I rarely make masala vada as I was not confident making these. We, in our families make plain paruppu vadai in which we don’t add garlic, mint leaves or even fennel. Just make it in a different way. So when ever I cross any tea shops, the smell of these masal vadais will hook me. I will keep wondering what could be the factor. Once, one of my grandpa bought a masal vadai in Chidambaram. I loved it a lot. I was very young only around 12 or something, still remembering that vadai. It was as big as our palm size and had lots of onion and veggies too like carrot,peas. Superb vadais.
Then after I started cooking only made few times,but the paruppu vadai veriosn. I asked one of my friend about the flavourful perfect masala vada recipe. She said, pudina(mint leaves) and crushed garlic and fennel does the magic. So tried few times that way and loved the flavour! So today I made it to blog the recipe. Vj doesn't like fennel so I reserved some batter for him without fennel :)