Vathal is similar to Chips.
Vathal making is a long process. They are many kinds of vathal. For example, for arisi vathal (or vathal made out of rice) we will soak powdered rice in water, add spices and then dry them in hot sun by making small portions. Dried vathal are fried in oil (similar to chips) and served.
See below for image.
More Vathal recipes are on the way.
Image of Vathal:
Below is an image of pickle with Vathal. Usually Vathal or Appalam is will be there along with pickle in a typical Tamil meal.
Unlike Appalam, People still make Vathal at home and this can be seen more commonly in the country side.
Spelling variations in Tamil name for Vathal: