Curry leaves is a must for this Indian snack as the leaves give a very aromatic scent and taste, and the the yellow split beans are very crunchy after frying. In my hometown Muar, Malaysia street vendors were selling this snack 4 pieces for RM 1.00 (less than 40 cents in US). I believe they use dhal beans. I can’t find dhal beans here but use a very similar type of dried bean– dried yellow split beans 马豆.
Fried Indian Yellow Bean Cakes ‘Masala Vadai’
1 pack (14oz) dried yellow split beans 马豆– soaked in plenty of water for at least 4 hours
1 small onion– finely diced
5-8 red hot peppers– finely chopped
2 stalks curry leaves– remove leaves from stems and finely julienned
2 tsp salt
2 tsp cornstarch or tapioca flour
- Rinse soaked beans and drain. Grind in food processor until it resembles coarse sand. The beans should look slightly coarser than cornmeal.
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Use fingers to ‘massage’ the mixture so it is a little sticky– this will help hold the shape during frying.
- Heat up enough oil in a frying pan on high until the oil is hot (if a wooden skewer/chopstick sticks into the oil and there are bubbles coming out of the skewer/chopstick, the oil is ready). Scoop a heap tbsp of bean mixture and flatten it on your hand to form a 1/4 inch thick disc. Slowly and gently slide the patty into the oil. The cakes will sink to the bottom but will float to the surface later. Fry until golden brown on both sides. Turn down heat to medium high if brown too quickly. Drain on paper towel.
- Dried yellow split beans and curry leaves can be found in Asian or Indian grocery stores.
- I always use my old 9″ pot for frying, it does help minimize oil splashing, and use less oil as to using a frying pan- takes a little longer though as you can only fry fewer pieces at a time.