I am doing 'A - Z' recipes based on Andhra cuisine this month, presenting dishes with regional names in an alphabetical order and it's time for the letter 'P' today.
This 'aavadalu' was supposed to be my first post of this marathon but my husband's favorite alasanda vadalu aka black-eyed pea fritters came in between and this was pushed to today's 'P' post. I prepare these perugu vadalu at least once a year, especially on my husband's birthday since these are one of his favorite fritters. His birthday is next month but these got made two months in advance this time. Perugu is Telugu word for yogurt / dahi and these perugu vadalu also called as perugu garelu or aavadalu are the spicy, Andhra version of the north Indian dahi vadas. While 'Perugu vadalu' is the most common term used in the state, 'Aavadalu' is a term used mostly in the upper coastal regions. I had noticed during our vacation in the Godavari districts that these aavadalu are served as a breakfast even in the small food joints there. It may be a form of recycling leftover vadas, I guess.
What are perugu vadalu? Urad dal / Black gram fritters are freshly made and then allowed to soak in a spicy, yogurt sauce for few hours. No sweeteners go into the recipe as I had noticed some non regional bloggers were mentioning. Instead, one uses fresh yogurt which naturally is subtly sweet, at least in our circles. These are served alone and no condiments go with them usually since the ginger - chillies in the yogurt sauce lends the spice factor to the dish. Where as the north Indian versions of dahi vadas / dahi bhallas go with load of embellishments like chutneys and as such. The yogurt sauce here is yellow in color, thanks to the turmeric used in the recipe.
The perugu vadalu are prepared only spicy enough that one can handle. It is not like they are overtly hot and you need a glass of cold water besides you to enjoy them. The spice level of the yogurt sauce can be customized according to one's preferences. And one more difference between the north Indian and this version is the vadas are allowed to slightly cool after the frying and are directly dunked into the yogurt sauce. In north India, they are dunked in water before dropping them into yogurt so that they soak the flavors well and quickly. Perugu vadalu are instead allowed to sit for few hours for the flavors to mingle, before savoring them.
Traditionally, perugu vadalu were prepared on festival days. It can be a part of party meal too since it can be prepared in advance and actually tastes better after sitting for a while. It is a great savory treat and can be enjoyed any time. And if you have left over vadas, they can be recycled too by just preparing the yogurt sauce.
Some 'P' culinary terms:
Palahaaram - Breakfast / Snack
Paalu - Milk
Pachadi - Chutney / Pickle
Pachi - Raw
Pakam - Syrup of sugar / jaggery
Pandu - Fruit
Perina neyi - Unmelted ghee
Perugu - Yogurt
Podi - Powder / Spicy powder condiments
Pindi - Any flour / batter
Pulupu - Sourness
Pantry / Produce:
Pachi Senagapappu - Split chickpeas / chana dal
Pallilu - Peanuts
Pappulu - Roasted split chickpeas
Panchadaara - Sugar
Pelalu - Popped rice grains with husk (Popped Vadlu)
Pesalu - Green Moong
Pesarapappu - Moong dal
Paalakoora - Spinach
Pachi Mirapakaaya - Green chillies
Panasa Pandu - Jack fruit
Pandu mirapakaya - Fresh red chillies
Paayalaaku - Purslane leaves
Pampara Panasa - Grape fruit variety
Perugu Thotakoora & Ponnagantaku - Variety of Greens
Potlakaaya - Snake gourd
Puchakaaya - Watermelon
Pudina - Mint
Everyday kind dishes:
Pesarattu, Pullatlu & Pullatakulu - Breakfast dishes
Pappu / Pappu Pulusu - Lentil based dishes
Patoli - Vegetable and Lentil preparation
Perugu Pachadi / Perugu Pulusu - Stews based on sour yogurt
Panasapottu Koora - Raw jack fruit curry
Pindi Miriyam - A spicy stew made with lentils
Pulusu - Sweet and tangy stew, made with or without lentils
Pulusu Koora - A sour and spicy preparation using greens
Paala thalikalu, Paanakam, Pakam garelu, Panasa thonalu, Panchadaara Chilukalu, Panchamrutham, Payasam, Pheni, Poli, Pootharekulu
Pakodi & Punukulu - Deep fried snacks
Paalakaayalu - savory snack
Pelala vadiyalu - Popped husked rice grains wadi
Pannaram - Soaked moong dal with basic seasoning of salt
Pulihora - Rice preparation
Ingredients: (yield 20 - 22)
1 cup urad dal / split black gram / minapappu
1 tsp. grated ginger
2 - 4 green chillies (depending upon the spiciness of the chillies)
1 tbsp. oil
2 tsp. mustard seeds
20 curry leaves
1/8 tsp. turmeric powder
5 cups fresh and thick yogurt
Salt to taste
Oil to fry
* Wash and soak urad dal in enough water to cover it, for about two hours. Drain the water after the soaking period. Grind urad dal adding salt and a little water, to a soft and thick batter.
* Heat oil in a deep frying pan until a pea sized batter dropped into it comes to surface immediately.
* Keep a bowl of water beside the stove. Wet both hands, take a lime sized portion of the batter and flatten it on a greased banana leaf / plastic sheet or your palm. Make a hole in the center and carefully slide the vada into the hot oil. Repeat the steps, make vadas and drop as many as the frying pan can fit.
* Fry the vadas in batches on low flame, until they are cooked golden brown through out. Transfer them onto absorbent paper towels and let them cool a bit.
Preparing the yogurt sauce:
* Add the yogurt and salt to a mixing bowl and gently whisk the yogurt.
(* Traditionally ginger and green chillies are ground and mixed into the yogurt at this point. That is how my mother and aunts prepare it too. However I would like to saute ginger and chillies in hot oil so that people who don't like to eat chillies can discard them while eating.)
* Heat oil, add grated ginger and saute. When it starts to turn golden brown, add mustard seeds, curry leaves and finely chopped green chilles. Saute for few seconds, add turmeric powder and turn off the stove. Let it cool. Add this tempering to the yogurt and mix well. (If you haven't added the ginger and chillies to the tempering and preferred to add the ginger - green chillie paste, add that as well to the yogurt and mix well.)
* Taste the yogurt mixture and adjust the salt quantity if needed. If it is spicy, fix it adding some more fresh yogurt. Add the fried vadas (not hot ones) to the yogurt mixture and stir them properly with a spoon so that they get soaked well properly in the yogurt sauce.
* Cover and let it sit for at least a couple of hours for the vadas to soak up the flavors.
* Any leftovers can be refrigerated and consumed with in two days. any period further, the yogurt gets sour and vadas do not taste good.
So far on my 'A - Z' Andhra Cuisine,
A for Alasanda Vada
B for Bellam Garelu
C for Chiyali
D for Dondakaaya Kaarapu Kaaya
E for Endu Kobbari Podi
F for Fine Biscuits
G for Gongura - Mamidikaya Pappu
H for Halwa Holigalu
I for Idli Karam Podi
J for Janthikalu
K for Kobbari Koora
Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 63.
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