VadaCurry Recipe | Vada curry | Vadakari

VadaCurry Recipe | Vada curry | Vadakari

Vadacurry is a popular recipe from Tamilnadu, specifically from saidapet area. It is often called as saidapet vadacurry by many. It is a fried Channa dal curry cooked in aromatic masala base.

The first time I ate vada curry was in Daimler when one of my co-worker Kalpana. She brought her moms epic vada curry with hot idli for breakfast.

I was blown away by the rich aroma which wasn’t over whelming but was perfectly balanced. I remembered the flavours in my mouth ever since and wanted to achieve something closer to that taste every time and I think I am happy with this recipe.

How to make Vada Curry Saidapet vadacurry vadakari
Vada Kari

Bored of regular side dish for idli/ dosa ? Although I Love my sambar recipes for tiffin – (Check out my TIFFIN SAMBAR recipe). There are days you want something that makes you feel alive.

To me vada curry / Vada kari is closest vegetarian recipe to a non veg flavours.

Especially In puratassi month, where in india the whole month people avoid eating meat and stick to vegetarian food. This is a great way to satisfy your cravings.

Vada curry / Vadakari can be prepared in two ways. one is a healthier method and another a tastier method ! The healthier method of cooking vadacurry is by steaming the ground lentils and the taster method is by frying it. The choice is yours 🙂 I leave it to you.

I prefer the fried version, I hence I am sharing the same. For steamed version take a look at my notes/Tips section on how to do it.

Jist of recipe

Recipe is fairly Simple, but has two parts to making it. First is the preparing the Vadas and the second is making the curry.

To prepare the Vadas for the vada curry, Channa dal is soaked for 3-4 hours or over night and then ground with fennel, dry red chillies and salt to a coarse Mixture.

The ground mixture is then shallow fried in oil until it is cooked crispy but not over fried.

Then a masala base is prepared with whole garam masalas , onion, tomato and a ground coconut & poppy and fennel seeds paste is added and brought to a boil.

Finally, the fried vadais are added in to the curry and simmered.

dosai side dish vadacurry
Vada Kari

Also check out other similar recipes

spices used
  1. Bay leaf
  2. Cinnamon Stick
  3. Cloves
  4. Ginger
  5. Garlic
  6. Mint Leaves
  7. Cardamom
  8. Fennel Seeds
  9. Curry Leaves

If you see the recipe is high on aromatics, How ever it has to be balanced so it is also not over powering to eat. Suggest you follow the recipe to T.

How to make Vada Curry Saidapet vadacurry vadakari
Vada Kari

prep work before you begin

Soak the channa dal over night Finely chop the onions.

Roughly chop the tomatoes.

Grate the coconut and keep it ready.

Prepare ginger and garlic paste.

A coconut paste is prepared using – grated coconut, poppy seeds, fennel seeds.

tips / notes
  1. For convenience and for the sake of meal planning I would recommend to soak the channa dal over night for busy morning breakfasts.
  2. Vadacurry Stores well for about 3-4 days in the refrigerator. How ever it tends to thicken once the curry cools in the refrigerator.
  3. To revive the curry, add hot water and bring to a gentle simmer before serving.
  4. I learnt a very valuable tip from chef Venkatesh Bhat, that over frying the Vadas will not allow it to absorb the curry flavors so just fry it for about a minute on medium heat. Works wonders.
  5. I like to keep the onion to tomato proportion in such a way that tomatoes are lesser than onions so it doesn’t taste like tomato kurma.
  6. You can also used left over masala Vadais in this recipe.
Healthier vERSIONS

Vada curry can be prepared by steaming the vadais in a steamer or in idli cooker until it is dry to touch. Approximately steaming for 10 minutes on medium flame.

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How to serve

I love to eat Vada curry with Kal dosai or Idli. It tastes great with – Idiyappam, set dosa and even chapathi too.

pictorial recipe (step by step)

Prepare the Vadais

  • Wash the channa dal a couple of times and soak it with enough water to cover it and about an inch higher than it for about 3 hours or over night.
  • Strain the water completely and coarsest grind the channa dal along with dry red chilies and fennel seeds (quantity mentioned under “to make vada”).
  • Heat a frying pan with enough oil to shallow fry the Vadas.
  • Make small balls of vada mixture in your hand and shallow fry the ground vada mix until crispy for about a minute on medium heat. (Try not fry it until browned) Drain the fried vada and transfer it to a paper towel and keep it ready.
How to make Vada Curry Saidapet vadacurry vadakari
Vada Kari

