Vada Curry / Vadakari – A popular side dish for Idli, Dosa

Vada Curry, also called as Vadakari or Masala vada curry is one of the most popular and humble South Indian side dish / gravy/ curry for Idli, dosa, set dosa, poori, chapathi etc. This is one of the versatile side dish usually made in restaurants and small street corner tiffin centres in Tamil nadu. Though this side dish is usually prepared with the left over masala vadas in restaurants, i admit that at my home, there will never be any left over vada’s as my sister and i gobble up the masala vadas as soon as my mom prepares it. So at my home, vada curry is always prepared with the freshly made vada’s. So i got this recipe from my mom and prepared it. It is a sure winner and i relished it with dosa.

Vada curry

Though making vada curry is slightly time consuming, as you are preparing vada’s and then you have to prepare the gravy/ curry for the vada’s. But i must tell you, it is worth the time as the vada curry is a tasty, spicy side dish for idli, dosa and even with poori and rotis.

Vada Curry/ Vadakari

Recipe Source: My mom
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 30 to 40 mins
Total Time: 1 hours
Serves: 4
Serving suggestions: Idli, dosa, appam, chapati, poori, roti

Ingredients:
1. For preparing Vada:

  • Bengal gram /Kadalai paruppu /channa dal – 1 cup (soaked for 2 hours)
  • Dry Red chillies – 2
  • Salt as needed
  • Oil for frying the vadas

2. For the Curry:

  • Onion – 1, medium sized, chopped finely
  • Tomato – 2, medium sized
  • Ginger- garlic paste – 1 tbsp
  • Red chilli powder – 2 tsp
  • Turmeric powder – a pinch
  • Coriander powder – 1 tsp
  • Cardamom powder – 1 tsp
  • Fennel seeds/ Sombu – 1/2 tsp

3. For Seasoning:

  • Oil – 2 tbsp
  • Cinnamon stick – 1 inch
  • Cloves – 2
  • Bay leaf – 1
  • Green Chillies – 1
  • Curry leaves – few

4. For Garnishing:

  • Coriander leaves – few, chopped

Method:
For Vada:

  1. Soak the chana dal for 2 hrs. Drain the water and grind it along with red chillies and fennel seeds to a coarse paste without adding water. Add required salt and mix well.
  2. Form small patties of vada’s and keep aside. Then in heavy bottomed kadai, heat oil and deep fry the vada’s till golden brown. Once done, remove it and place in a paper towel to absorb excess oil if any. The vada’s need not be too crispy as we are about to add it to the gravy. Now the vada is ready. Set aside to cool and later crumble into small pieces.

For Curry:

  1. Boil tomatoes with water until the skin starts to split. Peel off the skin and puree it. Keep aside.
  2. In a kadai, heat oil and add cinnamon, cloves, bayleaf, green chillies and curry leaves. Saute for about a minute. And the seasoning is done.
  3. Then add the ginger garlic paste, saute till it is slightly browned. Then add the prepared tomato puree along with required salt, turmeric powder, coriander powder and red chilli powders. Fry for few minutes till the masala blends well. Then add 3/4 cup of water and allow it to boil for about 10 to 15 minutes in medium  flame.

Finally, crumble the prepared vada’s and add it to the curry and allow it absorb the gravy well. Simmer for 15 mins. Let it become soft.¬† Give a stir and then garnish with coriander leaves and switch off the stove.

Serve the Vada curry with idli, dosa, roti, or poori.

Notes:

  • Alternatively you can make small balls of the vada batter and steam the vada’s instead of deep frying.

This side dish is a sure table winner along with idli or set dosa. Whenever i prepare this side dish, i remember my dad as he loves eating this side dish along with dosa. It is such a versatile, spicy and tasty side dish for sure!