Sweet temptation from Awadh: Indulge yourself in Lapeta (rasedar) bada : The Tribune India

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Sweet temptation from Awadh: Indulge yourself in Lapeta (rasedar) bada

Not to be confused with medu vada, this deep-fried snack is served with jaggery gravy

Sweet temptation from Awadh: Indulge yourself in Lapeta (rasedar) bada


Pushpesh Pant

The urge to nibble constantly surges uncontrollably as the winter sets in. Deep-fried snacks like pakora, samosa, tikki and more become irresistible. But then, the guilty conscience gets into the act. All these calories contributed by sweets and savouries will play havoc with the exterior and interior of our bodies and blow away in a blink what we have achieved after months of exercise and diet. The tug of war continues. We, dear readers, have found a way out. Stay with what you like to indulge in but substitute healthier ingredients while preparing tikka and samosa and replace deep-frying with steaming and pan-grilling or air-frying substitutes for pakora.

The transition isn’t easy. We suggest you change traditional recipes gradually. But do try chickpeas and rajma, along with steamed sweetcorn, to provide bulk, instead of potatoes. And blend the starchy stuff with assorted millets. You may enhance your enjoyment by playing around with different chutneys: peanut-based sauce that is served with satay; kasundi (Indian Bengali mustard) along with jalapeños or sonth (ginger powder). Don’t mix all — one at a time!

We promise to share all these healthy recipes very soon. There is a long cold winter ahead and the festive season shall soon be with us, with its sinful seductions, straining our willpower. Before the specs of abstinence, why not have a bite of the deep-fried traditional stuff?

What we splurged on was a lapeta (rasedar) bada in Lucknow during a short trip. Prepared by Urmila Singh, author of Bisra Chulha Bisre Swaad, a compilation of lost folk recipes of Awadh region, it blew our mind. Not to be confused with medu vada dunked in sambar or rasam or kanji vada in fermented mustard-laced tangy water, this snack is served in a gravy specially prepared for it. Well, to be honest, it is deep-fried but you can get rid of the oil by soaking the vada in water and gently pressing it between palms to squeeze out the bad stuff.

The author has other unusual recipes like bade ka salan and meetha urad dal ka bada, spongier than any rasgulla we have encountered, soaked in mildly sweet chashni and draped with clotted cream. These will all have to wait their turn.

Lapeta (rasedar) bada

Ingredients

  • Husked urad dal 250 g
  • Rice flour 100 g
  • Jaggery (crumbled) 250 g
  • Tamarind paste 50 g
  • Turmeric powder 1 tsp
  • Cumin seeds (jeera) 1 tsp
  • Asafoetida (hing) To taste
  • Salt To taste
  • Mustard oil To deep fry

Method

  • Wash and soak the lentils overnight. Grind in a mixie to obtain batter of thick consistency. Whisk the batter well.
  • Separately, dry roast the rice flour in a kadahi. Remove and reserve for later use.
  • Add asafoetida and cumin seeds to the lentil batter.
  • Take a little batter in your palm, flatten it a bit and punch a hole with your thumb.
  • Heat oil in kadahi and fry bada/vada in batches.
  • Dissolve rice flour in about a litre of water. Bring it to boil in a pan. Add crumbled jaggery and turmeric powder, along with tamarind paste.
  • Sprinkle salt as the gravy boils.
  • Add bada and simmer on low medium flame for 10 minutes.
  • Remove from flame. Serve and enjoy piping hot, or at room temperature.

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