Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Sambar Vadai - Saravana Bhavan Style

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Today I would like to share one of the best tasting and authentic recipe,sambar vadai.These vadai's soaked in hot sambar,is just a real treat to our taste buds!!! I first tasted this sambar vadai in one of the most famous restaurants Saravana Bhavan.I was simply carried away by the fragrance and flavor from the first bite :))...It was heaven!!!I became an instant fan of sambar vadai.I tried to make this hotel style version the other day at home and to my surprise!! It tasted awesome..I was really excited that my husband loved it sooo much!! and said it tasted just like the one in the big HSB :-))...So,I wanted to share this recipe right away with everyone....Hope you all like it too :))..

For vadai's
1) Udad dhall - 11/2 cups
2) Green chillies to taste
3) Ginger chopped - 2tsp
4) Fresh coriander leaves - few(do not add more this will change vadai color)
5) Salt to taste
6) Oil for deep frying

For sambar:
1) Thoor dhall - 3/4th cup
2) Moong dhall - 1/2 cup
3) Onions roughly chopped - 1 big
4) Tomatoes roughly chopped - 2 big
5) Tamarind extract(I used concentrated paste) - 21/2 tblsp
6) Turmeric powder - 1/2tsp
7) Salt to taste
8) Curry leaves - few
9) For tempering :
Mustard seed - 1tsp
Hing - litt;e
Fenugreek seed - 1/2tsp
Oil - 1 tblsp
10) Sambar powder - 3tsp

11) Freshly chopped onions and coriander leaves for garnish

First,soak udad dhall for 1 1/2 hrs in water.Then,drain the water and keep it in fridge for 30 more minutes.Keep a glass of water also in the fridge.Trust me,this will all help in getting perfect vadai's.I learnt these tips from my mother.

Meanwhile,pressure cook both the dhalls together.

In a pot,heat oil and add one by one of the tempering ingredients.Now,add onions and fry till translucent.Next,fry tomatoes for a minute or two.Add turmeric powder,tamarind water and salt.Bring it to a boil.This is the time to add the sambar powder and curry leaves,allow it to boil.Finally,add the cooked dhall and boil it for 5 more minutes.Lovely aroma starts to come out....Switch of the stove and close it with a lid.

Hot sambar is ready!!!

Now coming to making of vadai's.

When the udad dhall is soaked for the required amount of time,it is time to grind it.First,in the blender,grind green chillies,coriander leaves and ginger.Then,add soaked dhall to it.No water should be added for intial grinding.While grinding the dough,it starts to become tough,now we add the chilled water little by little to the dough and grind it into a thick smooth paste.Add salt to the dough and keep it aside.

We need to keep three things ready before frying.1)a big bowl of water to soak the vadai's.2)a small cup of water next to the dough bowl,this will help from the dough not sticking to our hands.3)a glass bowl filled with 3/4th quantity of hot sambar,will use the remaining sambar before serving.

In a wok,heat oil.When the oil is hot,add a tablespoon of hot oil to the fresh dough and mix well.This will help the vadai not to absorb more oil.In fact,my vadai's had very little oil when drained on a kitchen towel.Now,touch your palm with little water and take a small ball of the dough,flatten it and carefully transfer the dough into the hot oil.Fry them till nice golden brown in color and drain them on a kitchen towel.Once one batch of vadai is ready,soak them in the big bowl of water.Leave it there till next batch of vadai is ready.Remove the previous batch from the water by gently squeezing the water from them and then soak them in the hot sambar,in the glass bowl.Repeat the same process for the remaining dough.Soak the vadai's for at least 2 to 3 hours.It will look like there is no sambar in the bowl...The vadai's will totally absorb the whole sambar.

Before serving,carefully take the vadai's out and place them on a glass plate/ bowl.Pour little sambar over it and microwave it till just hot.Garnish it with freshly chopped onion,coriander leaves and serve.The fragrance of hot sambar vadai with fresh garnish is soooo good...

Yummy sambar vadai is ready!!!! Enjoy....Believe me,it is worth all the efforts.

Can't wait to share thayir/curd vadai in my next post :)))....


  1. Very yummy !
    Thanks for the tips, Pavi.

  2. True.No pain no gain.specially when the dish comes out perfect and when it wins the appreciation of your dear ones,there is no word to express the happiness you derive.Seekram Thair vadai post pls.I am happy you mastered the trick of HSB.

  3. Very nice narrative. Innovative too. I shall try this.