Aama Vadai

Aama Vadai (also called Paruppu Vadai or Masala Vadai) is a traditional snack that is made during Tamil New Year and also Ramnavami. Made from a variety of lentils and spiced with chillies, asafoetida, curry leaves and coriander, it is a delicious snack. It is also a very popular street food snack in South India.

Aama means tortoise in Tamil. But never fear, they do not contain tortoises, it is named this way because of the hard crispy outer shell of the vadai.

Similar recipes include Broad Bean and Mint Vada, Thattai Vada, and Pea and Mint Croquettes.

Browse more Vadai recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Winter recipes.

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Herby Masala Vadai with Tomato Mint Chutney

We are here, munching some Masala Vadai for afternoon tea. These vadai are chock-a-block full of  herbs – coriander and dill. Dill is an uncommon (but not unusual) herb in Indian cuisine, but its use here is wonderful.

The recipe is adapted from one in the book Tiffin by Rukmini Srinivas. We’ve been enjoying reading from it and now want to cook the recipes. The original includes flax seeds which is a very healthy addition, but we have left them out this time.

The recipe is very adaptable. The paste is made from urad, channa and toor dals with the herbs, onions, chilli and ginger added. I can imagine these made with slightly mashed broad beans (the Western type of broad beans), for example, or a coarse mash of peas. Finely chopped capsicums or finely grated carrots would  be a variation if you were sick of the herbs.

The Tomato Mint Chutney is delightful and pairs well with the vadai. Sometimes  I will use sweet chilli sauce, or a herby yoghurt dip, or an Indian green chutney.

A high speed blender like Vitamix is best for grinding the lentils if you don’t have an Indian grinder. Use one that has a tamper if you can, to minimise the number of times you have to scrape the sides down. One of the modern high speed food processors might also work well. Remember that you want a coarse mix, not a fine paste. Also the mix needs to be shaped into patties, so do not add water unless absolutely necessary.

Similar recipes include Aama Vadai, Broad Bean and Mint Vadai, Falafel, and Tattai Vadai.

Browse all of our Vadai and all of our Snacks. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Spring recipes.

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Vegetable Cutlets

I simply cannot keep away from Indian snacks.

I’ve been feeding my love of these snacks by slowly reading Rukmini Srinivas’ book Tiffin, and cooking my way through the recipes. Both activities, reading and cooking, are mouth-watering. The cutlets are packed with goodness (even though they are deep fried – ssshhhhhh). They are addictively crisp on the outside and soft and textured within.

Vegetable Cutlets are very popular snacks. They are often crumb-coated and always fried or deep fried for that great crisp texture. Cutlets are best served hot with chutney or sauce.

This recipe is the one that her Appa used to make, grinding the vegetables in an old meat grinder. When my father passed away, my brother inherited his old grinder – now I wish I had kept this ancient machine. The food processor does not quite match up to the quality produced by these (but I am nostalgic with memories. Of course the food processor will work, and does a surprisingly good job.)

You MUST have these with strong coffee and the Orange-Green Chilli Relish that I published a couple of days ago. It has a refreshing burst of citrus and is a sweet-spicy sauce. You could also serve the cutlets with a green chutney, hummus, any salsa, any tomato sauce, any yoghurt dip or sauce, or any of these other dips or sauces. Also this tart cumquat jam is particularly good with them as does this Green Tomato Fry Chutney.

It’s interesting how the Indian cuisine has adopted the words cutlet and chop for vegetable based dishes – not doubt (I assume), replicating the non-veg versions of their English invaders.

Similar recipes include Masala Vadai, Falafel, the Huge Vine Leaf Pakora, and Broad Bean Vada.

Browse 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.

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Beetroot Vadai

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.

Similar recipes include Broad Bean and Cabbage Kofta, Coriander Vada, and Medu Vadai.

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.

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Broad Bean, Bulgur and Red Cabbage Kofta

Red cabbage rarely features in our kitchen, but today it is very present on the kitchen bench. We have been trialling a dish of broad bean mash with bulgur which coats red cabbage cooked with sultanas. They are not perfect yet, but we share with you the process because, boy, they are delicious.

Red cabbage with apple, sultanas and pine nuts is a standard European dish, delicious in its own right. And we often incorporate broad beans into kofta/vada/kibbeh type dishes. Today they come together into these lovely mid morning snacks. The recipe is very loose – my apologies – we are still playing with quantities. If you make them, let us know how they turn out.

Similar recipes include Beetroot Vadai, Red Cabbage with Apple, Pinenuts and Sultanas, Maddur Vadai, Fava Bean Falafel, and Chickpea Falafel.

Browse all of our Broad Bean dishes and all of our Vada. Or explore our Early Winter recipes.

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Pea and Mint Croquettes in Chickpea Flour Batter

You will adore these green croquettes – how spectacularly coloured they are, especially for Winter when foods can be darker hued. They make great snacks, dipped into the creamy sauce. They will become a favourite, I am sure, and the croquette mixture can be made and shaped the day before you want to cook them. Keep them in the freezer to help with the shaping of the croquettes, and bring them out 30 – 60 mins before cooking.

This is sort of an Ottolenghi dish from Plenty More – we are cooking our way through this book. But his recipes use eggs and we do not cook with eggs. So the recipe has been altered significantly. Yet we still credit Ottolenghi with the inspiration. We replaced the eggs with chickpea flour and used a chickpea flour batter. It is a change that worked extremely well, and the result is amazing. We have not crumbed our croquettes, but you can do that. We did use a little polenta on some to give extra crispness.

