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Simply put, I carry my Dad's legacy with me through my cookbook, cooking and everyday I am writing my food columns, he is always with me. I carry my Mom with me through a silent reminder of her struggle with breast cancer that took her life, as well as the lives of many other women who have dealt with, and are still dealing with, this horrible affliction. Besides, why not pink? It makes a man look good!

Indian Vadai Dippers

Vadai's are commonly referred to as Vada's or Vadai Doughnuts, because the super popular, Indian street food is often cooked with a hole in the middle. They are also classically made with black lentils, but whatever color lentil you have on hand is perfectly acceptable. What is also great about this deliciously fat free recipe, is that you can use whatever leftover vegetables you have on hand.


For 1 Batch(es)


  • 2/3 cup(s) cooked lentils
  • 2/3 cup(s) cooked carrots
  • 1/4 cup(s) minced onion
  • 1/4 cup(s) whole kernel corn
  • 1 small red chili, seeded and minced
  • 1/4 cup(s) cooked spinach, squeezed very dry
  • 1/4 cup(s) dried cranberries
  • 1 3/4 cup(s) cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) each salt and cinnamon
  • Carrot Ginger Sauce:
  • 2 (4-ounce)jars pureed carrot baby food *
  • 1 tablespoon(s) brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) dried ginger
  • 1/2 cup(s) coconut flavored yogurt
  • Oil for frying

Indian Vadai Dippers Directions

  1. In the bowl of a food processor, or using a masher by hand, pulse the first 3 ingredients until as smooth as possible. Transfer to a bowl and mix in the next 7 ingredients until well blended. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
  2. Meanwhile, make Carrot Ginger Sauce by whisking all ingredients well, cover and refrigerate until needed.
  3. Heat oil to 350-degrees F according to manufacturer's instructions on your deep fryer. You can also grill these for a less crisp, but fluffier Vadai(as seen on the left of the photo). Remove Vadai batter from refrigerator and pinch off 2 tablespoon measures. Roll into balls and flatten. Deep fry, a few at a time, until well browned and crisp, about 2-3 minutes. Remove to drain well. Always wait a minute or so in between batches to allow oil to regain temperature. Serve hot with Carrot ginger Sauce.
  4. Makes about 20
  5. * By all means if visiting the baby food section of the grocery store brings back some forgettable memories, simply add an equal amount of cooked carrots with just enough water to allow it to puree as smooth as possible in a blender or food processor. But baby food is the best by far!