Thursday, May 8, 2014



 This healthier version of masala vada is made by steaming the dumplings. Thanks to my friend, Jayashri Shenoy who pointed this dish to me. It was delicious and I shall make this from time to time as a snack for the health conscious.

I used Saffola cooking oil instead of ghee and reduced the amount of coconut gratings for the seasoning. I have adapted this dish from the Vah Chef website of Chef Sanjay Thumma mainly because I like masala vada and this particular recipe did not call for deep frying.

  • Chana Dal,  ( Split Chickpeas), 2 cups
  • Onions, finely chopped, 1
  • Ginger, finely chopped, 1 small piece
  • Red Chillies, 3-4, or to taste
  • Curry leaves, a few
  • Peppercorns, 1 tsp
  • Cooking Soda, 1/2 tsp
  • Ghee/Oil, 1 tsp
  • Lime Juice, 1 tbsp
  • Salt, to taste
For Seasoning:
  • Cooking Oil, 1 tbsp 
  • Mustard Seeds, 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves, a few
  • Turmeric ( Haldi), 1/2 tsp
  • Asafoetida (Hing), a pinch
  • Coconut Gratings, 1 and 1/2 tbsp
  • Salt, a little
  • Sugar, 1 tsp
  • Lime Juice, 1 tbsp

Firstly, wash the chana dal and soak it for 3-4 hours. Drain all the water and keep the dal aside.
In a mixer, add red chillies, onions, ginger, curry leaves, peppercorns, salt, chana dal, and cooking soda and grind to a coarse paste, without adding any water.
Transfer the ground paste to a bowl
Add a little ghee/oil and lime juice, and mix well. The addition of the lime juice helps the vadas come out soft.
From the ground paste, make small bite-size dumplings.
In a steamer or pressure cooker (without putting the weight), steam cook the dumplings for 10 minutes. Remove and allow them to cool.
In a pan, heat ghee/oil for tempering. When the ghee/oil is hot, add mustard seeds.
When they crackle, add red chillies, pinch of hing, haldi powder, curry leaves, freshly grated coconut, very little salt, sugar, lime juice, and mix well.
Add the steam cooked dumplings to the tempering and saute them gently for a few minutes
Remove and serve hot

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