop 5 or 6 vadai into the oil at a time and fry until golden brown. Remove and drain on kitchen paper towels.
Serve hot with any Indian chutney, hummus, yoghurt dip or salsa.