Summer time is the right and best time to prepare all the sun dried vadagams at home and store it for almost a year. My mom and grandma used to wake up very early in the morning and start preparing the dough/ mix for making the vadagams and with some help from a maid start pouring/ dropping the mix to sun dry on top of our terrace before the sun comes out or else it will be very difficult to stay out and work.
At my house like many other houses vadagams are fully home made and prepared and stored for a year. Now my mom does make vadagams for all her 3 children and sends it every year without fail. So she tries to do each of vadagams at a time so that she can pass it all 3 of us that includes my sister, me and brother who all live in US. Though our lunch consists of rice, veggie and some dhal and curries, a small fried portion of some vadagams goes best with all and nothing tastes more good than home made ones. All types of vadagams prepared at home are a great hit at my home among relatives and friends. This recipe is direct from my mom. This summer want to post some preserves/powders and fryums one by one as much possible.
Starting with my first post on vadagams, I want to post our family favourite Onion Vadagam. This vadagam is so tasty that you feel like having with any type of dhal or curries daily.
Though this vadagam is made with urad dhal, it is called as Vengaya( onion) Vadagam.
Urad dhal/Uddi pappu/Uddina bele/ Ulundhu - 1 tumbler(glass or apporx 1 1/2 cups)
Onion(sambar/pearl/small onions) - 1/2 KG ( Peeled and chopped fine)
Green Chillie - 50 Gms( chopped fine)
Curry Leaves - Few sprigs chopped fine
Asafoetida/Hing/Perungayam - 1 tbsp
Methi/Fenugreek Seeds/ Menthya/Menthi/Vendhayam - 1 tsp
Salt as needed
Wash and soaK Urad dhal along with methi seeds for 2 hours. Later drain the water and grind to a thick paste. Note the paste has to be very thick. Remove and transfer to a big mixing bowl. To it add chopped onion, curry leaves, green chillies, asafoetida and salt. Mix well.
Spread a cloth preferably a saree( grandma says synthetic works best). Have an other bowl with water.
Start taking some mix in hands between your palm and fingers and drop a small portion in the saree and repeat the same leaving a small gap between each. If the mix sticks to your hand, then dip your hands in the water and wet and start preparing the vadagams until you are done with the mix. Sun dry for at least 2 days. At the end of the second day remove the dried vadagams one by one carefully. Third day spread it in a big plate or cloth and sun dry until it is completely dry or dry it again for another day. Remove and store it in a air tight container.
Heat oil for deep frying. The oil should be hot and not piping hot like frying other vadagams. Once hot reduce flame and start adding in small batches that has to be fried as and when required. Carefuly fry till nice brown and again make sure the oil is not very hot or it will make the onion vadagams to turn black in few seconds and turn bitter. The slower the heat and the nice color tastes good.