Holi recipe: Kaanji Vada
Foodies and regulars at the Dhaba by Claridges will know why Chef Ravi Saxena is such an intrepid cook in the kitchen. A glance at the menu, and you’ll realise how the man effortlessly experiments and yet manages to keep intact traditional tastes, by offering recipes with a twist. When it is about festivals like Holi, Chef Ravi believes that traditional recipes are the best bet. “I am from Uttar Pradesh and Holi there means we gorge on gujjiyas, dahi vada, and kaanji vada. After we play Holi, we have at least one non-vegetarian item for lunch,” he says. Kaanji vada, one of the mandatory dishes, has an interesting tale associated with it. “We say goodbye to winter with kaanji vada. It is the first cold dish that we start eating. It is prepared fermented in a pot, and when it is ready, the oldest person in the family serves it to everyone. My daadaji (paternal grandfather) used to serve us,” recollects the chef. Flatter than a medhu vada, these round doughnut-like treats are served throughout the day.
Recipe for Kaanji Vada
Urad dal (washed): 400gm
Refined oil: 50ml
For kaanji water:
Red mustard seeds: 50gm
Turmeric powder: 10gm
Asafoetida (hing): 4gm
Water: 2 litres.
Soak urad dal in water for a few hours (till it absorbs sufficient water).
Make a coarse paste of soaked mustard seeds in a mixer with little water.
Add turmeric powder, asafoetida, salt, black salt and mustard paste in 2 litres of water and set aside.
Make a thick paste of urad daal in a grinder to make vadas.
Heat oil in a pan, fashion vadas from urad dal paste, and deep fry until golden brown. Add them to the mustard paste and jar it.
Keep the jar in sunlight for two days to allow the mixture to ferment.