Sunday, January 9, 2011

Vadakari (Lentils based Spicy Curry)

What do you do when you have left over Sambhar and Masala Vadas ? Of course you turn them to vadakari !!

Vadakari literally translated means Lentils cooked in a Gravy based Curry. It is a popular side-dish of Tamilnadu and goes well with any Tiffin like Idli, Dosa or is a delightful combination with Pongal. 

You can make vadakari from a scratch too and involves almost the same procedure detailed below except for addition of Sambhar (which was a wonderful twist) !!
We were expecting few of our friends for lunch and  Masala Vadas & Sambhar was on the menu ; because of various dishes being simultaneously cooked i was too busy to take clicks on vadas --- Will do a separate post on Masala Vada  very soon !!

Go ahead and enjoy this delightful accompaniment and sizzle up your eating experience !!

Here's my take on this----


For Masala Vada:-

  • Chana Dal (Bengal Gram) - 1 cup
  • Fennel Seeds- 1 tsp
  • Red Chillis- 2 to 3 - to taste
  • Turmeric Powder - a pinch
  • Salt - to taste
  • Asafoetida
  • Onions - 1 (finely chopped)
  • Garlic- 5 to 6 (finely chopped)
  • Curry leaves - a few 9 (julienned)
For the Gravy based Spicy Curry :-
  • Fennel Seeds - 1 tbsp
  • Carom Seeds (ajwain) - 1 tbsp
  • Onion - 2 (chopped)
  • Tomato - 1 (chopped)
  • Ginger Paste - 1 tsp
  • Garlic Paste - 1 tsp
  • Red Chilli Powder - 1 tbsp
  • Turmeric Powder - 1 tsp
  • Coriander Powder - 1 tbsp
  • Garam Masla - 1 tsp
  • coconut Milk - 1/2 cup
  • Curry leaves - a few
  • Salt- to taste
  • Vadas - 3 to4 (crumbled)
  • Sambhar - 1 cup (optional)

Quickly going through the method of preparing Masala Vadas - 
Soak Bengal gram for 2 hours; Grind it with salt, fennel seed, red chilli and turmeric powder to a coarse texture. add chopped onions, curry leaves and garlic and adjust salt and asafoetida to taste. Deep fry as small vadas.
Crumble them into few pieces - the vada is ready for mixing in spicy curry.

In a kadai dry roast the fennel and carom seeds till they emit a lovely aroma. Roughly crush them (in a mixer or mortar n pestle) and set aside.

Heat butter/oil in a kadai(pan ), add the chopped onions and sautee it for few minutes till the onions become translucent. After that add ginger & garlic paste and fry them until the raw smell goes off.

Now add the chopped tomatoes with coriander powder, turmeric powder, red chili powder, salt and little water. Then mix it all together and let it cook for some time.

 Now add the curry leaves. Top it off with the coarse fennel/carom powder and the Garam Masala. Add water if the mix becomes sticky. 

Tumble the crumbled vadas to the gravy  along with Sambhar. Bring it to a boil and let it simmer till the whole mix is well cooked and gets the required consisitency.

You can also add half -a cup of coconut milk to further heighten the taste.
Garnish with chopped coriander or mint leaves. Serve Hot !

Sending this to Priya's CWS : Ajwain hosted by Kavitha


  1. Thats one tasty way to finish the leftovers!

  2. Nicely made items from leftovers. Looks very tasty.

    Hamaree Rasoi

  3. OOh!!!such a tasty left over used dish.
    Priya do collect your award from my space

  4. Wat an innovation happening here priya....wonderfu twist to the dish ,by adding sambar.....keep rocking

  5. Very interesting!!!worth trying this one

  6. fantastic! am sure this tastes great..

  7. Mouthwatering vada curry with a nice twist to it,adding sambar is new to me..

  8. This sounds so wonderful..Have eaten this many times and now I got the exact way to make it also..Thanks Priya.


  9. Hey,

    Very tepmting curry dear...:)


  10. My all time favourite, i can have more idlis with this vada curry...delicious!

  11. Interesting recipe..sounds super yummy

  12. Such a lovely and yummy curry...I never tried this kind of curry..good one..

  13. What a spicy hot way to use those crispy looking
    vadas!! Yum:)

  14. Nice vada curry. Adding fennel seeds to vada is new to me.

  15. nice vada curry from the left over..Thanks for sharing..

  16. Thanks for dropping by my blog. Vadakari looks just delicious.

  17. Hi Priya, another recipe I have to try :)

  18. This looks very yummy! I love lentils and the spices combination is great!

  19. As soon as I saw you post, i started saingin savalnagadi giri giri saidapetai vadakari! Never tasted it and looks yummy!

  20. wow.. tats just awesome!! thnx for sharing..

  21. Hey priya, thanks for stopping by my blog... and sorry yaar, I am not accepting previous posts for my event twist the traditional. Can you post another new variety pls.

  22. vada curry looks absolutely yum...too good!!

  23. Great use for leftover vadas. Wondering how it tastes with ajwain. Would love to have this for breakfast.