Today’s Mantena’s Special is ‘Sanaga Pappu Vada’. Vada is a favorite evening snack of every Andhrite. In fact, it is the favorite snack of all the south Indians. Usually vada’s are deep fried in oil which is very harmful for health. Oil fried vadas are not only harmful for the liver and heart but also for the stomach. On eating couple of vadas you feel a bloating sensation in the stomach and sometimes it also leads to stomach ache. But Mantena’s special vada is nutritious, healthy and completely harmless. You can eat as many vadas as you can without any disturbance to your stomach as well. Let us go into the details of preparation now.
1. Chickpea Gram - 3 Cups
2. Raw Coconut - 1 No.
3. Cauliflower Stem - 15 to 20 Nos.
4. Tomato - 2 Nos.
5. Green Chilies - 10 Nos.
6. Lemon - 2 Nos.
7. Ginger - Small Piece
8. Cumin Seeds - 1 tbsp
9. Coriander leaves - 1 bunch
10. Cream - 3 tbsp
1. Soak 3 cups of split chickpea grams over 8-12 hours in water. Rinse them well in water and grind it in a mixer grinder making a thick batter. Don’t grind very thin but make sure that some pieces of grams still exist. This makes the vadas crunchy in taste.
2. Take a big sized raw coconut, chop into pieces and grind it into paste. Don’t add any water to grind it.
3. Take 20 to 25 Nos. of Cauliflower stem, chop them into pieces, extract juice from a lemon and sauté it in a bowl and keep it aside for 15 minutes and then grind it into paste in a mixer grinder. People usually throw the stems of Cauliflower. It is the favorite food of goats. People eat goats for strength where as goats eat these things. How strange! Isn’t it? It is full of enzymes required for digestion and assimilation of nutrients in the body. More importantly it is rich in Sodium which is why we are using it as a substitute for salt. You can also use spinach in case the cauliflower stem is not available.
5. Finely chop 8-10 green chilies and sauté it with lemon juice in a cup or bowl. We are using more chilies because we are making the vadas without salt and the spice from green chilies and the sourness from lemon gives some taste to the buds.
6. Take a small piece of ginger for taste and crush into paste. Spices are occasionally used in Dr. Mantena’s recipes. Therefore ginger and cumin seeds are exceptions today.
7. Roast the cumin seeds and grind it into powder. Cumin seeds give a great aroma to the dish.
9. Now add all ingredients into the chickpea gram batter one by one and mix it well. Don’t add any water to the batter as it already has plenty of water from soaked grams, coconut, cauliflower stems and tomato puree. If the batter becomes thin then it becomes difficult to make the vadas. Therefore keep the batter as thick as possible.
10. Now put on the stove, keep a nonstick pan over it. Let it heat for some time and then put some cream over it and spread all over the pan. Again cream is also occasionally used. Make vadas with your hand and put it over the heated pan and let them cook for some time. Once you find the vadas are cooked on one side, turn them upside down and cook on the other side. Once the vadas are cooked from both sides, serve them hot. You can serve these vadas as breakfast, lunch or dinner with Nuvvula chutney or Gongura chutney again made naturally in Dr. Mantena style. You can eat any number of these vadas without any harm as they are free from salt, sugar, oil, ghee, red chili powder, tamarind and spices. Every care is taken to replace these harmful tastes with natural substitutes.
Earlier people used to eat these kinds of food once in a while in a year. If you observe the festivals in India, at every festival a different kind of sweet, snack or food is prepared. Moreover, utmost care is taken to make it delicious by adding ghee, sugar, oil and different varieties of masalas and spices. People used to enjoy them and remain healthy as well. There are two reasons for their health. First, people used to exert their bodies to earn bread and secondly there used to be very few festivals like Sankranti, Dassera, Diwali etc. Day by day people stopped exerting their bodies for earning bread as machines replaced human labor from kitchen to the factories and the number of festivals have increased to such an extent that you need a calendar to remember them. Earlier they used to work hard throughout the year and enjoy the delicacies not more than 10 times a year as the festivals were limited. Today every day is a festival. Step out of the house and you find a sweet shop, Tiffin center, fast food center, bakery and a snack point ready with different varieties of snacks and tiffins at every corner of the street and roadsides. And if you reach a market place or a center around the cross roads you find them competing with one another in serving you the delicacies. Remember one thing; no hotel, Tiffin center or snack corner thinks about your health while making food. Enjoy the delicacies but don’t make it a habit or weakness.
Thanks to Dr. Mantena Satyanarayana Raju in researching and designing these recipes for the aspirants of good health. He realized that if such delicacies are provided at home without harmful salt, oil, ghee, sugar, red chili powder, tamarind and masalas by substituting these tastes with natural ingredients then you don’t feel a craving for junk foods available in the market. You can enjoy the taste as well as remain healthy.
I hope you enjoyed this update and keep watching the space for more.