Kirai vadai, a crispy and spicy South Indian appetizer made of black gram dal, spices and chilli, served with coconut chutney.

Keerai Wadai

Kirai vadai prepares the perfect festive dish to celebrate Ugadi, the new year in Telugu, which falls on the 8th day of the month. April 2016 falls. Keerai vadai is a snack made of fried and crispy urad dal with a variety of spices. Vadai is a special food of the South Indian culture. Kirai in Tamil means green leafy vegetable and Vadai or Vada means spicy fry. In Telugu, Vadai is called Gararelu.

In South India, especially in Tamil Nadu, you will find a number of street vendors and tiffin centres selling these exciting snacks in the morning and evening. The merchant hides in his surroundings as he stuffs these tasty morsels into a large, wide cooking vessel and pours hot pipes from the stove. He serves wadai kerai with a raw chutney, usually coconut-based. I have enjoyed it during my travels in the south, in the popular centres of Tiffin, but the best kerai vadai I have ever tasted was in Tirumal, the home of Lord Balaji. The street vendor was just across the street from where we stopped, and his kirai wadai were sold a few minutes after they were prepared. I watched the cook prepare them with such ease, and I was also lucky enough to get the real wadai kerai recipe from her. She insisted that I use all the spices mentioned in the recipe and not skimp on any of them to appreciate the true taste of Wadai Kerai.

The taste and texture of Wadai Kerai Wadai varies from bowl to bowl depending on the ingredients. Some traders shape the very flat ore, while few shape it into thicker vadai. I like it flat and crunchy. The closer the vadai, the clearer the vadai. Temperature control is just as important to create a crispy outer layer with a soft, moist center. I love the simplicity of this dish which is mainly based on spices, ginger and green chillies.

wadai ore recipe

Follow this traditional recipe step by step, hotel style, kerai wadai or kerai medu wadai.

Basically, you should use quality black grams, whole, skinless, aka urad dal. Wash the urad dal and soak it in sufficient water for at least 2-3 hours. Rinse and drain again and grind the dal coarsely by adding very little ice water in a blender. Do not use more than 4 or 5 tablespoons of ice water. It doesn’t have to be a smooth dough. Grind coarsely so that pieces of valley are visible and the dough has a coarse texture. Add the chopped onion, ginger, green chillies, spinach, coriander, mint leaves and salt. I used spinach, but you can also use amaranth leaves. Beat the soil mixture by hand for a minute to aerate it.

Wet your hand with water and form a large ball of urad dal mixture.

 

Ground urad dal with spinach, onion, green chillies, fresh coriander, mint.

Place the formed ball on a plastic sheet or banana leaf moistened with water. It should be no more than 1/4″ thick, and make sure the outer edge of the vadai is very thin relative to the center. Make a hole in the middle.

Heat enough oil to fry in a thick-bottomed pan. Once the oil is hot, gently place the wadai in the hot oil. Don’t add more than 2 or 3 vadai at a time because we don’t want to overfill the ship. Reduce the flame to half height and leave it intact for a little less than two minutes. Slowly turn them over and cook until golden brown. At the end of cooking, increase the flame to high intensity and let them get crispy and golden. Place them in a serving dish with a spoon. Prepare the kerai medi wadai with the rest of the dough in the same way.

 

Keerai-medu wadai education and fry wadai

For breakfast, I served wadai kerai with hotel style coconut chutney and sambar tiffin. If you are looking for a vegetarian or vegan dish that is rich in protein, Kerai Wadai is for you. It is an irresistible appetizer when served with tomato ketchup and masala chai. They are also perfect for a lunch or box of tiffins. You must add this recipe to your favorites, because this Ugadi is definitely a fantastic party dish.

how to make wadai ore

On festivals like Navratri, Varalakshmi vratem or during fasting, you can prepare Kerai Vadai without onions.

How to make kira vadai at home.

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