Vazhaipoo Vadai / Banana Flower Vadai

Vazhaipoo Vadai or Banana Flower vadai or Banana Blossom Fritter is unique a south indian fritter or snack recipe prepared using lentils and spices.

Vazhaipoo Vadai is prepared in two ways. One way is grinding the cleaned banana flower with dal/lentils. Then onion and other ingredients(listed below) are added to make patties. The other method is to grind the lentils first, then finely chopped banana flower and other ingredients(listed below) are mixed together to form the patty or vadai.

The taste is almost same in both the methods but the texture is completely different. Sometimes grinding the banana flower changes the colour of the batter.

My personal choice is to mix the finely chopped vazhaipoo with the coarsely ground lentils which always gives a perfect texture, crispy outside and soft inside vadais.

Cleaning the banana flower takes time but it is worth to try for the delicious vadai it gives. To know how to clean banana flower, please check here.
Basic Information:
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Soaking Time: 2 to 5 hours
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 15 to 18 vadais

¾ cup channa dal
3 tbsp toor dal
1 cup banana flower, finely chopped
3 green chilli, finely chopped
¾ cup onion, finely chopped
2 tsp ginger, finely chopped
1 tsp fennel seeds
Salt to taste
A pinch asafoetida
1 sprig curry leaves
1 tbsp coriander leaves
Oil for deep drying

Video Recipe:

Method with step by step pictures:
1. Soak the toor dal and channa dal together in a bowl with four cups of water for 5 hours. It can be soaked overnight too. Minimum soaking time is 2 hours.
2. Just before making vadai, clean the vazhaipoo as described here.
3. Once cleaned, chop it finely and soak it in a buttermilk(or a mix of 3 cups water and 1/4 cup curd) till it is used for making vadai. This steps helps discoloration and reduces the bitterness to some extent.
4. Once the dal is soaked, wash and drain the water.
5. Add the dal to the mixie jar and grind it just for 4 or 5 seconds. It should be dry and coarse after grinding. No need to add water while grinding. Transfer the content to a bowl.
6. Drain the buttermilk from vazhaipoo and gently squeeze the excess water if any. Measure one cup vazhaipoo and add it to the bowl.
7. Add green chilli, onion, ginger, fennel, salt, asafoetida, curry leaves and coriander leaves.
8. Mix well and pinch a lemon size ball out of the dough.
9. Gently press and form a patty.
10. Deep fry it immediately. Fry 3 to 5 vadai at a time depending upon it's size. Repeat this step for remaining dough.
11. Deep fry it in medium to high heat until it turns golden brown.
12. Serve hot with any chutney .

Serving Suggestions:
1. Serve it for evening snack along with any of the Indian chutney recipes.
2. It is served as an appetizer.
1. The dal can be soaked from 2 hours to over night. I usually soak the dal for 5 hours which usually give me best results for grinding it in mixie.
2. Deep frying in medium to high flame gives crispy outside and soft inside vadai.
3. If the vadai dissolves in oil, then add a tbsp of rice flour or powdered roasted channa dal(chutney dal), mix it well and make vadai.
4. No need to add water while grinding. The moisture from the banana flower is just enough for binding the dough well.

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