Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Urad Daal, Green Moong, and Poha Vadas in my new Appe Pan

Well, well! My recent India trip is seeming quite worthwhile considering the kind of stuff that I brought back home. Apart from some nice ovenware cutlery and serveware lying in our India home with no use, I bought this perfectly sized mini Appe Pan. I had heard a lot about it and the amazing way in which you can make vadas/pakoras/fritters with zero oil in it. I was determined to get one for my home as well but I was hardly getting time to visit the market owing to Durga Puja madness in Kolkata. Nevertheless, I finally got an opportunity on the last day and promptly went to the market to buy this wonder pan. Crispy and light, these vadas are so full health and nutrition and are a perfect meal for a person watching his calories. Before I get on to the recipe, here are a few tips for using this pan:
1. When using for the first batch of frying, grease the pan with little oil either with your hands or a brush. Yes, that is all the oil that is required. The subsequent batches do not require any oil. If you see the fritters getting stuck slightly, repeat the process of greasing before the next batch. 
2. Cook it on low heat all through and covered. 
3. Place it on a flame big enough to heat all the pockets uniformly. My mini pan sits perfectly on the biggest flame on my gas stove and so helps achieve uniform browning. 
Let's get on to the recipe now. 
1/2 cup urad daal
1/3 cup green moong daal
1 cup thin poha (flattened rice; if using thick variety, use 1/2 cup)
3 tbsp rice flour
1 tbsp grated ginger
2-3 green chillies as per taste
2 sprigs fresh coriander
Few black peppercorns
Salt to taste

Wash and soak the green moong and urad daal overnight. If using thick poha, soak it 1 hour prior to blending. If using thin poha, wash and rinse it thoroughly and if not already soggy, soak it for 10 minutes. 
In the morning, wash and rinse the soaked urad daal and soak it in fresh water again for few more hours. Wash and rinse the green moong and then tie them up in a damp cloth and keep it hanging in a well lighted and airy place for it to sprout. Now, sprouting of the moong depends on many factors like age of the raw seeds, humidity etc. You may choose to skip this sprouting step altogether or may sprout the moong one day in advance. My moong sprouted within a few hours of hanging and sprouts are always known to have added nutrition. 
In a blender, first add the urad daal, chillies, and the ginger and blend to a smooth paste. Next add the sprouts and blend further followed by the poha. The idea of adding each ingredient step by step is to attain a smooth batter. It is recommended to add the ginger and chillies in the first step so that no chunks remain. Lastly, add the salt and chopped coriander and blitz till smooth. 
Pour the batter onto a bowl and stir in the rice flour. Let the batter stand for a minimum of 1/2 hour to a couple of hours before you begin the process of making the vadas. 
As told earlier in the tips for using the Appe pan, lightly grease the pockets with your hand or brush and put it to heat. Once warm, pour spoonfulls of the batter into the pockets and cook covered on a low flame for about 7-10 minutes till browned on one side. With a wooden spoon, flip the vadas and cook covered agsin on a low flame till browned again for about 5-7 minutes. Serve hot. 

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