Chennai Vada Curry :

Posted by-Kalki Team

Ingredients :

For the Vada

Channa Dal (Bengal Gram, Kadalai Paruppu) - 1 cup

Dry Red Chillies - 3

Fennel Seeds - 1/4 tsp

Ginger - 1/2 " piece

Garlic - 2 cloves

Curry Leaves - 4-5 leaves

Asafoetida - a pinch

Salt - 1/2 tsp

Onion - 1/4 (finely chopped)

For Curry :

Onion - 1 (chopped)

Tomato - 2 (chopped)

Ginger Garlic Paste - 1 tsp

Green Chillies - 2

Red Chilly Powder - 1tsp

Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp

Corriander Powder - 2 tsp

Mustard Seeds - 1/2 tsp

Fennel Seeds - 1/4 tsp

Cumin Seeds - 1/4 tsp

Whole Garam Masala - 1 cinnamon stick, 3 cloves

Curry Leaves - 1 spring

Salt - as needed

Oil - 2 tblsp

Cilantro - handful (finely chopped)

Method :

1. Soak the bengal gram for an hour. Drain all the water and grind it to a coarse paste along with dry red chillies, ginger and garlic.

2. Mix finely chopped onion, curry leaves, asafoetida, fennel seeds and salt to the ground dal paste.

3. Pinch small balls of this dal paste (blueberry sized) and cook it using any of the following methods :-

(a) Steam it using a idli stand or a vegetable steamer for 8-10 minutes .

(b) Shallow fry/ pan fry in a frying pan with little oil till it turns golden brown.

(c) Place the small balls in a microwave safe plate and microwave for 2-3 minutes.

4. Keep these vada pieces ready while you prepare the gravy.

(You can also prepare the gravy using left over masala vada. Scramble the vadas into tiny pieces and proceed.)

5. For the curry, heat oil in a pan and splutter the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, whole garam masala and curry leaves.

6. Add the finely chopped onions and green chillies. Fry them till it turns golden brown.

7. Add the ginger garlic paste and fry for a minute. Next add the chopped tomatoes and cook till the tomatoes are totally mashed up.

8. Add salt, turmeric powder, red chilly powder and corriander powder. Cover and cook till the oil seperates from the masala.

9. Add enough water (about 4-5 cups) and bring it to a boil.

(You can also use diluted coconut milk instead of water.)

10. Add the tiny vada pieces to the curry. Simmer for about 5 minutes so that the gravy will be absorbed by the vada pieces.

11. Check for salt and the gravy consistency and adjust if needed. The curry will continue to thicken as it rests.

12. Finally add chopped corriander leaves (cilantro) and switch off.

Serving Suggestions :

- Vada curry and idli is a very famous combination in northern tamil nadu.

- It also goes well with dosa and chappatti.

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