J is the king of strategy and timing. After frying something in the appam / aebleskiver pan, he will leave it on the stove instead of wiping it and putting it away. He knows that if I see the leftover oil, I will try to use it up by frying something else. And that’s exactly what happened.
Yesterday, I got multiple reminders on this site of how “lucky” I am because J was making those psychedelic things when I returned from the gym. I agree, it was exceptionally chivalrous and heroic on his part – being male and all – to fix himself a snack and offer me some.
But, well… my gratitude gene is either dormant or underwent a mutation ages ago and doesn’t kick into gear so readily. (For the record, J is as baffled at the response to his “achievement” as I am.) Now go on, tell him how lucky he is that I didn’t empty that stupid appam pan over this head, and how grateful he should be that I made this.
I used sage and parsley instead of the usual curry leaves and coriander (cilantro).
Sage (Salvia officinalis) is fantastic in this, and is much easier to grow in our climate than curry leaves. These south Indian fritters are much like the west Asian falafels. The Indian version uses either just chana dal (split bengal gram, quite similar to yellow split peas) or a combination of lentils, while falafels are made with soaked chickpeas.
I used equal parts of chana dal, moong dal (split , skinned ming beans) and toor dal (split, skinned pigeon peas). If you don’t have any of these lentils or cannot access an Indian grocery store, use just yellow split peas or a combo of yellow and green.
You can fry them up as regular fritters, but if you use the appam / aebleskiver pan, you need a total of 3.5 tbsps of oil. BTW, we got some queries about sources to buy that pan. While checking them out, we found a similar contraption called a takoyaki pan – also cast iron and priced about the same, but with 12 slots.
COCKTAIL LENTIL FRITTERS WITH SAGE (Parippu Vada/Masala Vada)
(Makes about 20 cocktail vadas)
1/4 cup each chana dal, moong dal and toor dal, soaked together for 2 hours
2 tbsps chopped red onion/shallots
2 to 3 chopped serrano or Thai bird chillies
1 tsp chopped ginger
salt to taste
1 tbsp each chopped curry leaves and cilantro (we used sage and parsley)
3.5 tbsps vegetable oil
1. Drain the lentils and save the water. Separate out 1/3 of the lentils. Blend everything (except the herbs and salt) to a coarse paste in a blender adding no water, or as little as possible (use the reserved lentil water).
2. Add the remaining lentils and blend a little more until 2/3 of the mixture is almost smooth and the remaining 1/3 is coarse. Add the herbs and salt.
3. Heat oil in the appam / aebleskiver pan on medium-high – with about 1.5 tsps vegetable oil per slot.
4. Gently drop heaped teaspoons of the lentil mixture into the oil.
5. Fry until golden brown on one side, then using a skewer or fork, gently turn them over.
6. Fry till golden brown on the other side, remove and put on paper towels to drain.
7. For the second and third batches, reduce the heat to low.
8. If you let the vadas sit on the paper towel for about 5 minutes after frying, they will crispen further.
These Cocktail Lentil Fritters with Sage go to Andrea @ Andrea’s Recipes for the anniversary edition of Grow Your Own.
WRAP SANDWICH WITH LENTIL FRITTERS
We had them at teatime yesterday. I also ate them for lunch today wrapped in a sourdough roti (flatbread) with some baby chard and tomatoes from our garden along with Tarator bi Tahina.
Tarator/Taratour is an Arabic sauce commonly served with Falafels. It is made various ways with breadcrumbs / pine nuts / walnuts / sesame needs or a combination. The common ingredients in all the versions are lemon and garlic.
Tarator Bi Tahina is made with sesame paste (sesame butter/tahini). You can use store-bought tahini, or grind up white sesame seeds with light sesame oil or vegetable oil.
Here’s our version.
TARATOR BI TAHINA
Makes about 2/3 cup
1/3 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
2 tbsps lemon juice
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves crushed or very finely minced garlic
salt to taste
a pinch each of cumin and paprika
Mix this all together and thin it out a tad with 2 tbsps water (or yogurt for a non-vegan version). Stir in some chopped parsley if you like.
This vegan wrap sandwich goes to Michelle @ Greedy Gourmet for SnackShots: Sandwich
and for the Nourishing Portable Food Challenge @ The Nourishing Gourmet.
Filed Under: bengal-gram, chana-dal, Chard - Swiss/Red/Rainbow, fritters, Garlic, India, Lemon/Lime, Lentils, masala vada, moong-bean, moong-dal, mung-bean, mung-dal, Onion/Shallot, parippu vada, Parsley, Sage, Sesame Seeds, split-pigeon-peas, tahini, tarator, taratour, Tomato, toor-dal, vegan recipes, vegetarian recipes, Wheat