Frying is not my forte. I panic, fumble and get fussy. While anything that is fried always tastes sinfully good, I hate the preparatory and the after work of cleaning oil and vessels that accompany it, also the fact that frying needs constant attention and hand work at the wok at all times. It's occasionally I get into those adventurous shoes when I think my husband and daughter deserve these treats atleast once a while!
These ambades are traditionally served with simple white coconut chutney. But for a spicy twist, I made a Tomato Peanut Chutney that my husband absolutely adores. I have made this chutney on several occasions and they go quite well with idlis, wadas, dosas and akki pundi. I reserve to post the chutney recipe for another day as they do deserve a dedicated post. Do try these ambades and let me know how you loved them.
1 cup urad dal / black gram
5-6 whole black pepper, broken roughly in a mortar and pestle
2 green chillies, finely chopped
1 sprig curry leaves
1 tsp. finely chopped ginger
2 tsp. grated fresh coconut
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying
Wash the urad dal thoroughly and soak it in water for atleast 3-4 hours. This will help to soften the dal. Drain all the water out and grind the dal to a fine paste adding as little water as possible. The batter should be thick, but not stiff. Stiffer batter will result in dense ambades, while runny batter will soak in a lot of oil while frying. Incase the batter seems runny than thick, then you may add in a tablespoon of rice flour. Rice flour also makes the ambade crisp, so a teaspoon of it helps. The key to getting good ambades are in having the right consistency of the batter. Transfer the batter to a bowl and add in the finely chopped green chillies, ginger, grated coconut, peppercorns and salt to the ground batter. Beat the batter well with a wooden spoon and set aside.
Heat a wok-full of oil till its medium hot. Test the oil by dropping a pea sized batter to the oil. If it sizzles and rises to the top then the oil is ready. Lower the temperature and using a spoon, drop small dollops of batter into the oil side by side till they have just covered the oil. Do not overcrowd them, else they will be undone in center. Fry them on slow flame till they are golden brown. Remove and drain on a kitchen paper. Serve hot with chutney of your choice.