Milagu vadas are very popular prasadam for the Lord Hanuman. They make a garland of this pepper vada and offer it to the god by lots of devotes. Most of the temples in my place do this and there is so much demand to book this.
Before my marriage I used to live in a house that’s just opposite to a big Balaji/Perumal temple (my parents are still living there). We know all the priests there and they are kind of family friends for us. My mom used to book this pooja in the temple at least once in 6 months in India. So after the pooja, they will give you the vadas as prasadam. My husband loves this vada and we always remember to keep some vadas for him before my marriage.
After I moved here after my marriage, I wanted to do the same pooja in the hindu temple here. When I enquired about that in the temple they told me that we have to make the vadas and bring. They also told me that since the pepper vada’s are a little difficult to make, most of them bring garland made of methu vada without onion. So I was also scared to try them and followed their instruction and made the regular medhu vadas.
Then after some time I thought of trying out the traditional pepper vadas. So I got the recipe and made them for my next pooja in the temple. Everyone in the temple, who tasted the vada, was excited and surprised. I felt so happy when some of them even asked for the recipe and noted it down.
Since my husband loves it, I make them as a snack sometimes. Even though it might look little complicated, all it needs is time and patience. It becomes easier with practice J
Yields approximately 20
1 and ½ cup of Urad dal
1 tablespoon pepper
Approximately ½ teaspoon salt
(adjust the salt according to your taste, I just gave the measurement I use normally)
Oil for deep frying
Wash and soak the dal for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes drain the water and keep the dal aside for another 30 minutes.
Then grind the dal along with the pepper in a grinder or blender without adding any water. Just grind them for about 15 minutes so that they are coarse. Make sure that you don’t add more than 2 tablespoon of water while grinding, add even that 2 tablespoon of water only if it is absolutely needed.
The vada dough has to be really thick and coarse.
Heat the oil for frying in a pan. You can check the correct temperature of the oil by dropping a small amount of batter into the oil and make sure it rises and floats on the top immediately. Once the oil is ready add the salt to the batter and mix them well.
Take ziplog bag/banana leaf/washed wet cloth and grease them with oil. Now one small size of a lime of batter and flatten them into a thin disc using your fingers and make a hole in the center. Gently lift them and slip them into the hot oil.
Take them out of the oil when they are just half fried and keep them aside. Continue the same with the remaining of the batter and keep them all aside.
Now take 5 to 6 vadas (half fried) and fry them again in the oil until they turn golden brown in color. The pepper vadas are really crispy. You can store them in an air tight container for a week.