Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Karamani Vadai (Black-Eyed Pea Fritters)

Sri Om.
I was once told that the best thing to do when you wake up in the morning, and before you go to bed, is to hear the voice of and look into the eyes of a baby. Such a pure and innocent soul can emit only good vibrations to you, and radiate nothing but happiness. I absolutely agree! But since I don't have any kids, the second best that everyone has at the tip of their fingers is....... music! I've lately gotten into the habit of listening to some soothing music before going to sleep, to calm myself down at the end of the day, and to relax my mind and soul. It's proven to be very effective for me internally.

The movie, Kadal, has recently released worldwide. This Mani Ratnam film's music was, of course, directed by A R Rahman, and I'm loving every note. I especially love Nenjukulle, sung by newcomer, Shakthi Sree. Her voice is a unique one, because she brings about a certain olden-style, village-girl, vibrance to the song and it's absolutely mesmerising. Her voice flows like the Ganges, and just makes me smile. My husband always teases me that every week I have a new song that I get hooked to and listen to 100 times before moving on to the next song, but this song will be around my mind for a lot longer. Rahman and Vairamuthu have outdone themselves!

"Nenjukulley Omma Mudunjirukaen
Inga Ethisayil En Pozhapu Vidinjirukum
Vella Paarva Veesiviteer Munadi
Intha Thangatha Manasu Thanni Patta Kanadi
Valla Maniyaram Valaruga Gediyaram
Aana Puliyellam Adukkum Arigaram
Neer Pona Pinnum Nizhal Mattum Pogalayae Pogalayae
Nenju Kuzhiyilae Vanthu Vizhunthiruchu
Appa Nimunthavathan Apuramma Guniyalayae Guniyalayae
Kodakambi Pola Maram Kuthi Nikkuthae"
Humming this tune, I decided to make something interesting for some guests one evening. My mother told me once that she visited someone's house, and they made these amazing Karamani Vadais, that were so simple. She gave me the recipe, and I had to try it! They cooked really fast, and didn't absorb too much oil. They were delicious appetizers, and easy to prepare.

2 cups of Karamani / Black eyed peas
2 tablespoons of chilli powder
2 strands of curry leaves
3 tablespoons of flaxmeal (optional - this helps the vadais bind, but you can make without)
Salt to taste
Oil to fry 

Soak the peas for about 3 hours in boiling hot water:
Then put it in small amounts in a food processor and grind only a little for it to be coarse, and put it all in a bowl and add the salt, curry leaves and chilli powder and mix well. Then add flaxmeal and mix well:
Mix it well, and squeeze them into little balls:
 Fry them in hot oil (on a medium flame) till they are golden brown:
Ensure you fry them on a medium flame, because if you fry them on a hot flame, then it will become brown on the outside, but be uncooked on the inside.

Dry them on a paper towel, and serve hot with mint chutney or any other sauce of your choice.