For the second day of blogging marathon challenge Lentils – 3 ways I have chosen this very special side dish for idli and dosa from my home town Madurai, Tamil Nadu. Actually if you ask me I would not call this as a side dish; it can be had on its own as a main course. A very delicious and mouth watering snack. And of course a special one; as it is a speciality from my mother land. Of course for me its Mumbai, Maharashtra which is the best place in the world. I know, I know some of you might not agree with me but yeah it is.. 😀
Vada curry is basically either a deep fried or steamed dumplings made of a lentil dunked in an onion tomato gravy. A very filling snack in itself.
Here is what you will need to make these..
Ingredients: For the Vadas: (Makes 6-7)
- 100 gms channa dal/split bengal gram
- 2 dry red chillies
- 2 green chillies (or to taste)
- 1/4 tsp hing/asafoetida
- salt to taste
- Few curry leaves
- Oil for deep frying
For the Gravy:
- 6 nos shallots, chopped finely
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp red chilli powder (or to taste)
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 no cardamom
- 1 small stick cinnamon
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 clove
- 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
- 2 tsp oil
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup grated coconut
- 1 tsp poppy seeds
- Soak channa dal in water for 2 hours or in hot water for 40 mins. While that is soaking gravy.
- After 40 mins, drain all the water from the channa dal and grind it coarsely with the dry red chillies, green chillies, salt and hing without adding any water. Add chopped curry leaves to it and mix.
- Make small roundels of this coarse paste and deep fry them in hot oil over medium heat until slight golden brown. Alternatively you can also chose to steam it in a steamer. Keep these balls ready.
For the Gravy:
- Dry roast the poppy seeds for few seconds and keep aside.
- Heat oil in a kadai. Add the cardamom, cinnamon, clove, bay leaf. Saute for a minute and add fennel seeds. Saute for few seconds and add chopped onions. Saute until it is translucent and add chopped tomatoes.
- Let the tomatoes cook. After about 5 mins add in the coriander powder, red chilli powder, turmeric and water to adjust the consistency. Let the gravy boil and thicken.
- In the meanwhile, grind together the poppy seeds and grated coconut with little water. Pass this mixture through a filter and collect the coconut milk in a glass.
- Once the gravy thickens add the coconut milk to it, stir everything and switch off the gas after a minute.
Add the vadas to this gravy while serving if you like the vadas to be little crisp but if you enjoy it soaked in the gravy then add it beforehand and let it soak. The choice is yours. Either way it tastes just yum!!!
- Grind the poppy seeds and coconut just before adding it to the gravy.
- You can avoid the poppy seeds and coconut step if you could lay your hands on tinned coconut milk. Since I could not find it in nearby shops I opted for this method.
- You can add ginger garlic paste right after adding the onions for the gravy for additional flavour. Even garam masala can be added along with the dry masalas.
Enjoy it as a snack or as a side dish with idlis or dosas.
Lets check what others have in store for this week’s Blogging Marathon Challenge.