Preparation / Directions:
This is a South Indian snack.
Soak urad dal for about 3 to 5 hours. Drain the water completely and grind until the urad dal is just about broken in small pieces (maavu should not be too fine). Put the urad dal in the blender or food processor with as little water as possible, to do this grind 1/2 cup of urad dal at time (or else the blender will be on fire ). Mix chiles, ginger, salt and the optional vegetables to the urad dal. You can take just onion or both onion and cabbage.
Add the oil to heated wok (vaanali) and heat the oil on medium-high heat for about 3 to 5 minutes. Wet the palm of one of your hands. Put the maavu on the wet palm and shape it like doughnut and drop it slowly into the oil and fry until golden brown. If the shape doesn't matter to you, then take the maavu and drop into the oil using a tablespoon (slightly oil the spoon before taking the maavu so it won't stick to the spoon). You can add 2 or 3 at a time depending on how much oil you have in the vaanali.
Variations: To the same maavu, add about 1 teaspoon whole black pepper (crushed), 1/2 cup of chopped fresh coconut, 1/2 inch ginger grated and salt (omit chiles, onion and cabbage). Drop the maavu into the oil in round shapes, to make Madras Bonda and fry until golden brow