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Baked Masala Vadai – A guilt free indulgence

Neivedyam in temples and homes, Snacks in Canteens, Restaurants, hotels, motels, railway stations, street side tea stalls… you name the place in Tamil Nadu and I bet you will find dearest “MASALA VADAI” grinning at you gloriously.

*-For those who are wondering what Neivedyam is, It is an offering made to GOD during prayers to show our love for HIM/HER as well as for the food ?:) .

Day 3 of the Recipe marathon... I bring here the most loved and?cherished?snack of Tamil nadu as my entry..

Vadai has been our traditional snack since antiquity and the best part is you can eat it with breakfast, lunch, dinner or just like that anytime of the day.?The street side food stalls will have a hot kadai on fire, frying these vadais fresh and hot… the aroma is extremely tempting.

Amma makes lovely vadais masala vadais, medu vadais, Vazhapoo vadais… hmm she was too good at them. I am drooling here just thinking of it. When she made them I loved eating them fresh and hot. I confess that ?I hogged them shamelessly and never counted how many I ate. I just turn deaf to any warnings from the health conscious angel in me :) .

Thats Koki from the past. ?At present I have grown a little stronger, I dont give way for tempations so easily. “Reduce Deep Frying as much as possible” is the mantra in my kitchen. As a result I am hunting or experimenting for low fat and low calories version of any recipe. This lead to my experiements with my conventional oven for baking and roasting .

Just a drizzle in Chennai was enough for us to yearn for hot vadais or pakoras, now that we have bone chilling winter and snow as far as our eyes can see, Vicky and I wanted masala vadais. ?Thats when I tried to bake the vadais, my experiments with the oven :) .??I was a bit skeptic in the beginning, made a few mistakes with the first batch, corrected them in the second batch. I am glad, I tried baking the vadais as the results were highly delightful. They were so close to their fried counterparts in taste n texture that nobody else will realise you baked it unless you told them. ?On the healthy aspect of this recipe, the fried ones cannot even imagine to come closer to this guiltless, healthy, baked beauty.

Ok now to the recipe. This is my Mom’s recipe just that baked it instead of frying :)



What’s needed :-

  • 1 cup of Toor dal and Channa dal mixture , the ratio is your choice (I use 1:3 ratio like my mom)
  • 2 Tbsp of Urad dal
  • 2 Tbsp of Rice
  • 1/4 ?cup (or a little more) ?of finely chopped onions
  • 4 to 5 green chillies finely chopped (increase or decrease as per taste)
  • Chopped corriander leaves/cilantro a big handful
  • 1/2 tsp chillipowder
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp of fennel seeds
  • a small piece of ginger
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • a dash of hing
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 2 tbsp of oil

How to’s:-

  1. Wash and soak dals and rice together for an hour or moreVada1
  2. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  3. Drain the water from dal and grind the mixture to a coarse paste adding as less water as possible
  4. Grind the fennel seeds, ginger and garlic coarsely. Add this paste to the ground dal
  5. Add all other ingredients except the oil.vada2
  6. Grease a baking sheet or a muffin pan. ?I used both of them to save time.
  7. Make small balls out of the vada mix and flatten them like vadais.
  8. Line them up in the baking sheet or put them in the muffin pan. Slightly brush them with oil on topvada3
  9. Bake them for 10 – 15 mins or until the top is golden brown. Then take them out and let them cool for a couple of minutes
  10. Turn them and brush with oil on top and bake them till the top is golden brown.
  11. Take them out, let them cool a bit and then munch as many as you can :) vada4

How not to’s :-

  1. Do not try to turn the vadas or remove them from the baking sheet when they are hot. A few minutes of cooling helps you take out the vadas in the shape ?that they are supposed to be traditionally.

Biting into these crunchy crispy delicious Vadais can never be better when they are guiltfree and it is snowing outside.



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