I have been enjoying writing on my other blog, Perspectives Quilt, this month reminiscing about past travels. I have also just opened up a Pinterest and Instagram account, both of which I had been avoiding not only because I was busy but also because I am not a good photographer. However, since opening both accounts last week, I have found that I pay a little more attention to whatever photos I do take. I know I haven’t been doing justice, with my photos, to the delicious food that my mother has made though I have been diligently recording and sharing her recipes through this blog. I have resolved to try and work on my food photography skills a little, where possible.
So, when my mother made some vadai for tea this evening, I decided that it would be a good time to start experimenting with natural light and angles. Nothing major. Just a series of photos turning my little bowl, with my teatime snack, around. This is the photo I ended up satisfied with, after dozens of photos, which I then applied an instagram filter on.
What do you think? Does this photo make you want to have some vadai now?
Well, whether it makes you want to try some right now or not, please do try out my mother’s famous (among family and friends) recipe for homemade vadai with sambal. They are delicious and lovely to share at Iftar parties as well!
Vadai with Sambal
- Urad dal/ black gram – 1 cup, skin removed
- Green chillies – 2, chopped
- Onion – 1, medium sized and chopped
- Curry leaves – 2 sprigs
- Coriander leaves – 1 tbsp, chopped
- Baking powder – 1 tsp (optional)
- Low fat oil (sunflower or canola) – ½ litre (for deep frying) + 1 tsp (for sauté)
- Salt, to taste
- Freshly scraped coconut – ½ cup
- Red or Green chillies – 2, chopped
- Onion – ¼, chopped
- Ginger – ½ “ (optional)
- Curry leaves – 1 sprig, chopped
- Salt, to taste
- Soak the black gram, without the skin, for 3 – 4 hours.
- Grind the soaked black gram, adding a little water, to prepare the thick vadai batter.
- Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan and lightly sauté the chopped onion, chillies and curry leaves.
- Transfer the contents of the pan and the coriander leaves to the batter mix and add salt to taste. If you prefer, you can also add 1 tsp baking powder.
- Mix well and keep aside for 5 mins.
- Heat the oil in the pan for deep-frying.
- Take a piece of banana leaf or something equivalent, dab some water on the surface and put a spoonful of batter onto the leaf. Shape it into a round or elliptical shape with a hole in the middle, like a mini doughnut.
- Transfer to the oil pan, 3 to 4 at a time, and fry until golden brown on both sides.
- Mix and grind all ingredients for the sambal and add salt, to taste.
- Serve the vadai with sambal and some Sri Lankan tea.
Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.