Friday, August 20, 2010

I crave Parippu Vada & Chaaya!

Friday evening….more specifically, one of those days I had that I-want-to-feel-good itch. And I had made plans. I wanted to go to the riverside , show Little King his favorite duckies, stroll by the yacht club and sit somewhere, relax and drench in the beauty of the blue canvas dotted with fleet of yachts and watch the hawking seagulls flying on that clear blue sky…….

I was playing with Little King and as plans danced in my head, to that imaginary balmy weather at the riverside, I heard a heavy yet rhythmic tapping on my windows….the pitter patter of rains!!! I grabbed Little King off the floor and rushed to the balcony and it was pouring …. ….winds were blowing furiously yet I felt the swaying trees still retained a grandeur of their own…..I saw powerful streaks of flashing light followed by loud thunderbolts. And as I stood there marveling at the charm of rains, I saw the little guy, from the corner of my eye, all agape with eyes wide open…his iris moved swiftly as roaring thunderbolts and furious winds fought for dominance and then suddenly he noticed the heavy water-fall cascading down from the corner of the roof and I saw him waving his hands up and down and blabbering with excitement…..he smiled as the winds sprayed sprinkles on his face. And as I watched the twinkle in his eyes and the glow on his face, the overcast skies up there and the balmy weather I dreamt was already a distant memory!

As three of us sat there soaking in the beauty of rains, I saw Little King’s attention falling on the wooden planks of the balcony had uneven surfaces and the tiny splashes the rain drops created on those small water pools seemed to be amusing him. At that moment, the carousel of my memories stopped at the endearing sight of me and my brother making paper boats tearing that day’s newspaper and letting them float in the fresh pool of water the rains created in our front yard and in vain, I wondered if I would ever be able to create such memories for our little guy or if he would really enjoy paper boats in the first place!!!

As I was caught in thoughts quietly, I heard CJJ thinking aloud ,”…….ho…nalla vadayum chammantheem…..oru choodan chaayem kittiyirunnegil…..” ( I wish I had some deep fried savory fritters with a cup of tea….) Honestly, I wished for some deep fried goodness too, specifically for some Parippu Vada/lentil fritters and Chaaya/Tea but it was Friday evening and the only chore I could think of doing was eating out from some take-out box! And I did the next best thing, I opened the folder of Parippu Vada from my yet-to-post folder and feasted my eyes on those beautiful fritters and the glass of hot tea my mother made on a wintry evening while I was carrying our precious pea!!!!!

This is how my mother made ‘em :

  • 1 cup Thuvara parippu/Toor Dal/Yellow lentils, soaked for an hour
  • ¾ cup chopped small red pearl onions
  • 1/8 cup minced ginger – Around 2 tbsp
  • 1/8 cup minced green chillies (As per tolerance)
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for frying
  • In a wet grinder, grind Parippu/lentils with salt into a coarse paste, without adding water. To this, mix chopped onion, minced ginger and garlic and pulse one or two times to combine everything well. Transfer it to a wide bowl; tear off some curry leaves and mix well.
  • Heat oil over medium heat in a deep frying pan and check if oil is hot - by dropping a tiny bit of the dough into the oil and if it comes to the top sizzling with bubbles around, then oil is ready for frying. Scoop out a small amount of dough and roll into a gooseberry size ball with your fingers and flatten it gently on your palm or on a banana leaf or wax paper, whichever is convenient to you. Drop them gently into the hot oil, one or two at a time , depending on the size of your pan as well as your expertise, fry till it’s cooked both outside as well as inside. Please keep flipping each side as you fry the. Serve with tea or coffee of your choice.
Notes: If you don’t get to grinding the soaked lentils immediately, drain and store them in refrigerator which also eases grinding to an extent as it stops the mixer/grinder from heating up fast. Also while grinding , if the ground lentils goes beyond the coarse paste texture, stay away from pulsing onions and other herbs to mix well, instead gently combine with a spoon.

Hope it’s pleasant weather and weekend ahead for us. I think I should stop making plans and check the weather forecast for a change !! Wish you all a lovely weekend …am sure it is going to be a memorable one with Onam around the corner! :)


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