Steamed Vada Curry/Steamed Dal or Lentil Dumpling in Coconut Curry is a delicious curry made mostly in South Indian homes, it’s a versatile dish, each home have their own recipe. The dish usually has fried dal/lentil dumplings added to coconut curry. The fried dal/lentil dumplings are very similar Middle Eastern dish falafels.
Many homes follow the healthy method of steaming the dumplings & then adding it to the coconut curry prepared. This is one such recipe that I prepare for my Family.
Do try this recipe, the steamed lentils vadas/dumplings are broken & added to the coconut curry which makes the dumplings soak in all the flavours of the curry & makes it soft & delicious when we take a bite. The curry is prepared with spices, grated ginger, garlic which gives nutty flavour to the curry & then onions sautéed in oil which adds sweetness to the curry. Then tomatoes are added for its mild sourness & for making the gravy. The Dal/Lentil dumplings are gently crushed & dropped into the curry, followed by ground coconut paste which gives beautiful sweetness, depth & thickness to the curry. The curry blends in with the dal/lentils & vice-versa makes a beautiful combination for a flavourful mouth watering experience.
The curry goes great with Hot Rice, Phulkas, Rotis, Dosa, Idlis etc. They make great leftovers & with less ingredients its makes a lot of curry, easy to prepare for a crowd.
- ½ Cup – Chana Dal (rinsed & soaked for atleast 4 hours)
- ½ Cup – Grated Coconut (You can use coconut cream or coconut milk instead)
- 3 – Cloves
- 2 pinch – Asafoetida/Hing
- 1 inch – Cinnamon
- ½ Tsp – Saunf/Fennel seeds
- 6 – Cloves of Garlic (grated)
- 1 Inch – Ginger (grated)
- 1 – Medium Onion (finely chopped)
- 2 – Medium Tomatoes (finely chopped)
- Salt as per taste
- 2 – Green Chillies (finely chopped)
- ¼ Tsp – Turmeric Powder
- 2 Tsp – Homemade Sambhar Powder/Curry Powder
- 1 Tbsp – Fresh Coriander/Dhania Leaves (Chopped)
1.Make the Steamed Vadas/Dal Dumplings
- Rinse & Soak Chana Dal in water for atleast 4 hours.
- After four hours we will see the dal would be plumped up.
- Drain the water & transfer it to a mixy/blender jar.
- Add Saunf/Fennel seeds & salt.
- Grind it coarsely.
- Now we roll it gently into lemon size ball with our fingers & place it on a steamer plate (please do not press/roll the dal paste too much as it will make the vada/dal dumpling dense).
- We remove two raw/uncooked dal ball/dumplings & set it aside.
- We place the plate into a pre heated steamer & steam the dal ball/dumplings for 5-6 minutes.
- After 5 minutes we remove from heat & set it aside (please keep it covered so it does not go dry).
2.Ground Coconut Paste
(Instead of ground coconut paste you can use coconut cream or thick coconut milk)
- Transfer the grated coconut into a mixy/blender jar.
- Add ½ cup slightly hot/warm water.
- Grind it to a fine paste & set it aside.
We Prepare the Curry:
- Heat a Kadai/wok add oil (please keep heat on low).
- Add cloves, cinnamon, grated garlic & ginger sauté.
- Add salt so they do not burn & sauté.
- Then we add finely chopped green chillies & sauté.
- We add the chopped onion, sauté & cover the kadai/wok with a lid to let the onion cook well.
- After a few minutes we open the lid, the onions need to be soft & translucent.
- Then we add the chopped tomatoes & sauté.
- Again we cover the kadai/wok with a lid to let the tomatoes cook well.
- After a few minutes we open the lid, the tomatoes need to be soft.
- We gently mash the tomatoes with the back of the spoon/spatula.
- Add turmeric powder, homemade sambhar powder/curry powder & sauté.
- Now we add the raw/uncooked dal ball/dumplings we set aside earlier, sauté well to remove raw dal flavour (this done to enhance the flavour of the curry).
- Add 1 glass of water & mix well.
- Add salt to taste (please check & add required salt).
- We cover with a lid & let the curry cook for 3-4 minutes.
- After a few minutes we open the lid & see the curry has come to a full boil & cooking well.
- We add ½ glass water & as it is heating we add the steamed vadas/dal dumplings into the curry.
- We break the vadas/dal dumplings gently into pieces & drop it into the curry (just crack the vada/dumplings into two pieces or as you wish).
- Then mix the curry gently.
- Now we add the coconut paste we prepared earlier & mix well.
- Once the curry starts to bubble turn off heat (since we have added coconut paste, if we let it cook for long the curry may split).
- Finally we add the chopped coriander/dhania leaves, mix (the curry will thicken as it cools, add ½ cup water, heat it & then serve for later).
- Ready to serve.