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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Saidapette vadakari/ vada curry N variations

Hi my dear SNC group !!!Am so happy to complete  the 4th challenge ...As you all know there is an event going on +Divya Pramil  space You Too Can Cook  .. The event is all about two teams north and south team ..A member from north team and a member south team respectively  will challenge  the opposite team members with a recipe from their respective zone  and opposite teams have to post the same recipe on their Blog .. this takes place every month .. The idea of this event is that we learn so many different recipes from different zones .. Hats off to divya for this great idea .. click here to partcipate

An update on whats going on till now in SNC challenge:

Challenge 1- October month's challenge

North team Host shruti dhingra from " shruti's rasoi"- Bhel puri
South team Host divya from "Divya's culinary journey "- Mysore pak


Challenge 2- November month's challenge

North team host Pallavi from "cook -eat- burrp" - Gulab jamun
South team host Yashodha from "yashodha's kitchen" - Adhirasam


Challenge 3- December month's challenge

North team Host Meena from " Random rambling " - Misal pav
South team Host Sherin from " Kuk's kitchen" - Medu vada


Challenge 4- Janurary month's challenge

North team Host " me " (Manjula bharath) from "Desi fiesta" - Rajasthani  mini ghevar topped with kesar rabdi  click here

South team Host Ramya  from " Lemon Kurry" - Vada curry click here

I was so happy to  receive 3 precious awards for last months challenge - Medu vada . I have to thank december months host for north team  sherin from " Kuk's kitchen"  for the lovely challenge and also for nominating me for the awards.. thank u so much sherin :). I am also thankful to divya pramil for these lovely awards thank u so much divya  :)

These are the awards i received for my Madras donuts/Medu vada  post click here

I felt like am crowned for miss india or universe he he :P thanks again divya  :)

Now coming to this months challenge .. I was so very excited to host this month challenge, challenging my south team pal's with one of my  favorite  traditional dessert and am double excited  to finish this months challenge given to north team . One of my favorite side dish which i love a lot . Thanks Ramya for the super duper delicious challenge :) This months challenge for north team is "Vadakari".

It is the tasty, crispy, aromatic  popular side dish of Tamil Nadu and all over south India. Bengal gram is soaked and prepared like masala vadai. It is then crushed and mixed in a spicy curry. The spices used slightly differ from home to home.

Now i have to  say this why i have prefixed vadakari with saidapet. Saidapet is where i belong to in chennai . One of the oldest hotel in saidapet  is MARI HOTEL where Vadakari is very famous and will be available at all time .There used to be so much of rush in this hotel for their delicious finger licking vadakari.. Remembering my childhood days how my bro and  i used fight for vadakari we got from the hotel..  we just liked to eat it as such and it was so yummm... Mari hotel located centrally in saidapet is famous for  Vadakari and there after they started calling the dish as saidapet vadakari :)

I was so excited to try a dish which was famous in my home town and one of my fav side dish for idli and dosa. This dish is known with variations as Vadakari/Vada Kari/Vadai Curry.


For Batter :
Bengal gram – 1 cup
Onion – 1 no
Green chilli – 2 no
Fennel seeds – ½ tea spoon
Ginger small piece – 1inch (chopped)
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Salt to taste

For gravy :
Onion-1 no
Tomato - 1 no
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp
Red chilli powder – ½ tea spoon
Turmeric powder – ¼ tea spoon
Garam masala powder –½ tea spoon
Coconut milk – ½ cup (optional)
Mint and coriander leaves – few strings
Salt – as per taste
Oil – for deep frying and seasoning

For seasoning
Cinnamon sticks – 2 no
Bay leaf - 1 no
Cloves – 5 no
Fennel seeds – ½ tea spoon (this is the must ingredient bcoz the main flavour of an authentic vada kari comes from this flavorful ingredient )
Mustard – ½ tea spoon
Curry leaves – few

Today we are going to see 3 methods of making vada for vadakari.. Vada's for vadakari can be made in 3 ways :

  • Frying method (i.e.. making masal vadai)
  • Steaming method
  • Adai method (Adai is nothing but a type of dosa or south indian crepe )


 Batter preparation (vada/adai/steam vadas) :

  • Soak channa dal for 3-4 hours.
  • After 3-4 hours drain channa dal completely and add it in two batches and grind coarsely. Not too smooth not very coarse too. One or two channa dal can be whole.
  • Mix finely chopped onion,chopped green chillies, chopped ginger,fennel seeds, salt and curry leaves.

Frying Method :

Check my masala vadai post for frying the vada's Click here


Scramble the vada and keep it a side.

For Steaming Vada batter (Steaming method:):
  • Form the batter into disk shapes(or small dumplings) and steam it in an idly cooker.
  • Once the vadas are done, set it aside and let it cool and scramble them.

