What do you think went through my mind when I had some fresh shelled cow peas on hand? Usually it would be dosai and your guess would have been correct but this time it was vadai (fritters) that I wanted to give a try. These purple eyed peas are slightly nuttier than the black eyed peas and the fresh peas when boiled tastes very similar to boiled fresh peanuts.
Soak the fresh pink/black eyed peas for about a couple of hours. Soaking might not be required if it is just shelled and very fresh. The trick to making light and airy vadai is to not add any water while blending the batter. Do not make the mistake I made of grinding in a wet grinder, use the blender instead. This way the peas can be ground without any excess moisture. We had to add a small quantity of rice flour to the batter because of the excess moisture. We made these for Vinagayar Chathurthi and they served as a protein filled snack for the rest of the week.
|Ingredients required for the vadai.|
|Freshly ground batter and ready for making vadi with onion mixed.|
If you do not have fresh cow peas use the dried kind soaked overnight. Save couple of handfuls of batter to make dosais the next day. Mix with regular idli batter and make adai or dosai.
Pink Eye Cowpea Vadai - Karamani/Thattapayar Vadai
Preparation Time:25 minutes + (overnight soaking if using dried cow peas)
Cooking Time:30-40 minutes
- 4 cups of fresh shelled cow peas or 3 cups of dried cow peas soaked overnight
- 1/4 cup rice flour (only if required - see Notes:)
- 1/2 - 1 cup of finely chopped onions
- ginger 2 inch piece
- 2 tsp of cumin seeds
- 6-8 red chilies
- a small piece of asfoetida
- salt to taste
- 2 tbsp finely chopped curry leaves
- Oil for deep frying
- Blend the cow peas without adding any water (if required just sprinkle a few drops)
- When the peas are blended half way add the chilies, cumin seeds, asfoetida and ginger and blend the batter but still coarse, do not make it very smooth.
- When ready to make the fritters mix the salt, curry leaves and onions.
- If at this stage the batter is still watery, add some of the rice flour so the batter is stiff enough for the vadai to hold its shape.
- Heat a kadai with oil for deep frying when hot, shape the vadais and add them to the hot oil.
- Let the vadai turn golden brown, flip and cook on the other side.
- Drain on paper towels.Notes:
- Add the rice flour only if the batter is too watery.
- The onion should be added only when ready to drop the batter in oil. This will prevent the batter from becoming watery.
- Watery batter will make the vadai absorb a lot of water.
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