Recipe

Chana Dal Pakora or Dal Vada
Ingredients
250 gm Bengal Gram (Channa/ Chana Dal)
2-4 (sm.) red onions, finely chopped
1 cup finely chopped cilantro leaves
2-3 finely chopped green chili (sm, not Anaheim)
2-3 cloves (Loung?)
1 stick (1 inch) cinnamon bark (dalchini)
salt to taste

Cooking Oil for deep frying
50 gm. Ginger (finely crushed but Not paste)
1/2 or 1/4 head of garlic (finely crushed)

Chutney to serve- mint or cilantro chutney is lovely, and then some kind of red chutney or even ketchup offers a nice contrast.

Directions
Soak 250 gm. (washed) Bengal gram for 5-6 hours. Strain the water and grind the strained dal along with crushed garlic, ginger, cloves, and cinnamon bark. Put the grinded mixture in a bowl and mix finely chopped onions, fresh cilantro leaves, salt, and green chilies. Mix it well with spoon or by hand. Make round, flat patty shaped balls and deep fry on medium flame in pre-heated oil. Maybe about 2.5 minutes, then turn for 2.5 minutes more.
Notes
This is a South Indian recipe that our friends (originally from Northern India) had been introduced to by their son’s caretaker. They liked it so much they adopted the recipe- and after weeks in India drooling over all the gluten containing fried snacks I couldn’t have, it was a thrill for me to enjoy this in their home. I begged them to make it again when we visited their house a second time- and it was just as wonderful as I remember! Probably my favorite thing I ate over the entire duration of our trip. :)

*Indian onions and other veggies may be smaller than some of their giant American cousins, so you may want to use your best judgment on quantities. When I’ve tested the recipe in my own kitchen I may update amounts…