I’ve stayed away from ordering vadai curry( steamed or fried lentil dumplings in a spicy tomato and onion gravy) in hotels since I thought they make it with left over vadais. A small eatery called Bevi Tiffen Centre serves Vadai Curry as their signature item. Most of the top brass politicians and celebrities get a take away of this delicacy, says Mr.Balakrishnan the owner. Here’s how you make it. For those of you who would like to see the video, go further down and click on the YouTube link.
- Whole urad dhal – 1 Cup
- Channa Dhal – 1 Cup
- Moong dhal – 1 Cup
- Toor dhal – 1 Cup
Soak dhals (lentils) for 1.5 hrs and grind to a paste that is neither too soft nor too coarse. Make small balls and deep fry them till golden brown. I’ve not added salt to this paste. You will need to add more salt to the gravy for these fried vadais to soak in.
Grind to a paste:
- Roasted gram (Pottu kadalai) – 3 tbsp
- Cashwenuts – 8-10 nos
- Garlic – 4 cloves
- Ginger – Half inch piece
- Fennel seeds (saunf) – 2 tsp
- Cinnamon – 1 inch piece
- Star anise – 1
- Whole red chilly – 4 nos
- Coconut – 40 gms
- Salt – to taste
Grind the ingredients above using a blender to a watery consistency and keep aside.
Ingredients for the gravy:
- Onions (finely chopped) – 2 nos
- Tomatoes – 1 nos
- Corriander – 3 tbsp
- Curry leaves – 10 nos
- Heat oil in a pan and add bay leaf and saute
- Add finely chopped onions and saute
- Add tomatoes and pour water and cook till soft
- Add the ground paste, curry leaves, coriander, and let it boil till the raw smell of the masala goes away.
- Check salt at this stage. It should be saltier than the normal gravy as I didnt add salt to the vadais while frying.
- Add the fried vadais and let them soak
- Make sure to add the vadais 15-20 minutes before serving.
- The gravy thickens once they vadais start soaking.
- This goes well with dosais, idly, idiyappams and appams, Check the video to see how to make it.
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