Garelu or vada are one of those dishes that are a family favourite, but I have always found it to be an extremely time consuming process, until recently when an Aunt of mine suggested using the Urad dal flour instead.
Though I love too cook from scratch, there are some dishes I’d rather take shortcuts with. Garelu are one such dish. By using the Urad dal flour I eliminated the step of soaking and grinding the dal.
Garelu are usually made during festivals and special occasions. they are usually served with kobbari pachadi (coconut chutney).
My son occasionally calls them Indian donuts. I guess these could be described as Spicy Lentil Donuts. These turned out really well and were over by the end of the day. My mom would usually make Garelu koora (curry) with the leftovers the next day. Unfortunately I had none left to make the curry.
- 3 cups Urad Dal flour
- 1/2 large onion chopped
- 5 green chillies
- 2 1/2 cups water
- salt to taste
- red chilli powder to taste (koora karam)
- oil for frying
- In a large bowl mix the urad flour with salt, chilli powder, onions, green chillies and 2 cups of water.
- Add more water if required. The consistency should not be runny but neither too dry. It should drip a bit.
- Heat oil in a wide container with high edges (or a fryer)
- Put aside some oil in a small bowl to grease your hands.
- Grease your palms and fingertips.
- Take a small amount of the dough with one hand and put it in the palm of the other hand.
- Flatten is a bit and poke a hole in the middle.
- Slide it off the palm and onto your fingers of the other hand.
- Drop it slowly into the hot oil.
- Fry till golden brown and drain on paper towels.
- Serve hot with coconut chutney and sambar.
- The dough should be the consistency of thick pancake batter or the consistency of drop biscuits.
- Some prefer to wet their hands with water for making the garelu, I have found that oiling my hands works best for me.
- I usually rinse my hands after dropping in a batch for frying and re- oil my hands again for the next batch.
- The oil should not be too hot. Use a medium heat level. If it is too hot the Garelu will be burnt on the outside but still raw inside.
- These are also called vada or medu vada. In Andhra Pradesh they are called Garelu