Untypically, these taste healthy and fresh, yet still have that addictive, moreish streak of all fried things.

It is Ottolenghi Cooking the Books Day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish the latest recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi’s books – those we have cooked directly and those we have been inspired by. Currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. Note that I often massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.

Similar recipes include Aama Vadai, Masala Vadai, Broad Bean, Bulgar and Cabbage Kofta, Broad Bean and Mint Vadai, Maddur Vadai, and Kothimbir Wada.

Browse all of our Snacks here and our Pea recipes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Mid Winter recipes.

We use Australian measurements: 1 tspn = 5ml; 1 Tblspn = 20ml; 1 cup = 250ml.
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Broad Bean and Mint Vadai | Broad Bean Falafel

We have been using up the last of the broad beans, and turned the very last of them into a cross between South Indian Vadai and Middle Eastern Falafel. Whatever, they are gorgeous!

The trick is to grind some blanched broad beans with herbs and curry leaves, then add besan, and shallow fry or deep fry them until cooked and crispy. They are gorgeous with some fresh Indian chutney and a bowl of rasam. We use the Western Fava Beans (aka Broad Beans) not the Indian Broad Beans, Avarakkai, for this dish.

Try some other vadai too – Broad Bean, Bulgar and Cabbage Kofta, Pea Croquettes with Mint SauceMaddur Vada, Falafel, Fava Bean Falafel, and Gram Flour Vada. Or try Broad Bean Burgers.

Are you looking for Rasam? We have a couple of dozen rasam recipes here.

Browse our Vadai recipes. Our Indian recipes are here and our Indian Essentials here. Or take some time to browse our Late Spring dishes.

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Maddur (Madhur) Vadai

When the rains come, then snacks are needed, and it is the same here as it is in India, even though the temperatures are about 20C less than what they might be in India. Snacks means deep-fried too, but it it is a treat, who is to mind?

These are flat vadai, a little like thattai, and very delicious. Grab your flours from your Indian grocery and don’t substitute all purpose flours.

Maddur Vadai, named after the town of Maddur in South Indian, are also sometimes spelt Madhur Vadai.

Are you looking for other Vadai? Try Aama Vadai, Masala Vadai, Beetroot Vadai, Broad Bean and Mint Vadai, Paruthithurai Vadai – a Thattai Vadai from Sri Lanka, and Kothimber Wada.

There are also Gram flour Vada that are made to go into a Kuzhambu, but can be eaten as snacks as well.

Browse all of our Vadai. Our Snacks too. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or relax and browse our Late Autumn dishes.

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Falafel | Ta’amia | Spicy Middle Eastern Chickpea Patties or Balls

Using cooked or tinned chickpeas, falafels are very easy to make.

Who can resist a good falafel? Wonderful for snacks, meals, in wraps or topping salads, they are wonderfully tasty, textural and healthy. Whip them up using chickpeas you have previously cooked and  frozen, for an easy supper. (I use partially cooked chickpeas in this recipe, but use soaked but uncooked if you prefer.)

Home made falafel are a huge cut above store-bought ones, or even those from some restaurants that must purchase them in bulk and keep them frozen for a long time. One has to wonder why, they are so easy to make, whereas many pre-prepared ones taste like cardboard. Who hasn’t had a wrap or roll stuffed with cardboard-tasting falafel as the “vegetarian option”?

Worry no more, we have your back. These are fantastic. Crispy crunchy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside. You can grind the chickpeas coarsely or more finely, which ever is your preference. But they must be ground enough to hold together as they fry.

Here is how to cook the softest chickpeas.

You might like to also try hummus, which goes well with falafel. Chickpeas make a whole range of dishes. Have a look at Turmeric Chickpeas. Try Chickpea Fingers, for example (it uses chickpea flour). Or Chickpea “Tabblouleh”Chickpeas can be baked, or made into a spread, or smashed and made into a salad.  They are really healthy – have a look at this article.

Similar recipes include Vegetable Cutlets, Broad Bean Burgers, Broad Bean, Bulgar and Cabbage Kofta, Pea Croquettes with Mint Sauce, Broad Bean and Mint Falafel and Fava Bean Falafel.

Browse all of our Middle Eastern recipes and our Chickpea recipes. Or explore our easy Mid Spring recipes.

This recipe  is one from our  first blog which ran from 1995 – 2005. Feel free to browse other recipes in our Retro Recipes series .

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Kothimbir Wada | Coriander Vada | Coriander Fritters

Delicioius!

An excellent snack – Kothimbir is the Marathi word for Green Coriander, which is the main ingredient in this recipe. Kothimbir Wada are basically coriander fritters. In this recipe, the chickpea flour batter with coriander leaves is first steamed and then cut into rings to be fried till crisp.

Use really fresh coriander for best results, and serve with chai or coffee. They can also be served as a side dish with a meal.

Vada are traditional Indian dishes. They are commonly prepared at home and as typical street food, being popular tiffin snacks. Wada are generally crisp on the outside and soft inside.

Are you looking for snacks? Try Spicy Dried Okra, Cumin and Pepper Wedges, Falafel and Tawa Peas.

Try other Vadai – Maddur Vadai and Tattai Vadai, and Falafel.

Do you need some Chai to go with the Kothimbir Wada? Try Illaichi Chai, Peppery Chai, and Gentle Chai.

You might like to browse all of our Snacks, and all of our Indian Recipes. Try our Chai recipes here, or our general Tea recipes here. You might also enjoy Wada recipes, or explore all of our Mid Spring dishes.

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