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vada curry served with set dosa
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5 from 2 votes

Steamed vada curry recipe

Vada curry recipe - steamed version with full video and step by step detailed pictures. Save some extra calories with the steamed version of vada curry, a popular street food in Saidapet, Madras.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Soaking time3 hrs
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian, South Indian
Servings: 4



  • ½ cup Chana dal
  • 4 Red chilli
  • 1 tsp Fennel / Soambu/ Saunf
  • 2 Onion
  • 3 Tomato
  • 1 tsp Ginger garlic paste
  • 1 & ½ tsp Red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp Coriander seeds powder
  • ½ tsp Garam masala powder optional
  • ¼ tsp Turmeric
  • Salt - as needed
  • 10 Mint leaves
  • 2 tbsp Coriander leaves chopped
  • 1 sprig Curry leaves

To temper

  • 2 tbsp Oil
  • 1 inch Cinnamon
  • 1 Cardamom
  • 1 Cloves
  • 1 Biryani leaf
  • 1 tsp kal pasi optional
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds


  • Soak channa dal for 3 hrs.  First grind chilli, fennel and salt.
  • Then add the drained chana and grind coarsely. Do in batches to ensure even grinding. Do not grind smoothly.
  • Grease idli plates and fill the moulds with the ground mixture, make a dent at the middle to ensure easy cooking. Steam cook for 10-15 minutes.
  • Once cooled, break it roughly. I forgot to add curry leaves before steaming, so added after breaking. Heat a pan with oil and temper with the items given under ‘To temper’ table in order.
  • Add finely chopped onion and fry till transparent. In goes ginger garlic paste and fry for a minute in medium flame. Add finely chopped tomatoes and all the powders – red chilli powder, dhaniya powder (coriander powder) and turmeric powder.Sprinkle required salt for the gravy.
  • Fry for a minute or until the masala blends and becomes mushy. Add 2-3 cups water depending on thick or thinner gravy you want.
  • Bring to boil and add the crumbled dal and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Once the oil floats on top and the gravy becomes thicker. Add 2 tbsp coconut milk ( I added Store bought in the updated video)  if adding and bring to boil again. garnish with chopped coriander and mint leaves.



  • Add enough water as it requires lots of water.
  • Mint leaves adds very nice flavor to the gravy.
  • If using masala vada, use 6-8 vadai depending on the size.
  • You can add 2 slit green chillies if you want extra hot gravy.
  • Kal pasi adds a nice hotel style flavour, do add if you have.
  • Adding coconut milk in last step enhances the flavour and taste (Tip from Revathy shanmugam mam)