Some Minapa Vadiyalu (sun dried lentil crispies) in my curry, please!

Vadiyalu

Some of these crispies in my curry, please!

Besides making pickles, summers are the time to prepare varied sun-dried goodies and store them for the entire seasons to come. I remember my mother preparing various such accompaniments in summer, like papads, minapa vadiyalu, saggubiyam vadiyalu, biyyam vadiyalu, pela vadiyalu and goomidakaya vadiyalu. During the initial years of my marriage, I was very eager to learn all the traditional dishes and teamed up with my mother in law to make a variety of sun dried savories – mainly as we had a terrace where we could dry these fritters to glory!

What are vadiyalu?

Vadiyalu is the generic term used in Andhra Pradesh to refer to lentil/ rice/ vegetable based sundried items, which are stored and later fried whenever required. Savor these as an accompaniment, with rice and dal, or add these to certain types of curries or just have these crunchy fritters, as a snack.

Similar ‘crispies’ are referred as vati, bari, vadi, wadiyan or badi in the Northern parts of India, however the procedure and ingredients used for making it differ. Moreover, varied dals (lentils) are used to make these badi’s.

Types of the sun-dried dumplings from Andhra Pradesh:

Of the many varied types of crispies, the most popular ones in Andhra Pradesh and which my mother makes are:

  1. Minapa vadiyalu: are very popular and easy to prepare. They are also known as pappu (dal in Telugu) vadiyalu in South India or urad dal badi in North India. Usually these are deep fried and added to certain type of curries only. The specific ‘koora’ (curry) to which these lentil fritters are added are: vankaya kharam koora (brinjals spiced with green chillies and ginger), cabbage pesarapappu koora (cabbage with split green gram), anapakaya pesarapappu koora (bottle gourd with split green gram) and berakaya persarapappu koora (ridgegourd blended with split green gram) Or these can be savored plain with rice and dal or sambhar. I prefer to make these ‘fritters’ with white urad dal. Some use the black skinned urad dal to make these vadiyalu which is a more time consuming process, as the black skin on the dal has to be removed first after soaking it.

    vadiyalu

    Tempting tales…..

  2. Saggubiyam fryums: I love to eat these just as an evening snack. These are made with sago and some spices. Divya has posted a detailed process to make these on her blog: Divya’s Cooking Journey .
  3. Biyyam vadiyalu: these are rice based fritters. And one of the tastiest! I love the crunchiness and simplicity of these humble fritters. Check out the detailed recipe on Spice your life.
  4. Pela vadiyalu: these are made with popped rice, known as pelalu in Telugu. My daughter Shreya, loves to munch of these with dal rice. I am yet to learn to make this delicacy from my mother. The detailed recipe is listed on Aharam blog.
  5. Boodida Goomidakaya or Gummidi (ash gourd in English) vadiyalu: Among’st the above four types, these are the toughest to prepare as it involves a time consuming process. The ash gourd, is first cut into fine pieces and tied in a thin cotton cloth. Over this a heavy stone or mortar is kept to drain out the water, overnight. As this process helps to preserve the vadiyalu for a longer time, buy removing the moisture. My younger sister, Parimala, loves these ‘munchies’ and  during her childhood days. She used to have always have her meal by mixing the pieces of vadiyalu with plain rice. Kiran has listed the detailed recipe to make these, on her blog.  I have earlier posted about the non-dried version of these fritters, made with ash gourd – pachi vadiyalu  (ash gourd fritters). Do check it out.

    vaduyalu

    My younger sister, Parimala’s favorite accompaniment

International PapadBadi day:

May 13 is celebrated as International PapadBadi day! When I read Rushina’s blog post, about the various Indian Food Observance Days, I was enthused to write blog posts about these ‘traditional Indian delicacies’. Thus am joining in to celebrate the rich and varied Indian food! #PapadBadiday

The crispy vadiyalu sits atop the spicy curry, its soft crunch lending an extra ‘oomph’ turning a simple meal into a memorable culinary experience!

Here comes my mother’s recipe.

vadiyalu

Varied are the signs of a mother’s love!

Print Recipe
Minapa Vadiyalu (sun dried lentil crispies)
Minapa vadiyalu are very popular culinary accompaniments and are easy to prepare, too. They are also known as pappu (dal in Telugu) vadiyalu in South India or urad dal badi in North India. Usually these are deep fried and added to certain type of curries only.
vadiyalu
Course condiments
Cuisine andhra
Prep Time 6-10 hours
Cook Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 3 days
Servings
persons
Ingredients
Course condiments
Cuisine andhra
Prep Time 6-10 hours
Cook Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 3 days
Servings
persons
Ingredients
vadiyalu
Instructions
  1. Soak urad dal in water for 6-8 hours, preferably overnight. Wash it in water and grind the dal to a smooth paste.
  2. Add minimum quantity of water to obtain a batter of thick consistency. It should be similar to the batter prepared to make medu vadas.
  3. Make a paste of ginger and green chilies. Add this to the batter along with salt. Addition of jeera is optional. Mix well.
  4. Drying process: In a sunny place, on the terrace or in a balcony, spread a large plastic sheet and place some weights near its corners.
  5. Starting from one end of the sheet, keep placing small dumplings of the batter (vadiyalu) in sequential rows. Keep a distance of around ½ inch between each vadiyalu. This can be done either with fingers or with the help of a small spoon. Let these dry in the sun for the full day.
  6. At dusk, bring these into the house, cover with a thin cloth. And leave it undisturbed. Carry the intact plastic sheet with the vadiyalu and dry it in the sun, the next day day, too. Check whether these have dried completely at the end of the day. If yes, remove these from the plastic sheet gently and store them in an airtight container. If these have not dried, dry these the third day too and repeat the procedure as listed in the above step.
  7. Usually during hot summers, these vadiyalu dry well and are ready to be savored and/or stored within 2-3 days.
  8. When required, deep fry these in hot oil until they are golden brown in color. Savor with rice and dal, or add these to curries, or relish them as a crunchy evening snack.
  9. Note: After ensuring there is no trace of dampness in the vadiyalu, store these in an airtight container.
Recipe Notes

“Summer cooking implies a sense of immediacy, a capacity to capture the essence of the fleeting moment.”

-Elizabeth David, food writer

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