Vadai Malai is an important offering to Hanuman or Anjaneyar in South India, especially in temples in Tamil Nadu. The story of Vadai Malai offering to Hanuman is associated with Navgraha Rahu.
Child Hanuman once thought Sun to be reddish fruit in the sky and decided to grab it. Hanuman soon moved towards Sun at an unimaginable speed. At the same time, Rahu Navgraha was also moving towards Sun to cause eclipse.
But Rahu was easily defeated by Hanuman in the race towards sun.
Rahu realized who Hanuman was and gave him the boon that those who worshipped Hanuman with urad dal (black gram) will not face any hardships in his/her horoscope due to the bad position of Rahu.
Rahu also explained to Hanuman how to prepare the Prasad using Urad dal. It should be like a snake – like the part of Rahu’s body.
Thus round Vadai is made into a garland and offered to Hanuman.
Vadai Malai is offered to Hanuman to avoid the adverse effect caused by planet Rahu in horoscope.
Vadai or Uzhunnu Vadai is served along with breakfast (idli and dosa) and is a popular dish in South Indian breakfast.
The Vadai is prepared by mixing salt and black pepper. All these are considered offering to Rahu.