Saturday, 10 April 2010

Low Calorie Vada Curry/Steamed Lentil Dumpling curry

Low calorie Vada Curry
One’s student life is probably the most unforgettable days of our lives and for me my college days are particularly good memories. I enjoyed and loved being in my college and am so thankful for that. As I took a field quite atypical for girls, I was the only girl in my class. While I use to have a group of friends with whom I would have lunch in my class, some of them who were staying away from family would bring lunch from a hotel or mess. That’s how I even got to know of this dish vada curry. I was told by my classmates that it is usually made with leftover vada (now wondering if they were trying to wind me up)and at that time I would not even look at leftover food and that made me have an aversion for this dish. To add to that, the canteen in the office I worked also served this and needless to say that only made my dislike stronger. One of our friends served this for us when we visited them this year and that was when I changed my mind and thought of giving it a shot. I generally do not deep fry for health reasons and also that I am a bit lazy to store the leftover oil and there is no space on my counter. So, I tried a low calorie version of this recipe and here it is:

For vada:
½ cup Bengal gram (channa dal)
¼ cup red gram (spilt pigeon peas/tuvar dal/toor dal)
5-6 dry red chillies
Few coriander and curry leaves
1 onion finely chopped
Salt to taste

For gravy:
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup finely chopped tomatoes
¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon tamarind extract (optional)
Cooiking oil
To grind
¼ cup coconut (fresh grated or powder)
3-4 green chillies
1 tablespoon poppy seeds(soaked in water for atleast 30 minutes)
1 cinnamon stick
2-3 cloves
1 inch long ginger
3-4 garlic cloves

To make the vada, soak the dals for atleast 1 hour and coarsely grind along with dry red chillies and required salt. Add chopped coriander and curry leaves and onions to the ground dal and mix. Make small balls and gently press them to get the vada shape. Steam the vadas until cooked.
To make gravy, add mustard seeds to some oil and after it splutters, fry onions, tomatoes and turmeric powder. Grind all ingredients specified to be ground. Once the tomatoes become pulpy add the ground mixture and required amount of water and cook until raw smell goes. Add required amount of salt. Now add the steamed vadas and boil for couple of minutes. Vada curry is ready to be served.
If you are a vegetarian, this dish will be a different way to get your daily portion of dal. If desired you can add the tamarind once you have added the ground mixture to the tomatoes. I had not cut the onions and tomatoes very fine so just whisked with my hand mixie. This dish is best served with hot rice and some vegetables on the side. This would easily serve 4.

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