June 22, 2010

Mixed Beans Vada

Thanks to the inspiration from Nupur and her Blog Bites #4, I managed to make use of and finish yet another lurking ingredient in my kitchen - a half -used bag of mixed beans intended for a soup. I have been holding on to this for more than an year now. Given that this bag required pre-planning and the beans had to be soaked before I used them and I hardly ever plan my cooking - this bag had a comfortable spot in the pantry. As I was looking for recipes to use these beans, I came across this recipe by Divya on Dil Se. I hardly ever do deep frying at home - my frequency of deep frying is 1-2 times an year and wasn't sure I wanted to last weekend. But the birdies are in St. Louis till the end of the week and my friends texted that they are running a little late and I decided to give this a try. I had  already soaked the lentils the previous night hoping to make a kurma. And I am so glad I made the vadas instead, as they were a hit and I actually ended up making another batch in the evening. 

I ground into a coarse paste without adding water, about 3 cups of pre-soaked mixed beans in the food processor with a little salt. I also added 3 tbsp of rice flour to make the vadas crispy. To this I added finely minced 2 green chilies, 1/2 an onion and 2 cloves of garlic. Seasoned with a little more salt and asafoetida powder. Mixed them all, and fried the vadas in oil till they were brown. 

And to continue the theme of using up lurkers, I made a simple no-cook chutney by using some of the left over produce in the fridge to dunk the vadas in. In the food processor, I ground together two carrots that were waiting to be used up, a bunch of cilantro that has started wilting, two cups of peanuts, 3 green chilies, salt and a tsp of cumin with water. The chutney was spicy and went well with the not-so-spicy vadas. And I used all the soaked beans for making more vadas in the evening!
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