Many of my blogger friends were enquiring about the Vadagam and its preparation method. This an aromatic tempering used in many of South Indian and Chettinad dishes like Sambar, Kuzhambu and Kootu. This is my granny's recipe, which is passed on to my mother and to me.
Chinna Vengayam/ Shallots( Small onions)-1kg
Ulli Poondu/ Small garlic-1/2kg
Split Urad dal/ Split black gram dal-1/4kg
Jeera/ Cumin seeds-50gms
Fenugreek/ Methi seeds-25gms
Curry leaves-2 sprigs
Nallennai/ Gingelly oil-50gm
Velakennai/ Castor oil-50gm
Remove onion and garlic skins. Chop green chilles. Mince onion, garlic and green chilles in a mixer grinder( should be rough and coarse). To the onion mixture, add rest of the above said ingredients. Mix in both the oils to the mixture and make medium sized balls. Keep these balls in direct sunlight for 10 days. When these balls are fully dried, store it in airtight jars. You can store these vadagam balls for a year.
Tips to prepare
Take 2 balls of vadagam, crush them and store it in small container. When used as tempering, to the medium hot oil add 1tsp of crushed vadagam and allow it to turn golden brown, then add the rest of the ingredients.( Do not burn the vadagam as they may turn bitter).