Thair Vadai

Posted on September 12, 2014 by Viji

‘Maanas’ and ‘Manoj’ are written all over these; I can’t tell which one is more though! And, till it gets over, I don’t have to think about preparing any other food for them. That’s “Thair(means yogurt or curd) Vadai”, the savory lentil donuts soaked in an exotic yogurt sauce, these two relish till the very last drop!

Remember a couple of months back, we made lots of vadai and had it with coconut chutney. It is the same vadai, soaked in a seasoned yogurt which makes this absolutely delicious snack. Also, the yogurt and lentil used, known for their cooling effect on the body, make it an ideal snack for summer.

And what I find interesting, is that according to Ayurveda, a mixture of ginger and yogurt taken daily helps reducing cholesterol. Then, isn’t it quite amazing that the ginger in the vadai combined with the yogurt itself, could be taking care of the adverse effect of the deep frying, if any? Anyway, when it comes to these, it’s always “mind over body” for all of us!

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Thair Vadai

  • Have the batter ready to make 6-8 Vadai
  • 4 cups of yogurt(curd) or 3 cups of ‘homemade’ yogurt and 1 cup of milk, at room temperature or cold
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 Tbsp Sesame oil(regular not toasted)
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 dry red chilies
  • 2 sprigs of curry leaves

With a wooden spoon, in a wide bowl, beat the yogurt to smooth. Add salt to taste.

Note: If kept refrigerated while soaked in yogurt, the vadai tend to harden. So I prefer keeping them at room temperature. But on a hot, humid day, within those 3-4 hours, the yogurt(especially if it is homemade) becomes quite sour. On such days, I start with 3 cups of yogurt and 1 cup of milk which is cold or at room temperature(not warm or hot), instead of the 4 cups of yogurt. By the time it is ready to eat, the yogurt will be just right. Now, in case of store bought yogurt, if you add milk, I have seen it becoming a kind of gooey or stringy. In that case, instead of adding milk, it would be better to keep it in the refrigerator for a couple of hours and then at room temperature for the rest of the time of soaking. Another option is to use greek yogurt but make sure to right amount of water to make it not too thick. It normally doesn’t get that sour, I guess. But all these are to played around with!

Heat sesame oil in a small pan and when ready, add the mustard seeds, wait for them to pop, add the red chilies and the curry leaves. Turn off the heat and add the seasoning to the bowl of beaten yogurt, and mix well.

Normally about any recipe, I would say, ‘suit yourself’ – adjust everything to your liking. Do the same with this, except keep the seasoning the same. There is something truly amazing about this particular combination of seasoning and the yogurt. You have got to experience it!

Now, make the vadai. Drain and drop them directly into the yogurt. (Optional – Poke them with a tooth pick, before dropping them into the yogurt could help them absorb more yogurt; thus making them even softer.) Keep aside for 3-4 hours for the vadai to be super soft and the sauce to be just perfect. Enjoy. Don’t discard the sauce… it’s so delicious!


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