When we say "vadai" everyone thinks about the deep fried snack only, but this Vaazhaipoo Vadai which is a specialty recipe at my in-law's family is not of the deep fried variety. This recipe has been handed down to us through my husband's grand mother who lived 99 years till she breathed her last a couple of years back.
As we all know, Vaazhaipoo is very good for health especially because of its mild bitter taste(tuvarpu as they say in tamil which has a detoxing effect) but due to its tuvarpu taste not many will relish it if it is cooked normally as porial etc. So usually they make it as paruppu usili. But all my inlaws make it as vadai.
To make this you will need -
2/3rd measure of thoor dal
1/3 measure of channa dal
one tspoon rice
7 or 8 red chillies
few spoons of oil
salt to taste
This is how you make it -
Soak the dals and rice together for 2 to 3 hours.
In the mean time separate the vaazhaippo stocks and clean them by plucking out that hard stick like part one by one( we call this in tamil as kallan, kallan means thief in tamil , since this stick like thing is hidden inside and you need to probe it out I guess they gave the name "kallan") Once this is done, cut the stocks in to small pieces and to keep them from turning black due to oxidization by air, put them in water to which few spoons of buttermilk is added and keep them aside.
Grind the soaked dal with red chillies and a spoon of salt to a coarse paste. Make sure that you dont add water unnecessarily. If it is soaked well and drained completely it can be ground with out water or just a few spoons of water. Transfer it to a basin and sqeeze out the water from the vaazhaippo cuttings and add them to the ground paste, add little turmeric powder, little hing powder, few sprigs of curry leaves cut finely and mix well.
Smear oil in the cavities of the idli mould and take portions of the mixed dal veggie mixture and shape it like a vadai and keep them in the idli mould. Steam them in a pressure cooker for about 5 to 7 minutes. It will become hard and cooked well by this time (you can check if its done by pricking a tooth pick). Remove them when it has cooled down a bit.
Now place a non stick sauce pan on the stove add few spoons of oil and season with some mustard seeds, when it crackles place the steamed vadais on the pan and just let them saute on a slow fire. Once one side is nicely browned then turn it to the other side add few spoons of oil and cook again. Your crispy non oily Vaazhaipoo Vadais are ready to serve.