Vadiyalu are sun dried crisps, sundried lentil balls or patties made with either lentils, vegetables or rice. Name of the vadiyam (singular) starts with the ingredient used, followed by the word vadiyam. Vadiyalu are either added to curries to enhance the flavor, can be eaten with rice or eaten as it is as a snack.
Today I have vadiyalu made with tomatoes and atukulu / poha / beaten rice. Atukulu and tomato puree are seasoned with chili powder, green chilies and salt, lot of herbs are thrown in to make the vadiyalu mixture. This mixture is then shaped into patties and sun dried until the patties are very dry, about 3 – 4 days, to up to a week. These are then deep fried and served with rice. It is usually mixed with rice.
I made these vadiyalu as part of my Journey Through Telangana Cuisine for letter W. I had to twist the letter and do W for wadiyalu as I could not come up with any other regional food that starts with W.
Below is the picture of sun dried vadiyalu, before frying.
Below is the collage of step by step preparation of vadiyalu.
- ¼ cup Sesame Seeds
- 2 medium sized Tomatoes (250 grams and about 1 cup when pureed)
- 1 ½ cups Atukulu (120 grams)
- 1 – 1 ½ tsp. Chili Powder (adjust to taste)
- 1 – 1 ¼ tsp. Salt (adjust to taste)
- ¾ – 1 tsp. Cumin Seeds
- 3 small Green Chilies
- 2 – 3 Green Onions, chopped (½ cup)
- ⅔ – ¾ cup chopped Cilantro
- Wash and put the sesame seeds in a strainer to drain the water.
- Wash tomatoes, chop and puree them in a grinder or a food processor.
- Grind together green chilies and cumin to a paste. Cumin can be added whole but I prefer grinding it. I crushed these separately but green chilies and cumin can be added to tomatoes when pureeing.
- Take all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Do a taste test and adjust seasoning.
- Keep the mixture aside for 10 minutes until atukulu/beaten rice is soft. Atukulu will soak in tomato puree and no need to add any water. The day I made these vadiyalu, I was caught up in some other work and left the vadiyala mixture for 20 minutes. Atukulu very soft. That is fine though. In fact I liked the texture of the mixture.
- Spread a clean cloth or a ziploc bag on a flat surface in sun. Take about 2-3 tbsp of mixture in hand, make a round ball, flatten it to make a patty. Place it on the plastic bag or a cloth. Repeat, to make remaining vadiyalu.
- I do not have a balcony or terrace to dry the vadiyalu under direct sun. I lined a baking tray with ziploc bag and placed my vadiyalu on it. Then put the tray in the window where I get plenty of sunlight from 11 am to sunset.
- Let the vadiyalu dry for 3-4 days or up to a week until very dry. Flip the vadiyalu around once a day for even drying on both sides.
- Once completely dry, store in an airtight container.
To Fry Vadiyalu:
- Deep Frying – Heat oil in a pan for deep frying.
- Once the oil is hot, dip each vadiyam in water and immediately drop in hot oil. Do not soak the vadiyam in water, just dip in water and remove.
- Fry the vadiyalu on medium high flame until brown, turning them around.
- Once brown and fried on both sides, remove from oil, drain on paper towel.
- Serve with rice.
- How to eat the vadiyam? –Break the vadiyam into pieces, mix it with rice and eat.