Theepawali Nalvaalthukkal! (Theepawali greetings)
For today’s specialty food, I would like to share a delicacy from my birthplace – the “Paruthithurai Vadai”. This vadai is generally prepared in Jaffna during festival seasons. While I have had the privilege of trying out this vadai in different places across Jaffna as well as at the homes of friends and relatives, the best, crunchiest “Paruthithurai/Thattai Vadai” that I have eaten to date has been that made by my mother. So, here’s the recipe for it.
Paruthithurai/ Thattai Vadai
Time taken: 1 ½ hours + 6 hours (soaking time)
Makes 50 – 60
- Split urad dhal – 1 cup
- Wheat flour – 1 cup, steamed
- Wheat flour – 1 cup, regular not steamed
- Crushed chillies – 1 or 2 tbsp
- Onion – 1, ground
- Curry leaves – chopped
- Fennel seeds – 1 tbsp
- Salt, to taste
- Water, as required
- Oil, for deep-frying
- Soak the split urad dhal for around 6 hours. Drain and peel the skin.
- In a mixing bowl, add the drained and peeled split urad dhal, wheat flour both steamed and regular, crushed chillies, ground onion, chopped curry leaves, fennel seeds, salt, bringing them together using a little water to make the ‘vadai’ dough.
- Divide the dough into 50 – 60 balls. Flatten each ball on a flat surface that will not stick. Alternatively, the dough can be rolled out and cut into thin circles using a cutter;
- Heat the oil for deep-frying. Do not let the ‘vadai’ dough sit out too long and transfer to the frying pan as soon as the dough has been made and the balls have been flattened into the thin ‘vadai’ shape.
- Deep-fry the vadai in batches until they are golden brown.
- Transfer the vadai to a tray lined with grease absorbing paper. The vadai can be stored, for many days, in an air-tight jar.
Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.