One month just flew past and it is time for the next blogging marathon. This time I have chosen the theme “Regional Specials” and will be posting dishes from Tamil Nadu. Being from Tamil Nadu this is a nice theme for me to whip out those dishes which bring back nostalgic memories of childhood.
In the days before refrigerators how were leftovers used? If you think about it you will get to know a lot of innovative recipes which were born out of necessity. One such dish is the vada curry where the leftover vadais get transformed into this delicious and tangy curry which goes perfect with idli or dosai. But, what if you don’t end up with leftover vadais like me .. don’t panic .. this recipe does not use leftover vadais and is a healthy alternative. There is no compromise in taste though. This is my mom’s recipe and it is always my favorite.
Got it now? Dosa it is . Thanks my friends. Now off to the recipe of vada curry.
Ingredients – For the steamed balls
1 cup channa dal soaked for 2 hours
4 red chillies
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 small onion chopped
Ingredients – For gravy
2 tsp oil
1 inch piece cinnamon
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 small onion
4 green chillies slit vertically
2 medium tomatoes (can substitute with 3/4 can diced tomatoes)
4 cups water
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp sambar powder (Optional)
Soak the channa dal and red chillies for 2 hours.
Grind the dal and chillies along with garlic, fennel seeds and salt.
To the ground dal add onions, curry leaves and coriander leaves and mix well.
Make small balls and steam them for 15 minutes.
Steamed balls ready for gravy.
For the gravy heat oil and add cloves, cinnamon and fennel seeds. Add onions and green chillies. Saute until onions are cooked.
Next add the fresh or canned tomatoes and let it cook for 5 minutes.
Add 4 cups of water, salt and turmeric. Do a taste test and if needed add a tsp of sambar powder.
Let it come to a boil. Now take the cooked balls and slightly mash with fingers and add to the boiling mixture. We still want big chunks, so mash accordingly.
All balls have been mashed and added.
Cover and cook 15-20 minutes until gravy is of desired thickness. We don’t want it to be too runny nor too thick. The balls will absorb water and thicken up.
That is it. Yummy vada curry ready to be served. We had it with idli’s. Kids had a blast too.
1. Leftover vadais can be crumbled and used.
2. The steamed balls can be fried a little and then crumbled.
3. Go easy on the fennel seeds. Too much will alter the taste.
4. Vada curry also tastes good with rotis.