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Vada Curry

As the name suggests ‘Vada Curry’ is nothing but dhal vadas mashed in tomato-based curry (gravy). A Chettinad dish that is lip smacking and goes well with aapam , idly and dosa varieties.

How to make Vada Curry?

Preparation is simple. First step is to soak dhal and make vadas just like paruppu vada. Then preparing a tomato gravy with coconut and few whole spices. The final step is to break vadas into pieces and mash them in gravy. As simple as that!

Vada Curry

Usually vadas are made up of split yellow channa dhal in Vada Curry. Here, I have used kabuli chana for vadas just for a variation. And they are air fried.

Here’s the recipe for ‘Vada Curry’ in a simple format..


For Vada:

  • Kabuli Chana – 1 cup
  • Red Chillies – 1
  • Saunf – 1 tsp
  • Hing – ¼ tsp
  • Curry Leaves – 4 or 5
  • Salt to taste

For Gravy:

  • Onion – 1 medium-sized
  • Tomatoes – 2 large-sized
  • Curry Leaves – few
  • Jeera – ½ tsp
  • Haldi – ¼ tsp
  • Red Chilly Powder – ½ tsp (as per taste)
  • Garam Masala – ½ tsp
  • Cooking Oil – 2 tbsp (preferably gingelly oil)
  • Fresh Coriander Leaves – 2 tbsp, finely chopped

For Masala Paste:

  • Coriander Seeds – 2 tsp
  • Saunf – 2 tsp
  • Cloves – 2 or 3
  • Black Cardamom – 1
  • Tej Patha/Bay Leaves – 1 or 2
  • Cashews – 7 or 8
  • Grated Coconut – ¼ cup
  • Green Chilly – 1 or 2 (as per taste)
  • Garlic – 2 or 3 cloves
  • Ginger – ½ tsp, chopped


For Vada:

  • Soak kabuli chana for 3 to 4 hrs. Drain the water.
  • Grind it coarsely with red chilly, saunf, hing, salt and curry leaves.
  • Make vadas either by deep frying, shallow frying or air frying. You can make it in appe pan too.

For gravy:

  • First step is to make masala paste. Soak coriander seeds, saunf, cloves, tej patha, badi elaichi and cashews for 30 mins.
  • Grind them into a fine paste along with grated coconut, green chilly, ginger and garlic.
  • Finely chop onions and tomatoes.
  • In a kadai, heat oil and splutter jeera.
  • Add curry leaves and chopped onions. Saute till it gets translucent.
  • Add tomatoes, salt, haldi and saute till it gets mushy.
  • Add grounded masala paste, garam masala and red chilly powder. Saute till oil separates.
  • Now, add good amount of water (approx. 2 cups) and let it boil.
  • Add vadas (broken into pieces). Once it boils keep mashing so that it mixes well with the gravy.
  • Switch off and garnish with chopped coriander.
  • Vada Curry thickens a lot once cooled, so adjust water accordingly.
  • Serve hot with aapam, idly or dosa varieties.

For Mixed Millet Idly recipe, plz click

Vada Curry with Millet Idly


  • In this recipe, you can steam the vadas too but that will alter the taste. I always prefer to air fry them or make in appe pan.
  • For vadas you can use any combination of dhals like yellow split channa dhal, moong dhal, sukha matar etc.
  • Many a times, we use leftover paruppu vada/dhal vada batter to make vada curry the next day.
  • Vada Curry thickens a lot once cooled so adjust water accordingly. And also adjust seasoning if required.

Happy Cooking!

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