Wash channa dal or split Bengal grams 2-3 times to remove impurities and soak it in 3 cups of water for 2-4 hours.
Drain all the water from soaked lentil and keep it aside until needed.
Break the dried red chillies into 2-3 pieces and place them in the bottom of a mixer grinder jar or food processor along with curry leaves. Next add the chana dal, cumin seeds, hing and salt to taste and press the pulse button few ties to get a rough paste without adding any water. Don’t worry if there are few whole lentils left as they will add crunch to the vadas.
Remove from the mixer grinder into a mixing bowl and mix them well. You should easily be able to shape them into small balls without crumbling.
Heat oil for deep frying in a pan or kadai on medium flame. While the oil is getting heated, shape the vadas for deep frying.
Pinch small lime sized balls and roll them into round balls. Flatten it gently by pressing them in between palms or fingers to make about 2-2½ inch round discs.
Drop these discs into hot oil and fry them in batches of 4-6 on medium flame until they turn golden brown in colour, about 2-3 mins.
Remove from the oil with slotted spoon and place them in a plate lined with kitchen towel to remove excess oil.
Serve these delicious Chattambade or Masala Dal Vada hot or at room temperature on their own with hot cup of coffee or tea. You can also serve them with any chutney, tomato ketchup or sauce of your choice and enjoy!
You can substitute dried red chillies to finely chopped green chillies in the recipe.
You can also add finely chopped one medium sized onion to the ground dal mixture.
You can also add 2-3 tbsp of grated coconut to the ground dal mixture.
If you like the spicy vadas, you can add ½ -1 tsp of black pepper corns to the ground dal mixture. Lightly crush the peppercorns with a help of a pestle and mortar before adding them.
You can serve the Chattambade or Masala Dal Vada on their own or with any chutney, tomato ketchup or sauce of your choice.
You can store them in an air tight container for 3-5 days in room temperature and up to 10 days in refrigerator.
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