Festivals are celebrated round the year in all parts of India with a lot of pomp, enthusiasm and grandeur – It is an important aspect of the Indian culture.
Festivals are joyous occasions, packed with great excitement, rituals, prayer and a reunion with relatives and friends.
Some popular sweets and savouries form an important part of the festive mood and are unique to the culture and cuisine of South India.
Vada or Vadai is one such  dish and this recipe is made with channa dal or split peas, which is prepared on festival days.

This dish is also served as an entree or a snack at tea time!! and is very popular in India. Hot Vadas are prepared and served on the road side cafes as well!!!!

Ingredients to make 20-25 Vadas

1¼ Cups Channa Dal or Yellow Split Peas
2-3 Cups Water (to soak the Dal)
1 Red Chilli
½ inch piece Chopped Ginger
¼ Cup Finely Chopped Coriander Leaves
½ Tsp. Asafoetida
4Tbs. Water (add only if and when necessary)
Few Sprigs Curry Leaves
A pinch Turmeric
1-1 ½ Tsp. Salt

For Deep Frying
2 Cups Oil

Soak the Dal in the 2 -3 cups of water for an hour. Drain the water completely.
Grind the Dal preferably in a food processor into a semi coarse mixture.
My preference is use a food processor as the look, texture and taste of the vada is superb!
Sprinkle the finely chopped ginger, chillies, and asafoetida, salt, curry leaves and mix it thoroughly. It is now ready to be deep-fried.

Heat the oil in a deep frying pan on a medium flame.

To make the ‘vadas’ wet the palm of your left hand in a bowl of water and take a small portion (small lime size) of the mixture in your right hand and place it on the palm of your left. Pat the mixture (to make a round shape) lightly and take this with your right hand and slide it into the hot oil. Repeat this process to make at least 6-7 vadas in one batch based on the size of the pan

Fry the vadas till they turn golden brown on both sides. Repeat this till all the vadas are done.

Note: Half a cup of finely chopped onion or spinach can be added to the ground mixture and mixed with the other spices and made in a similar manner. The vadas made with the onion is called ‘Masala Vada’ and the vadas made with the spinach is called ‘Keera Vada’.