Adai method:

  • Heat a dosa pan and make thick adai's(about 2 inch thickness) use your hands to spread them on tawa (take care while spreading the batter as the tawa in hot) and  add little oil on the sides.
  • Keep the heat in medium and allow it to cook well, until browned on both sides(as shown in picture above).
  • Cool it and scramble it into tiny pieces and keep a side.

To proceed -Gravy 

  • Heat oil in a kadai, add mustard seeds,fennel seeds, curry leaves and let it splutter.
  • Add cinnamon stick, bay leaf, cloves and stir for a second.
  • Add onions, green chillies, ginger garlic paste,tomato and saute well till the raw smell goes.
  • Now add garam masala , turmeric powder and chilly powder.(increase/decrease chilly powder according to your taste)
  • Add  5 cups of water and cook for a few minutes.Add more water if necessary.
  • Add the scrambled fried vadas/steamed vadas/adai to the curry.
  • Now add the coconut milk, cover and cook for a minute.
  • The channa dhal mixture will soak up all the liquid. Add  chopped coriander leaves and mint leaves and stir well.  Vadakari is ready to serve!!!
Vadakari(Fried vadas)

Vadakari (Steamed vada)

  • Vada's will absorb some water from vadakari gravy . Quantity of water to be added, can be varied accordingly.
  • Adding coconut milk is optional. It makes the dish creamy and rich in taste
  • You can also use ginger garlic paste instead of  chopped ginger.
  • Adjust the amount of water to the gravy according to the consistency needed i.e., reduce the amount of water for a thicker consistency. I usually like the thick vadakari than making them thin.
  • Do not skip the coriander leaves, it is a must for this dish.

Serving options:

You can serve vadakari with  Idiyappam, hot piping idli or dosa's, and also with  poori's.  My daughter likes different shaped dosa's so i made flower shaped dosa for her :)


Variations 1:

  •  Use equal measures of channa dhal and thoor dhal combination  or just thoor dhal  to make the Adais/ vada. These also turns out very well with slightly different taste.

Variation 2:

Channa Masala Vadakari


Masal vadai - 4-5 (click here for masal vadai recipe)

Boiled Channa/chickpea - 1 cup
Tomato onion puree 1 cup
Cashew, dhani/coriander seeds and coconut paste- 3 tbsp (1tbsp each to make a paste)
Red chilli pd 1 tsp
Turmeric pd 1/4 tsp
Cloves- 2 no
Cardamon - 2 no
Bay leaf- 1 no
Fennel seeds - 1/2 tsp

Method :

  • Make masal vadai's you can even use leftover vada's. In a deep pan heat oil. add cloves,bay leaf, cardamon, fennel seeds, tomato onion paste and saute  . Then add dhania, coconut and cashew paste,salt and cook till the raw smell goes off.
  • Add red chilli pd, turmeric pd mix well and add the boiled channa  . Let the mixture boil for a while and at last add crushed masala vadai in the gravy and cook till the vadai combine well in the gravy . 
  • Channa masala vadakari is ready to serve with poori, idli, dosa, idiyappam or even roti or paratha.


 My family and i enjoyed all three versions of vadakari and especially my hubby loved the variation of vadakari with channa masala :) This was another yummy and delicious challenge from south team !!! Completing the first challenge for this new year and waiting for more such delicious and interesting challenges from the glorious South team!!! :)


  1. Wow! What a presentation! Looks very delicious..

    1. thank u asiya for the quick response :)

  2. Looks nice.Like the way you served it up with different dishes...

  3. Looks nice. Tempting me..

  4. fabulous.....nicely presented

  5. Such an extensive and lovely post. Thanks for explaining so well

  6. all the three methods are so useful dear..........

  7. WOW Majula ......Explained so nicely !!! Great work :-)

  8. aiyyo manju u get award for this month too did nt knw we can do it so many ways

    ur award is pucca

    1. ohhh .. thank u so much anuty :)

  9. looks delicious manjula

  10. this is like festive treat.cant able to close my eyes.well explained and very well done.keep rocking dear.delicious versions.

  11. Looks delcicious and well tried.

  12. Looks delicious and love your presentation!

  13. Delicious curry, love the stepwise presentation, well prepared :-)

  14. Aha Manju Kalakrael pongo!! You always give a wholesome post :) great going dear!! Look so good.. next time when I visit saidapet will visit that hotel :)

  15. Awesome manju:) Lovely vadakari and very neat presentation....Hats off dear:)

  16. Yummy. Thanks for linking to my event. Keep linking the entries.

  17. congrats for lovely awards
    nice variation in ur dish looking delicious

  18. thank u for your lovely comments all my dear bloggers

  19. Looks delicious, serving super.

  20. neatly explained and looks perfect.

  21. Really awesome
    Thanks for linking with my event


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