I absolutely love vadiyalu and hope to share many traditional Andhra vadiyalu recipes on this blog as time goes by. Last year I posted the recipe for Pela Vadiyalu and Vidya contributed a recipe for Saggubiyyam Vadiyalu. Today, it is the turn of Atukula Vadiyalu.
Made with Atukulu (as Poha or Beaten Rice is called in Telugu), these vadiyalu are very easy to make and need very few ingredients. Also, made correctly, fried Atukula Vadiyalu are light as air and relatively light on the stomach.
I chose to make Atukula Vadiyalu this week because I could do most of the work from the relative coolness of my home and then dry them quickly over the long weekend in the brutal heat we are experiencing.
And my calculation worked! I have 120 of the crispest sun-dried Atukula Vadiyalu waiting to be fried and savoured.
Vadiyalu are small sun-dried fritters that can be stored for months on end and fried as and when required. Called Sandige in Karnataka, Wadi in Punjabi, and Vadagam in Tamil, every region of India has its own treasure trove of these sun-dried treats.
How to Make Atukula Vadiyalu (Andhra Style Aval Vadam | Avalakki Sandige)
Atukula Vadiyalu | Aval Vadam | Avalakki Sandige
- 1.5 Kgs Thick Atukulu, Poha
- 75 Gms Finely Chopped Spicy Green Chillies
- 300 Gms Finely Chopped Onion Optional
- 60 Gms Salt
- 3 Handfuls Finely Chopped Coriander
- 3 Litres Water
- In a very large vessel, dissolve the salt in water.
- Add the Atukulu to the salted water.
- With a gentle hand, mix well and set aside for 2-3 minutes. Do not use force or the Atukulu will disintegrate and you have have a lump on your hands!
- Transfer the soaked Atukulu into colander (s) and drain all the excess water.
- Leave the Atukulu to drain for about 30 minutes.
- Transfer the soaked and drained Atukulu into a large vessel.
- Add the chopped coriander, onion and green chillies.
- Using a gentle hand or a large ladle, mix till the onion, coriander and chillies are evenly distributed.
- Take 1/2 a handful of the mix in your hand.
- Using both your hands, press into a circular disc about 2" in diameter and 1/2" thick. Unless the mix is very dry, do not add any water. If the Vadiyalu are disintegrating just sprinkle some water and mix with a gentle hand.
- Place the vadiyam on a plate. You can stack them as you can see from the image in the step-by-step tutorial.
- Repeat the process to make other vadiyalu. You will get about 110-130 vadiyalu.
- Spread a 2 meter long cotton cloth or plastic sheet in the sun.
- Place the vadiyalu on the sheet to dry.
- Sun-dry for at least 3 days (24 hours in total) while flipping the vadiyalu over each day.
- Store in an air-tight container.
- In a kadhai, over medium flame, heat enough oil to accommodate 2-3 vadiyalu at a time. The Atukula Vadiyalu will swell as you fry them.
- Add the vadiyalu and fry them for 2-3 minutes. Flip over after a minute.
- Serve as an accompaniment to Sambar Rice, Bisi Bele Bhaat, or indeed any one-pot rice meal.
Step-by-Step Method to Make Atukula Vadiyalu | Aval Vadam | Avalakki Sandige
Soaking the Atukulu
- To a large vessel capable of holding about 3-4 kgs of Atukulu, add 3 litres of water.
- Add 60 gms salt to the water and mix well till the salt dissolves.
- With a gentle hand, mix till the Atukulu are well-soaked.
- Set aside for 5 minutes.
- Transfer the soaked Atukulu into colanders and let any excess water drain.
- Leave the Atukulu in the colander for 30 minutes. Any excess water will make the atukulu soggy and you will get lumpy vadams that will become rock-hard.
Making the Atukula Vadiyalu Mix
- Transfer the soaked and drained atukulu back to the large vessel.
- Add the chopped coriander, onion, and green chillies.
- Mix with a gentle hand till the onion, coriander and chillies are well mixed. Remember that the atukulu are soaked so be careful not to mash them.
Shaping the Atukula Vadiyalu, Style Aval Vadam, Avalakki Sandige
- Scoop 1/2 a handful of the mix into your palm.
- Using both hands shape the portion into a disc about 2″ in diameter and 1/2″in thickness.
- You will have to use some pressure to ensure the vadiyam holds together.
- If you feel the mix is too dry, sprinkle just a little water and mix with a gentle hand.
- Place in a plate or vessel.
- Shape the remaining vadiyalu. You can stack them in layers; they won’t disintegrate.
Drying the Atukula Vadiyalu
- Spread a cotton cloth (you can use an old saree or dhoti) or a plastic sheet in the sun.
- Weigh it down so that it does not fly or fold in the wind.
- Place the vaidyalu on the cloth/sheet with a few centimetres space between each. See the neat rows formed by my father! 🙂
- Let the vadiyalu dry in the sun for at least 3 days.
- Flip the vadiyalu over each day so that both sides dry well.
- A simple way to check if the vadiyalu are fully dried is to break one or two of them in half and checking the insides. Notice how the atukulu flakes are visible distinctly when the vadiyalu are properly dried.
- Store in an air-tight container and fry when required.
Tips for Frying the Atukula Vadiyalu
- The vadiyalu swell a bit when you fry them, so always fry just a few of them at a time.
- Use oil that is medium hot. Also gently press the vadiyam as it fries. Otherwise, the outside of the vadiyam will fry but the inside will remain raw.