To Make the Curry

  • Now that our Vadas are ready, to make the vada curry, take a wide pan, add oil, once hot add in the whole garam masalas – bay leaf, cinnamon stick, cloves, green cardamom and fennel seeds.
  • Allow it to sizzle in the hot oil for about 30 seconds. Next add the finely chopped onions and some salt and cook the onions until soft.
  • Next, add in the green chillies, curry leaves,
Vada Kari

  • Add ginger garlic paste one after the other and cook until a nice aroma is released.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes have gone soft.
  • Next add some fresh mint leaves and cook for about a minute together.
vadacurry
Vada Kari

  • Mean while prepare the coconut paste by grinding the ingredients mentioned under “for coconut paste”. – Grated coconut, fennel seeds, poppy seeds with water.
Vada Kari

Add red chilli powder, turmeric powder and the ground coconut paste into the pan and sauté it for a few minutes.

How to make Vada Curry Saidapet vadacurry vadakari
Vada Kari

  • Measure and add the water and bring it a boil.
  • Once the curry comes to a bubbly boil, add the fried vada into the pan and move it around so all the vadais are submerged in the curry.
  • Simmer the vada curry for 10 minutes.
  • Do a final check for salt. I add a tbsp sugar to my curries to balance out the flavors. (This is an optional step )
  • Turn off the heat and serve it hot on aval dosa or set dosa.
Vada Kari

Vadacurry recipe

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Soak3 hrs
Total Time3 hrs 45 mins
Course: Breakfast, Main Course
Cuisine: Indian, South Indian
Keyword: idli sidedish, South Indian, vada curry, vadacurry

Ingredients

To make vada

  • 1 cup channa dal
  • 2 dry red chillies
  • 1.5 tsp fennel seeds
  • Water (To soak)

To make the gravy

  • 4 tbsp Oil
  • 1 inch Cinnamon
  • 5 no.s Cloves
  • 1 large Bayleaf
  • 2 Green Cardamom
  • 1 tsp Fennel seeds
  • 1 Onion (medium sized)
  • 1 tsp Salt (add to taste)
  • A few Curry leaves
  • 2 Green chillies
  • 1 tsp Ginger paste
  • 1.5 tsp Garlic paste
  • 1 Tomato (medium sized)
  • A few Mint leaves
  • 2 tsp Red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 2.5 cups Water
  • Oil (to shallow fry)
  • 1 tbsp brown Sugar (optional)

To make the coconut paste

  • 3 tbsp Grated Coconut
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/4 tsp poppy seeds or kasa kasa
  • 1/4 cup Water (as required)

Instructions

  • Wash the channa dal a couple of times and soak it with enough water to cover it and about an inch higher than it for about 3 hours or over night.
  • Strain the water completely and coarsest grind the channa dal along with dry red chilies and fennel seeds (quantity mentioned under “to make vada”).
  • Heat a frying pan with enough oil to shallow fry the Vadas.
  • Make small balls of vada mixture in your hand and shallow fry the ground vada mix until crispy for about a minute on medium heat. (Try not fry it until browned)
  • Drain the fried vada and transfer it to a paper towel and keep it ready.
  • Now that our Vadas are ready, to make the vada curry, take a wide pan, add oil, once hot add in the whole garam masalas – bay leaf, cinnamon stick, cloves, green cardamom and fennel seeds.
  • Allow it to sizzle in the hot oil for about 30 seconds. Next add the finely chopped onions and some salt and cook the onions until soft.
  • Next, add in the green chillies, curry leaves, ginger garlic paste one after the other and cook until a nice aroma is released.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes have gone soft.
  • Next add some fresh mint leaves and cook for about a minute together.
  • Mean while prepare the coconut paste by grinding the ingredients mentioned under “for coconut paste”. – Grated coconut, fennel seeds, poppy seeds with water.
  • Add red chilli powder, turmeric powder and the ground coconut paste into the pan and sauté it for a few minutes.
  • Measure and add the water and bring curry to a boil.
  • Once the curry comes to a bubbly boil, add the fried vada into the pan and move it around so all the vadais are submerged in the curry.
  • Simmer the vada curry for 10 minutes.
  • Do a final check for salt. I add a tbsp sugar to my curries to balance out the flavors. (This is an optional step )
  • Turn off the heat and serve it hot on aval dosa or set dosa.

If you try this recipe, Leave a comment, rate it. Click a picture and tag #soulsomecooking on Instagram or Facebook ill be happy see it.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
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Hi, I am Divya !
Hi, I am Divya !

 I am the author of this blog Soulsomecooking. Thank you for visiting my site. I love to share practical and easy to make recipes here. 

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