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Vada's are always a delicacy at every Indian home. Be it simple vada's along with sambar, or be it masala vada's, dahi vada's, or even aloo vada.
With many of us getting conscious about the food we eat and the lifestyles we lead, we are look at alterenative healthier options for the deep fried food. Unfortunately as we all know, that the deep fried food's taste and texture cant be replicated by baking. Over the years of experimenting with baking and frying I have come to a middle path of using less oil. The equipment I use to make vada's, kofta's and many appetizers like potato balls, cheese balls, tiny tikki's etc is to use the Kuzhi paniyaram Pan or the Aebleskiver Pan. A pan with 7 holes preferably non stick pans use hardly a quarter teaspoon of oil and helps steaming lentil, rice batters and more.
This recipe is made from soaked and ground urad dal, flavored with chopped cabbage, green chillies and onions and steamed with a little oil in the Kuzhi paniyaram Pan . These vadas are exceptionaly tasty and healthy as well. Eliminates the hassels of getting the right shape as well. The vada tastes great in itself without the need for any accompaniments.
I was first introduced to the Khakra when I was in the eleventh grade by a Gujarati friend who used to bring these as a school snack. They were so delicious that friends and I used to make sure she does not get a morsel. Khakra is a snack made from whole wheat flour that is served for breakfast, tea or even taken as a travel snack. It is wholesome as it is made from whole wheat flour and delicately flavored with ingredients like fenugreek, turmeric and asafoetida.
Papdi's are little crisp round shaped spiced Indian crackers made from wheat flour are baked in the oven to add to the extra nutrition. The little crispies are use in chaats like Bhel Puri, Papdi chaat, and many more. You sure can innovate you your topping, may be like a chilli-cheese, or chilli corn and cheese, etc.
Bajji's, Bajjia or Pakoda's, named differently in various partys - are are raw vegetables dipped in a spiced gram flour batter and deep fried until golden brown. They are an all time favorite snack through all regions of India.
They can be made with any vegetable. Although the favorites vegetables are thinly sliced raw green plaintain, thinly sliced potatoes, thinly sliced ringed onions, cauliflower florets and sliced green capsicum. But definely, you are welcome to experiment with a variety of vegetables. You can also experiement with a range of spices for the dipping gram flour batter. Some add asafoetida, some add garam masala, some add nothing other than salt and turmeric. You can add some green chillies. The ideas are many. So go ahead and experiment.