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Friday, 8 February 2013

Vada Curry!

Amma's Recipe #22

This curry really confuses me all the time. Big A is not fan of VADA CURRY. So I never prepare this at home. So whenever I am at my mum's place I ask her to cook this for me and when she asks me "with what would you like to have this?" My head just spins. Idly? Dosa? Roti? Poori? Idiyappam? Appam? A slice of Bread? becoz its goes so well with everything....

Vada / Vadai are deep fried Bengal gram that are soaked and coarsely ground with few spices and are shaped into balls and deep fried. This vada / vadai is put into a flavorful curry prepared with whole garam masala, onion, tomato and lots of curry leaves and coriander leaves...

Serves 5

You Will Need:

For Vadai
250g Bengal Gram
1 tsp Fennel Seeds
Salt to taste
Oil For Deep Fry

For Curry

1 tsp Fennel Seeds
1 Bay leaf
1 Stick of Cinnamon
3 Large Onions
3 Large Tomatoes
6 Slit Chilies 
2 tsp Ginger Garlic Paste
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
1 tsp Chilli Powder
Lots of Finely Chopped Coriander 
Some Curry Leaves
5 Cups of Water (Yes, you need lot)
3 tbsp Oil
Salt to Taste

The Cooking

Wash and soak the gram dal overnight or at least 5 - 6 hours. Drain and coarsely grind together the gram dal, fennel seeds and salt.
 Heat enough oil to deep fry the vada. Once the oil is hot enough to deep fry put in small balls of gram dal. This needs to fry only few min, until the gram dal is just enough cooked. Fish them out of the oil and put on kitchen towel to observe excess oil. 

Now heat oil on a large pot and crackle the fennel, bay leaf and cinnamon. Add in the sliced onions and curry leaves. Once the onions turn light brown add the tomatoes and green chilies. Saute for few min and add the ginger garlic paste. Saute till all the raw flavors are gone, this would take about 5 min. Add the turmeric powder, chilli powder, garam masala and salt. 

Pour in the water and let this boil on high heat. Now add the vada and bring the curry to boil once on high heat. Once it boils simmer completely and cook covered stirring occasionally in between.  Now be patient this would take some time. The vada needs to absorb all the excess water and the curry will begin to thicken. This would take anywhere around 30 min. The curry is done when there is no excess water and the curry is slightly thick. Garnish with lots of coriander.

Important Pointers:

  • The gram dal must be ground coarse, not paste like. The water absorbed by the dal at the time of soaking is enough to grind it. Do not add excess water.
  • Pinch and drop the dal in hot oil. No need to form equal sized balls or flatten between your palms. Just pinch the dal and drop it in the oil.
  • Don't let the vada cook crisp in oil or brown. Just cooked and it is supposed to be little soft.
  • The vada already has salt in it, so add accordingly in the curry.
  • The vada needs to be mixed with the curry. If you find big ones staring at you just break it down. Same time don't mash too much.  
  • If the curry becomes too thick, stir in enough boiling water to bring it to desired consistency. 
Happy Cooking!


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