Vadaikari with Idlis

This is one recipe that is truly an excellent side dish to go with rice, idlis, dosas or uthappams. At home though the father and son duo tell me that they are taste tasting the vadais and I end up with the gravy to go with idlis :)

The vadai is not the traditional vadai but almost like paruppu vada/parupusili combination. I deep fry the vadais(the more oily dishes I eat the more energy I get to run behind my little tyke is the only lame reason!) you can also steam it if you like to opt for the healthier version. Actually speaking for vegetarians like us, idli with its lentils and again vadai with the lentils- both steam cooked make a good source of protein and filling meal in one.

I made idli vadaikari last week for dinner with a friend’s family, adjust the proportions for a family of 2 or follow it as it is for 5-6 people.

(makes about 20 small vadais)

Chana dal- 1/2 cup
Red chili-1
Coconut- 1/2 tbsp
Salt to taste
Curry leaves- few
Canola oil/vegetable oil – to deep fry

Soak chana dal in water for atleast an hour. Drain the water and grind it to a thick coarse paste along with red chilies, curry leaves, salt and coconut. Heat oil in a kadai. Scoop a tablespoon size of the batter and drop it in hot oil, wait for 1-2 minutes till it turns golden brown in color. Flip it to the other side and let it cook for another minute. Remove from the oil and drain excess oil in a paper towel. If you want to skip the deep frying part, proceed as above but instead of frying, scoop the batter and steam it in a steamer/idli plate.

For the gravy:
Finely chopped onion- 1/4 cup
Finely chopped tomatoes- 1 cup(atleast 2 medium size tomatoes)
Red chili powder- 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder- 1/8 tsp
Dhania powder- 1/4 tsp
Coconut- 2 tbsp
Dahlia/Pottu kadalai/roasted split dal- 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
Water- 2 to 2.5 cups
Coriander leaves to garnish

For tempering:
Oil- 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves- few
Hing-1 pinch

Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds, when they splutter add curry leaves and hing. Stir fry onions first, add salt and turmeric powder when onions turn pink in color. Add tomatoes and stir fry till it comes together like a gravy(You can either add the onions and tomato as a paste separately and stir fry too). Now add the red chili powder and dhania powder. Stir fry till the raw smell of the chili powder disappears. Add about 2 – 2.5 cups of water and let it simmer for 10 minutes.

Blend pottu kadalai(dahlia) and coconut with 1-2 tbsp of water to a thick paste. Once the gravy is done, add this paste to the gravy and let it simmer for another 3-4 minutes(this is to thicken the gravy). Switch off garnish with cilantro leaves. If you like, you can skip blending the coconut and add 1/4 cup of coconut milk.

To serve: About 10 minutes before serving add the vadais to the gravy, warm it up slightly and serve. If you add all the vadais to the gravy as soon as you make it, the vadais will absorb all the gravy.

I took the picture with what was left over instead of taking it before serving so the next time I make it, it will be a better picture :)

Actually when you have it with rice, this is like a version of paruppu urundai karakozhambu. If you want you can even add chopped onions to the vadai batter.

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3 Comments to “Vadaikari with Idlis”

  1. faseela says:

    superb recipe dear….

  2. Cham says:

    I make vadai curry but very different way. That is a lovely combo!

  3. maha says:

    luks yumm yumm…nice one..vl try this..

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