Medu Vada (Split Black Lentil Medallions)

Medu vada is my all time favourite snack. Not only mine, also most South Indians. All we need is an excuse to make this snack. It is so tasty that it has been adopted all over the country. It is a deep-fried snack, but can also be made with no oil at all. The oil-free version is equally tasty, but not as fluffy as the deep fried one. Not that it matters at all since the wonderful taste more than compensates. I tend to use the black lentils with skin, while traditionalists prefer it without skin. I use the lentil with skin since most of the nutrients are in the skin. So, while this snack is normally golden brown, mine acquires a darker colour.

Ingredients
1 cup split black gram (urad dal, ulutham parupu)
1/2 tsp black pepper corns (sabut kali mirch, kurumilagu)
1/2″ piece ginger, chopped fine
A pinch of asafoetida (hing, perunkayam)
2 chopped green chillies
1 sprig curry leaves, crushed
Salt to taste
Method
Wash and soak the split black gram for about 3 hours
Drain the water
Transfer to a blender and grind (do not add water)
Add chopped ginger, green chillies, pepper corns, curry leaves, asafoetida and salt
Mix well
Take a lemon sized ball of this batter and shape it into a medallion
Make a whole in the centre (this ensures that the heat is spread equally when air-frying)
Repeat for the remaining batter
Transfer to a steamer and steam for about 10 minutes
Then transfer to an air fryer and ‘fry’ for 10-15 minutes or till golden brown (or a darker shade in my case)
Serve warm with any chutney of your choice (though normally this is served with coconut chutney and sambar)
Enjoy!

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