I snapped a quick picture of this before supper the other night. Dahi Vaddi (Vaddis?) are fried lentil patties, and so so good. It pairs well with creamy coconut rice and mango chutney. I'm guessing none of this is authentically Indian, but it passed my test. The lentil patties are great - crisp and spicy, with just the right amount of greasiness, which we all need sometime. Dahi Vaddi is standard in Indian vegetarian cookbooks, but my recipe is adapted from Nikki and David Goldbeck's American Wholefoods Cuisine.
1/2 cup dry red lentils
1 cup warm water
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. cumin powder
1 medium yellow onion, diced
Canola oil for frying
1. Soak dry lentils in water for at least two hours.
2. Place lentils (with any remaining water) in a blender or food processor, along with salt, cumin, and cayenne. Process until lentils are chopped into a thick meal. This takes a couple of minutes - keep a spatula handy to scrape un-blended lentils back down into the mix.
3. Mix diced onions into the lentil meal. I like to refrigerate this for an hour or two to make the patties firmer when it's time for frying, but it isn't totally necessary.
4. To cook, heat about a quarter inch of canola oil in a frying pan on medium-high heat. If the lentil mixture is firm enough, you can form little patties in your hand and carefully place them in the hot oil. If the lentil mixture is a little on the soft side, just drop spoonfuls of the mixture into the pan, being careful they stay separate - don't try to cook the whole works in one batch. Fry each patty for 3 to 5 minutes on each side, until they are nice and golden-brown. Remove from oil and dry on a paper towl, just to absorb some of the oil. Just be careful working with the hot oil - it deserves respect.
3/4 cup basmati rice
1/2 cup coconut milk
1. I prefer to cook rice in a steamer in my soup pot. This avoids any burnt rice, and I think the result is as good or better than the standard method. Steam rice until tender. Move to a saucepot, mix with coconut milk, and heat on low until milk is warmed.
recipe pending...I kind of made it on the spot...I'll be back with this recipe
Serve the Dahi Vaddi at once, or keep in the oven on low heat if the rice or chutney isn't ready yet. Garnish with a little cilantro if you like.