2 cups black eyed beans soaked over night (or run beans in blender for 30 seconds to split them, then wash and soak for two hours)
1 teaspoons salt (or to taste)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
3 green chilies cut in to small pieces
2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
1 small onion, cut into small pieces
1 stem of curry leaves, de-stemmed and chopped
1/2 cup coriander (cilantro) leaves, finely chopped
½ Cup chopped spinach (optional)
2 cups vegetable oil
Drain and wash black eyed beans with skin and blend in batches until soft, with as little water as possible. In a bowl, combine blended beans with salt, cumin, green chilies, ginger, onion, curry leaves, coriander leaves and spinach, if using.
Heat oil in a small wok or frying pan on medium high. To test whether the oil is hot enough for frying, take a pea size ball of the bean mixture and drop it into the oil. If the ball floats immediately the oil is ready.
Make walnut size balls with the bean mixture to make vada, and flatten on a small plastic bag or a small piece of parchment paper. Make a hole with your finger in the middle of the vada and drop it slowly into the oil. Fry both sides until golden brown. Remove from the oil and place on paper towels to drain. Repeat with rest of the vada mixture.
Makes about 35 vadas.
NOTE: If the oil is too hot, vadas will brown quickly on the outside leaving the inside raw.
If the bean mixture is too watery and it is hard to make a hole in the middle, mix a tablespoon of rice flour or besan flour (chick pea flour).
The Southern US tradition is to eat black-eyed beans for good luck and greens for prosperity on New Year’s Day.
Good Luck and Happy New Year!