Vada Curry

Vada Curry is a recent addition to the breakfast items of Chennai. Besides, it is one of the most sought after breakfast dishes. Vada Curry can be served along with dishes like Idli, dosa, appam as an accompaniment. Also, it can be relished alone on its own too.   It has ‘Channa Dhal’ ( Bengal gram dhal ) and so consuming it has all benefits of the dhal.

Vada kari
  • Cooking Time : 1 hour plus 3 hours of soaking the Dhal
  • Servings : 3


  1. Channa Dhal ( Bengal Gram Dhal ) : 1 Cup ( 160 grams )
  2. Aniseed: 1 Teaspoon
  3. Garlic cloves: 2
  4. Onion: 2 ( 150 grams approximate )
  5. G. chilli: 4
  6. Tomato: 2 ( 100 grams)
  7. Ginger & Garlic paste: 1 Teaspoon
  8. Turmeric powder: 1 Teaspoon
  9. Chili powder : 1.5 Teaspoon
  10. Coriander powder : 0.75 Teaspoon
  11. Mint, Coriander and Curry leaves: a few sprigs
  12. Salt: 1.5 Teaspoon
  13. Oil: 1 Tablespoon
  14. Water: 2 Cups
  15. Bay leaf: 2
  16. Cardamom: 1
  17. Cloves: 2
  18. Cinnamon: 1 small piece


Wash and soak in water Bengal gram dhal for 3 hours. After this, drain without water and grind it coarse in a blender with 0.50 Teaspoon aniseed, 2 garlic cloves and 0.75 teaspoon salt without adding water. Steam the dough as you do for ‘idli” for 10 minutes in an ‘Idli maker’ and break them into small pieces. Chop the Onions, Green chilli and Tomatoes. Keep a skillet over medium flame and add oil.

Once it is hot, add the remaining aniseed with all the spices whole – Bay leaf, Cardamom, Cinnamon and Cloves. Later, the chopped onions and green chilli can be added. Fry it for a few minutes and then put the chopped tomato pieces along with cleaned Mint, Coriander and Curry leaves. Fry for a couple of minutes and add the Ginger Garlic paste along with Turmeric Powder, Chili Powder and Coriander Powder. Once the mixture is half cooked, pour the water with salt and let it simmer. Add steamed Vada pieces and stir well for 10 minutes over a low flame. Mostly, Vada Curry is served watery.

Vada Curry

Tips: Ground Dhal can be shallow fried in a ‘tawa’ instead of being steamed. But it should not be fried crisp. I have given the steaming method as frying with oil is avoided for health benefits.