Day 119 - Chick Pea Fritters

I still can't figure out why these fritters are called 'aama' vadai (aamai translates as turtles in my native Tamil), perhaps its because of the turtle shell like shape of the final dish. Whatever the reason, these fritters have a wonderful crisp bite on the surface ans a light airy interior with a nutty flavor. As with most South Indian dishes you can theoretically have a dozen flavor variations with the same base, but this version has a simple seasoning of cilantro stems & arbol chiles

You need:
1/2 cup split garbanzo beans (Chana Dal)
1/2 cup split dehusked Urad dal
1/4 cup fresh cilantro stems
1-2 dried arbol chile
1/8 teaspoon asafetida powder (optional)
salt to taste
3 cups oil for deep frying.

Rinse and soak the dals along with the arbol chile in hot water for about an hour. Drain and add the dals, rehydrated arbol chile and asafetida  into the bowl of a food porocessor, Pulse about 10 times to chop up the dals and then let the processor run for about 2 minutes. Drizzle just enough chilled water to ensure that the dals come together into a thick coarse paste. Transfer into a bowl and fold in the chopped cilantro. Hold off on the salt until you're ready to fry them
Heat the oil in a wok, and while the oil is heating up, incorporate the salt into the dal mix. using an ice cream scoop take about a ping pong ball size of the mix over your fingers. Use the thumb to flatten the mix into a disc. Gently transfer the disc over to a slotted spoon and lower it into the hot oil. Fry each side for about 2 minutes on a medium until its golden brown.
Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil. Serve hot with a side of coconut chutney.


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