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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Vada Sambar & Chutney

Makes 7 to 8 medium size vadas.

Vada Recipe


  • 1 cup urad dal (black gram lentil)
  • 1 small green chili finely chopped
  • 1 inch piece of ginger finely chopped
  • 5 to 6 curry leaves finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped coriander leaves
  • Salt
  • Enough cooking oil required for deep frying.

  1. Wash and soak urad dal for 4 hours.
  2. Place half of the soaked dal into the grinding jar and add 2 to 3 tbsp of water. Grind to a smooth batter using very little water. Do not add too much water at once.The batter should be dry and not flowy. Grind until the batter is smooth and fluffy. Remove from the jar and repeat the same with other half of the soaked dal. Remove the batter into a large mixing bowl. 
  3. Add chopped green chili, chopped ginger, chopped coriander leaves, chopped curry leaves and salt to the batter and mix well. Set the batter aside for 1 hour.
  4. Heat oil in a kadai for deep frying. With wet hands, place a spoonful of batter on your palm and make hole or dent with the thumb and slide the batter into the hot oil carefully. ' Be safe'
  5. If you find this step difficult, just take a spoonful of batter and drop into the oil. Only the shape will differ, taste will remain the same.
  6. Fry vada on medium low flame for 5 minutes on each side.
  7. Remove vadas and place it on a kitchen tissue. 
  8. Serve hot with sambar and chutney. 

Sambar Recipe


Cook all in a pressure cooker
  • 1/2 cup toor dal ~pigeon pea lentil (washed)
  • 1 medium onion roughly chopped
  • 1 medium tomato chopped
  • 2 green chili chopped
  • 5 to 6 curry leaves
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder (or less)
  • Salt
  • 2 tbsp oil

Other ingredients:
  • 3 to 4 tbsp of sambar powder (any brand)
  • 1/2 cup tamarind soaked water
  • 2 drum sticks boiled (optional)
  • 1 small potato cut in cubes & boiled
  • 1 carrot cut into small pieces & boiled
  • Any other veggies of your choice.
  • 3 to 4 tbsp grated jaggery (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chopped coriander leaves.

  1. Once the dal is cooked in pressure cooker, open the lid and mash slightly. Add all the cooked vegetables of your choice.
  2. Place it on heat and cook. 
  3. Add samabar powder, tamarind juice and jaggery. Check salt and sourness and adjust accordingly.
  4. Bring to a slow boil and finally add chopped coriander.
  5. Serve hot with Vada, Idli or Dosa.

Chutney Recipe


  • 1 cup fresh grated coconut
  • 1 small piece of ginger grated
  • 1 clove of garlic chopped
  • 1 green chili chopped (1-if it is too hot; 2 if mild)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin whole
  • 1 tsp full tamarind pulp (or 1/4 cup tamarind soaked juice)
  • 3 tbsp roasted chana dal (also known as phutana)
  • Small bunch of fresh coriander leaves chopped (1 cup)
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 curry leaves.


Grind all the above ingredients with half cup of water to a smooth paste. Before taking out from the grinding jar, taste and check the seasoning and adjust the salt, chili and tamarind accordingly. Add water if needed according to the consistency of your choice. Add more water if you want it thin and less water to keep the chutney dry.

If you want to temper it: Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a small pan, when medium hot add 1 tsp urad dal and 1 tsp mustard grains. When it starts crakling, add 2 dry red chilies and 4 to 5 curry leaves. Keep for few seconds and pour on the chutney.

Red Chutney Recipe

Grind together:

  • 1 cup fresh grated coconut
  • 4 dry red chilies
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 4 to 5 curry leaves
  • 3 tbsp of roasted chana dal
  • 1 tbsp of tamarind pulp
  • Salt to taste.
Grind all the above ingredients together to a smooth paste by adding 3 to 4 tbsp of water or slightly more.