Saturday, 22 June 2013

Vadakari (SouthIndian curry made with steamed dal dumplings)

    Vadakari is my all-time-favourite.  My mother used to prepare this dish atleast once a month and we used to rejoice it with idly, dosa and  pongal too!  I made it for first time and served it with mini-dosa (to come sooner) and my kid enjoyed it.  Here, Chana dal, which was first soaked, is later blended with selective spices, steamed and mixed with regular onion-tomato gravy base.  The spices usually added are red chilly and dhanya powder, here I added  chana masala which blended  soo well and gave an much richer aroma.  Do try guys and let me know.

Ingredients required

For dumplings
  • 1/2 cup chana dal
  • 1/2 tsp dry ginger powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp jeera powder
  • 1/2 tsp haldi/turmeric powder
  • 4 tsp coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • Pinch of hing/asoeftida

To temper
  • 4 tsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp rai/mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp chana dal
  • 2-3 slit green chillies
  • Handful of curry leaves

  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1/4 cup of finely grated coconut
  • 1 tsp red chilly powder
  • 1 tsp dhanya powder
  • 1 tsp chana masala
  • Salt, as required


Blend in coconut with one tomato and 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste, keep them aside.

Soak chana dal, minimum for 2 hours.  After which, drain excess water away and blend it with all other ingredients under dumplings section.  Take care not to blend it to smooth paste, the consistency must be coarse.


Now, grease your hands and make dumplings out of this coarse mixture.  Steam them for ten minutes or till done.  They are done if inserted knife gets out clean.

Let them cool, after so break them with hand into smaller pieces.  Keep aside.

In a kadaai, heat oil and temper with rai.  Wait till it splutters, this is followed by chana dal, green chillies and curry leaves.

Add in onions and saute till they are transculent or pink.

Add in tomatos along with other spice powders.

Saute them till tomato gets mushy, now add coconut-tomato-gingergarlic mix.  Cook till oil floats on top.  Taste it to adjust spice/salt

Now add in steamed dal mixture.

Mix them thoroughly, simmer for ten more minutes and switch off the flame.

Serve hot garnished with finely chopped coriander leaves

 Goes great with idly, dosa, pongal too!!

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