Vada Curry with Set Dosai

My work often takes me to the southern part of the Indian subcontinent which is famous for its vegetarian Cuisine. I tasted this delicious dish during one of my trips and I have been in love with it ever since. The best part of the curry is that it can be served with idli, medu vadai, idiyappam, dosa or even rice.


  • Serves 4
  • For the Vada
  • 1 Cup Chana Dal
  • 1-inch Ginger (roughly chopped)
  • 4 Red Chilli
  • 1/2 Tsp Fennel Seeds
  • Salt to Taste
  • Oil (for deep frying)
  • Water
  • For the Coconut Cashew Paste
  • 4 Tbsp Grated Coconut  
  • 10 Cashew Nuts 
  • Water 
  • For the Vada Curry 
  • 2 Tbsp Oil 
  • Whole Spices (1-inch Cinnamon, 3 Cloves, 2 Cardamom, 1 Bay Leaf, 1 Star Anise, 1 Tbsp Fennel Seeds and 1 Stone Flower) 
  • 3 Medium Onions (finely chopped) 
  • 2 Green Chili (chopped) 
  • Curry Leaves 
  • 1 Tsp Ginger Garlic Paste  
  • 2 Medium Tomato (chopped) 
  • Salt to Taste 
  • 1/2 Tsp Turmeric Powder  
  • 2 Tsp Red Chili Powder
  • 2 Tsp Coriander Powder  
  • 1/2 Garam Masala Powder  
  • 2 Cups Water 
  • Coriander Leaves 
  • For the Set Dosai
  • 3 Cups Parimal Rice 
  • 1 Cup Split Urad Dal (White)
  • Water as Required 
  • Salt to Taste 
  • Turmeric Powder 
  • Ghee


Prep: 30 minutes
Cooking: 20 minutes

  1. • For the Vada, soak the chana dal for 6 to 8 hrs. Strain the water and add the dal to a mixer jar. Add fennel seeds, red chillies, ginger and salt. Grind it into a coarse batter.
  2. Heat some oil for deep frying and slowly drop the vada mixture into the hot oil and deep fry them.
  3. Fry the vadas till they are slightly golden brown (you need not fry them till they turn deep brown). Break the vadas into small pieces and keep it aside.
  4. For coconut cashew paste, in a mixer jar, add coconut, cashews and grind it to a fine paste by adding some water. 
  5. For the curry, heat some oil in a kadai, add cinnamon, fennel seeds, bay leaf, star anise, stone flower, curry leaves, onions, green chillies and saute till they are soft. 
  6. Next, add ginger-garlic paste and saute along. Add tomatoes and saute, add turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala, red chilli powder and salt. Saute everything well, add water and bring it to a boil.
  7. Then add the coconut-cashew paste and mix well. Add the vada pieces and close and cook for 10 minutes. Finally, garnish it with coriander leaves and serve hot. 
  8. For the set dosa, soak rice and dal in separate bowls overnight. In the morning, strain excess water and using a blender grind the dal to a fine paste. Use minimal water. Follow the same procedure for rice. Mix the batter properly and keep it aside for fermentation.
  9. Take a portion of the batter in a separate bowl, add salt and turmeric powder. Mix some water if the batter is too thick. 
  10. Heat a non-stick dosa tawa, pour a portion of the batter using a ladle. Using a flat base bowl spread the batter on the tawa to the thickness of 1 mm. Pour some ghee on the dosa and flip it to cook evenly. Serve hot!