Vadai Curry

"Vadai curry is served as a side dish with Idlis or dosas in restaurants across South India. The understanding is that the curry is made of left over or previous days vadas. But in my recipe I am going to use freshly prepare the vadas. Vadas are nothing but deep fried lenthil dumplings."
photo by Brian Holley photo by Brian Holley
photo by Brian Holley
Ready In:
11hrs 30mins




  • Soak the bengalgram in water for 1 hour. Drain the water and grind to a coarse paste.
  • Mix in salt and the2tbsp chopped onions.
  • Make small dumplings of this mixture and deep fry in hot oil till golden brown. Remove and keep aside to drain.
  • To prepare the gravy - Make a smooth paste by grinding by grinding all the ingredients from aniseed till coconut by using very little water.
  • Heat oil in a pan, add the cloves, cinnamon, bay leaf and aniseed.
  • Fry till a nice aroma comes and then mix in the chopped onions and keep sautéing till it turns brown. Now add the chopped tomatoes.
  • Keep stirring and once the tomatoes have become mushy and the oil floats on top, mix in red chili powder, turmeric and garam masala. Fry for a minute then add the paste fry little oil floats on top--it takes 4-5 minutes of frying.
  • Now add 3 cups of water,keep on stove till the gravy starts to come to a boil. Now add the deep fried dumplings and the salt. Let it cook for some time till the dumplings soak up some of the gravy.
  • Now is the time to adjust the salt and the consistency of the gravy.
  • Serve this hot vadai curry garnished with chopped coriander and golden fried cashews with steaming hot idlis.

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  1. Brian Holley
    I found this recipe to be poorly posted, and most confusing to follow, hence two stars. However the flavour was worth 5 stars. The spice base would work well with chicken and I might just post a recipe using the spice mix. I enjoyed this despite all of the above.



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