Curd vada (dahi vada)

This is one of my favourite dish. I like curd vada more than sambar vada or any vegetable vada. Whenever vadas are made at home, there will be fight between me and my brother as I want curd vada and my brother wants just vadas, but both of us get what we want. She divides the batter for vadas and curd vadas. With this curd vada you can make it as a chat also. Just drizzle some sweet chutney (tamarind chutney), chopped onion, grated carrot, few sev, green chutney (mint chutney). This south Indian curd vada is different from the north Indian curd vada which we call dahi bhalle, which is served as a chat. In dahi bhalle, the curd will be little sweet and it is drizzled with sweet chutney, chilli powder, roasted cumin powder on top of it. But I always have it just plain south Indian curd vada. My mother soak the vadas directly to the tadka curd, but my aunty first soak the vadas in plain water or butter milk (thin curd mixture, little curd but more water) and then added to the tadka curd. Both has different taste, you can do as per your taste and need. The method which I adopt needs more curd as the vadas will absorb all the liquid.

Ingredients

  • Vadas - as per requirement (See my recipe for medhu vada)
  • Curd tadka

  • Oil – 1 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds – 1 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin seeds (optional) - 1 tsp
  • Dry chillies – 4
  • Curry leaves – 15
  • Salt - as per taste
  • Coriander leaves - few
  • Curd – 2 cups
  • Water - as per requirement

Method

    Curd tadka (seasoned curd)

  • Take curd in a bowl as per need. Add water to get to a consistency you need. The consistency of curd should be like custard, not very thick or not very thin.
  • First heat a wider vessel, add oil, when it gets warms add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, dry chillies, curry leaves. When it starts spluttering and the curry leaves are fried well, add the curd mixture which was beaten well already.
  • As soon as the curd is added, simmer the flame and mix well the curd and the other ingredients.
  • Add salt as per taste and switch off immediately or after 1 min and keep it aside.
  • As soon as the vadas are fried, after draining it well, drop the vadas directly in the curd mixture, one by one.
  • Make vadas according to the curd mixture requirement as the vadas has to be soaked in the curd well and it needs some space. I have used plain thick batter for my vadas. You can add few cumin seeds and few pepper corns in the batter or grind it with the vada batter.
  • After 15 to 20 mins, turn the vadas and again soak it for few hours now.
  • The vadas will be soft and juicy, when it is soaked in curd mixture for more than 2 hours.
  • Serve the curd vadas cold and enjoy the tasty and juicy curd vadas.

Notes

  • You can soak vadas in the water or butter milk first for few mintues, then squeeze the water from it, by pressing it in your both palms and the dropping it in the curd. But if you place the vadas directly to the curd mixture, it will give you more taste. If it is soaked in water or butter milk, the flavour and the taste of the vadas will be lost and it will give you a different taste. I think the pre-soaking is done mainly to avoid a lot of curd from getting absorbed by the vadas. If we want the taste then we can use more curd mixture to have a very delicious curd vada. The pre-soaking is mostly done in hotels to avoid using too much curd.
  • In restaurants it is served differently, it is presoaked in water, squeezed to remove the excess water, placed the vadas on the plate, pour the seasoned (tadka) yogurt/curd mixture on top, garnished with boondi (made with gram flour batter), grated carrot, coriander leaves, grated fresh coconut(optional). Sometimes they add little bit sugar in the yoghurt mixture.
  • Sometimes even chopped ginger is also added while tadka.
  • Some add soda to the vada batter, but I do not.

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