Friday, August 14, 2009

Medu vada/garelu

Vada/vadai/garelu (in telugu) has been my favourite breakfast item since childhood. As I already mentioned earlier, while at home, I never ever bothered to look how something is made. Mom feeds, I eat, that's it :) Its only after I began to cook that I realized making garelu isn't my cup of tea. But my craving for vadas doesn't end even though I can't make them. And talking about Indian restaurants in San Diego, sheaaaa!! I am a much better cook than any chef at these places.

The solution to my problem was to make "hole-less" vadas.. :D I know its funny, but I just don't get the vada-with-a-hole ever right. So both of us kind of compromised on the shape of the vada. After all, who cares about the shape when they do taste good. This was until my ma-in-law came and made garelu, the way they were meant to be made. Maannnn! They were so crispy, so light, evenly cooked, what not. But I was scared to drop the vadas in hot oil like she did. More days pass by, she goes back to India, and I get back to my spherical vadas, and then this friend drops by, I offer her my vada, she laughs at it lacking a hole, though she says it tastes good. A day later, she emails me that there is indeed a gadget for vada-craver-no-maker like me. :) Had it not been for her, I would have spent all my life making golu-golu vadai, and may be even telling my children-to-be that this is what a vada looks like. :)

And then, I share this exciting news of vada maker with my mom who's already packaging a bunch of things for me. In goes the vada maker, and here it comes travelling across oceans to give me the boundless satisfaction of making the "holed" vada.

That's the story part.. Recipe, a very popular one, can be found on Even if you know the recipe, I suggest you take a look at the video. His aeration technique helped me make softer and lighter garelu.

Now this vada maker thingy did a mind-blowing job for the first batch of say 10 vadai. After that, the batter stuck to the bottom of the tool and didn't fall out of it as freely as it did for the initial round of garelu. Probably it needs to be cleaned after every batch. I had the bestest vadas in round 1 and because I felt lazy to clean the gadget, my batch 2 vadas ended up looking like shrimp and crabs. :)

Here are the clicks:

The vada-maker:

Batch 1:

Batch 2:

And once upon a time,

FYI, some of the objects arranged in a circular fashion above are garelu, the rest being burelu. Hardly distinguishable, ain't they? :) I had to weigh each piece to determine which is which. The heavier ones are sweet and the lighter ones vadai. Hahhahhaaa.. I have come a long way from Pic#4 to Pic#2, haven't I?

IMO, vada-maker is the most innovative kitchen tool ever invented. If you're like me too, scared of dropping the vada-with-hole batter into oil, this will amaze you.

All's good about the vada maker except for the cleaning part. Its sort of complicated on the inside, the design, and hence cleaning becomes tougher. With all that sheet metal, I even got my fingers pricked. :( So, be careful while cleaning.

On a concluding note, thank you dear S. I'll forever be grateful to you.. :)


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