Friday, May 3, 2013

The Great Outdoors & Parippu Vada (Lentil Cakes)

We finally did that thing that an average family aspires to do at least once. Yup, we went camping this weekend and spent an entire night in a tent nestled among tall redwoods! We went hiking, made s'mores, parippu vadas and tea and really just chilled.

Managed to watch a Malayalam movie on our fully charged laptop before retiring for the night! There was no cell phone access and even the mosquitoes decided to give us some space.

Boy was it fun.. Needless to say, the kids and H loved it. What was surprising was how much fun I had! I love the outdoors but not to the extent where I want to sleep in it. The buck stops at sleeptime. This camp site however had everything I could wish for. Full car access so we don't have to haul camping supplies along a long hike to the actual site. Bathrooms with
flushing toilets and hot showers not too far off and mild and relaxing hikes so my 8 year old won't tire so fast. Happy kids, happy mommy!

The weather last weekend was just perfect too. As the evening set we made s'mores in the warm comfort of the campfire.
We were also lucky to get a site that was hidden enough but close to the amenities. The stars just conspired to make me thoroughly enjoy this first trip. Let us hope it will continue. H and son had gone camping one time before with another father-son pair and that experience helped us to prepare for this one. As we are putting away the supplies I hope to do at least one more camping trip this year. When you are at camp and if you are not hiking or relaxing then you are probably engaged in cooking. We wanted to eat some parippu vadas for snacking and this is what led me to bring along ground parippu mix on the trip. It was worth the trouble of making patties and frying them when we dropped them into our mouths washed in with some freshly prepared tea!

So here is the scoop on the vadas. I know many of you are parippu vada experts. Since the first recipe I tried from spicyana came out well, I had always relied on it to reproduce the magic. She has combined it with a 'rasam' recipe for 'rasavadas'. I just follow the vada part of it. Thanks spicyana for this wonderful recipe with easy to follow steps.

In The Mix

lentils/parippu - 2 cups (i used toor dal. chana dal is also good)
ginger - 2tbsp (finely chopped)
onions - 1/2 cup finely chopped (spicyana's recipe asks for 1 cup)
green chilies - 1 tbsp chopped
curryleaves - 5 -10 leaf petals (i forgot to add it this time)
salt to taste

How To Do

Wash, drain and soak the parippu in water for 2-3 hours. Chop ginger, onions and green chilies finely. Now is the time to make that tea. Drain the parippu well and grind coarsley while adding salt to taste.
It is good to see a full sized parippu disc once in a while in the mix. Add the chopped mix to the ground parippu and keep covered for 10 minutes or so for flavors to blend. In our case it sat in the cooler for a few hours. All for the better!

Make flat round patties from the mix and set aside. Make sure the patties are not too thick in the middle even if the rounds are large. Light the stove and heat oil in a wide, flat bottomed pan. Add the patties one by one to the oil and fry on both sides till golden brown and crunchy if you like'em crisp. Drain on paper towels.

Sit down with tea cup in hand and finish it all off while still warm!