Vazhaipoo vada is a delicious South Indian snack prepared with banana flower, lentils and spices. Banana flower or banana blossom is one of our family’s favourite. I buy every week and prepare usili, kootu or poriyal or even thuvaiyal with it. I also add it to adai and drumstick leaves poriyal. Banana flower is known as Vazhaipoo in Tamil. It is an excellent source of fibre, it helps prevent constipation. It also helps in alleviating menstrual pain.
How to make Vazhaipoo VADA
Soak the chana dal in water for 2 hours.
Take a mixie and add in the cumin, fennel seeds, dried red chillies, ginger and garlic. Add a couple of tablespoon of the soaked chana dal and grind to a coarse paste.
Once the masala is coarsely ground, add drained chana dal on top of it and grind again. Please do not add water while grinding. It’s very important. Pulse several times if necessary.
Now add the banana blossom to the mixie and grind again. If you do not have a heavy duty mixie, chop the banana blossoms before adding.
Remove the ground batter to a bowl and add in the chopped onions, coriander leaves, curry leaves, green chillies, a pinch of asafoetida and the salt. Mix well to combine.
Mix well and check for seasoning. Add extra salt if necessary. Form the vadai. Take a small lime size batter in hand and make a ball. Make small balls. Remember that smaller balls make for crispier vadai’s. Gently flatten it on the hands. Gather the edges to smoothen. The more you flatten, the crispier the vadais.
Gently lower the vadais in hot oil and cook the vadai on both sides until golden brown. Drain on paper towel.
1 cup Banana Blossom, cleaned
½ cup chana dal
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon fennel seeds
2 dried red chillies
½ inch ginger
6 cloves garlic
2 onions, chopped
4 sprigs coriander leaves, chopped
2 sprigs curry leaves, chopped
2 green chillies, chopped
a pinch of asafoetida
¾ teaspoon salt