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Vada Curry
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South Indian Vada Curry Recipe

South Indian Vada Curry Recipe (Vadakari) is a speciality from Tamil Nadu which is made from masala vadai (Bengal gram fritters). Learn how to make vadakari in few simple steps. 
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 6
Author: Hina Gujral


Ingredients for masala vada

  • 1 Cup channa dal bengal gram
  • 1 small-size onion finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoon coriander leaves finely chopped
  • 1 sprig of curry leaves chopped
  • 1 green chili finely chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for deep frying

To be grind into paste

  • 4 dried red chilies
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 inch piece of ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds

Ingredients for the curry

  • 2 onions finely chopped
  • 1 Cup tomato puree
  • 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
  • 2 green chilies slit
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon red chili powder as per preference
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 ½ tablespoon oil
  • Water as required


  • To prepare the vada, wash and soak channa dal in water for 3 hours.
  • Fine chop the onions, green chilies and coriander leaves. Keep aside.
  • Grind all ingredients mentioned under the list ‘to grind’ along with 1 teaspoon of water into a coarse paste. Set aside.
  • Drain water from channa dal and grind it into a coarse paste. Avoid using any water to grind the dal.
  • To the ground channa dal, add onions, coriander leaves, ground masala paste, salt and mix well.
  • Heat oil in a deep heavy-bottom pan.
  • Shape the vada round and slide gently into the pan of hot oil.
  • Deep fry them until golden brown.
  • Drain on a plate lined with kitchen towel.
  • Instead of deep-frying you can steam the shaped vadas in idli steamer for about 12 minutes.
  • To make the curry, heat 1 ½ tablespoon oil in a pan.
  • Add bay leaves, cinnamon stick, cloves and fennel seeds to hot oil. Fry till aroma of spices is released.
  • Add onion, green chilies and cook till onions turn translucent.
  • Add ginger garlic paste. Cook until raw smell of the paste is gone.
  • Add tomato puree (first blanch tomatoes in boiling water for about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove tomatoes from water, peel the skin and blend into puree).
  • Cook until oil separates from the sides of the pan.
  • Add all the spice powders along with salt, stir to combine.
  • Add about 1 cup of water and bring the curry to boil once.
  • Crumble the deep fried vadas into smaller pieces before adding it to the curry. You can add the whole vada as well in the curry.
  • Simmer the curry over medium heat and let the vadas absorb the flavor of the curry. This takes about 12 to 15 minutes.
  • Once the gravy is thick, turn off the heat.
  • Garnish Vadakari with fresh coriander leaves.
  • Serve Vad Curry warm as side dish for idli or dosa.