Feb 20 - Aama Vadai (Chana dal Fritters)
Before the term Falafel entered my culinary vocabulary, there was its Its South Indian cousin I'd been munching on all my life. The Aama vadai -- Aamai is the word for tortoise in Tamil, no doubt a reference to the pattern made by the coarsely ground chana dal in the batter, as well as the flattened shape -- is a classic staple in Tamil Nadu. There is a basic version upon which a countless variations can be created, shredded carrots, to scallions, to quinoa, the sky is the limit.
This was a basic aama vadai I made by simply soaking chana dal for about 4 hours and coarsely grinding it in the food processor with salt, green chilies, hing and a lot of cilantro stems. Scoope them out with an ice cream scoop and pat it into rounds and fry them. Its that simple.