For the Vada
Channa Dal (Bengal Gram, Kadalai Paruppu) – 1 cup
Dry Red Chillies – 3
Fennel Seeds – 1/4 tsp
Ginger – 1/2 ” piece
Garlic – 2 cloves
Curry Leaves – 4-5 leaves
MAC Asafoetida – a pinch
Salt – 1/2 tsp
Onion – 1/4 (finely chopped)
Onion – 1 (chopped)
Tomato – 2 (chopped)
Ginger Garlic Paste – 1 tsp
Green Chillies – 2
Red Chilly Powder – 1tsp
Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp
Coriander Powder – 2 tsp
Mustard Seeds – 1/2 tsp
Cumin Seeds – 1/4 tsp
Whole Garam Masala – 1 cinnamon stick, 3 cloves
Curry Leaves – 1 spring
Salt – as needed
Oil – 2 tbsp
Cilantro – handful (finely chopped)
Soak the bengal gram for an hour. Drain all the water and grind it to a coarse paste along with dry red chillies, ginger and garlic.
Mix finely chopped onion, curry leaves, asafoetida, fennel seeds and salt to the ground dal paste.
Pinch small balls of this dal paste (blueberry sized).
4.Cook it using any of the following methods:
Keep these vada pieces ready while you prepare the gravy. (NOTE: You can also prepare the gravy using left over masala vada. Scramble the vadas into tiny pieces and proceed.)
For the curry, heat oil in a pan and splutter the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, whole garam masala and curry leaves.
Add the finely chopped onions and green chillies. Fry them till it turns golden brown.
Add the ginger garlic paste and fry for a minute. Next add the chopped tomatoes and cook till the tomatoes are totally mashed up.
Add salt, turmeric powder, red chilly powder and corriander powder. Cover and cook till the oil seperates from the masala.
Add enough water (about 4-5 cups) and bring it to a boil. (NOTE: You can also use diluted coconut milk instead of water.)
Add the tiny vada pieces to the curry. Simmer for about 5 minutes so that the gravy will be absorbed by the vada pieces.
Check for salt and the gravy consistency and adjust if needed. The curry will continue to thicken as it rests.
Finally add chopped corriander leaves (cilantro) and switch off.