Sambar Vada Recipe
Sambar vada recipe is a delicious and popular South Indian dish that consists of crispy lentil fritters soaked in a tangy and spicy lentil-based soup. It is a perfect breakfast or snack that can be enjoyed with coconut chutney and onion salad. In this beginner’s guide, you will learn how to make a sambar vada recipe from scratch with simple steps and tips.
What is Sambar Vada?
Sambar vada is also known as sambar vadai, medu vada, garelu, uzhunnu vada, or ulundu vadai depending on the region. It is a combination of two dishes: sambar and vada.
- Sambar is a dish from South India that consists of pigeon pea lentils (toor dal), tamarind, and various vegetables cooked with a unique spice mix called sambar powder. It is flavored with curry leaves, mustard seeds, asafoetida, and other spices. Sambar can be made with different vegetables such as drumstick, okra, pumpkin, carrot, brinjal, french beans, and small onions.
- Vada is a doughnut-shaped fried fritter that is made with black gram (urad dal), herbs, and spices. It is soft on the inside and crisp on the outside. Vada can be flavored with cumin seeds, black peppercorns, curry leaves, onion, green chilies, ginger, coconut pieces, and coriander leaves.
To make the sambar vada recipe, the hot Vadas are dipped in water to make them soft and juicy. Then they are soaked in sambar for about 10 to 45 minutes until they absorb the flavors of the soup. The sambar vada is served in a bowl with more sambar on top. It is garnished with finely chopped onions and coconut chutney for extra taste.
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How to Make Sambar Vada Recipe - Ingredients
To make sambar vada recipe, you will need the following ingredients:
- ½ cup toor dal
- 1 tomato
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- 3 cups water
- 3 teaspoons oil
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- A pinch of asafoetida (hing)
- 1 dried red chili
- A few curry leaves
- 2 green chilies (slit)
- ½ onion (petals)
- ½ cup tamarind extract
- ½ teaspoon jaggery (gud)
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon sambar powder
- 1 cup urad dal (black gram)
- Salt to taste
- Ice cold water as needed
- Oil for deep frying
- ½ teaspoon peppercorns (crushed coarsely)
- 3 green chilies (finely chopped)
- 4 tablespoons onion (finely chopped)
- A few curry leaves (finely chopped)
- 1 teaspoon ginger (finely grated)
For serving sambar vada recipe:
- Finely chopped onion
- Coconut chutney
How to Make Sambar Vada Recipe - Step by Step
Follow these easy steps to make a sambar vada recipe at home:
Step 1: Cook the Toor Dal for Sambar
- Rinse the toor dal well and add it to a pressure cooker along with the tomato, turmeric, and water.
- Pressure cook for five whistles or until the dal is cooked completely.
- Once the pressure settles down, open the lid and mash the dal with a potato masher or a whisk.
Step 2: Prepare the Sambar
- In a large pot or kadai, heat oil over medium-high heat.
- Put the mustard seeds and wait for them to pop.
- Add the asafoetida, dried red chili, and curry leaves and saute for a few seconds.
- Add the green chilies and onion petals and saute for a minute.
- Add the tamarind extract, jaggery, salt, and sambar powder, and bring the mixture to a boil.
- Add the cooked dal and mix well. Make the sambar thinner by pouring more water if required.
- Simmer the sambar for about 15 minutes or until it is slightly thickened and aromatic.
Step 3: Soak and Grind the Urad Dal for Vada
- Rinse the urad dal well and soak it in enough water for about four hours or overnight.
- Drain the water completely and transfer the dal to a blender or a mixer grinder.
- Add salt and ice-cold water as needed and grind to a smooth and thick batter. Do not add too much water as it will make the batter thin and the vadas will not be crisp.
- Transfer the batter to a large bowl and beat it well with a spoon or your hand for about 10 minutes or until it is light and fluffy. This will help to incorporate air into the batter and make the vadas soft.
Step 4: Fry the Vada
- Warm oil in a deep skillet on medium-high heat.
- Add the peppercorns, green chilies, onion, curry leaves, and ginger to the batter and mix well.
- Moisten your hands with water and scoop a small amount of the batter. Shape it into a ball and squeeze it lightly. Poke a hole in the middle with your thumb.
- Gently slide the vada into the hot oil and fry on both sides until golden and crisp. Leave some space in the pan and fry in groups.
- Drain the vadas on paper towels and keep them warm.
Step 5: Soak the Vada in Sambar
- In a large bowl, add some water and dip the hot vadas in it for a few seconds. Squeeze out the excess water and transfer them to another bowl.
- Pour some hot sambar over the vadas and let them soak for about 10 to 45 minutes depending on how soft you want them to be. The more they soak, the more tender they will get.
Step 6: Serve the Sambar Vada
To serve, place two or three sambar vadas in a serving bowl and pour more sambar on top. Garnish with finely chopped onion and coconut chutney. Enjoy hot or warm with more chutney on the side.
How to Make Sambar Vada Recipe - Tips and Variations
- You can use any vegetables of your choice to make sambar such as drumstick, okra, pumpkin, carrot, brinjal, french beans, etc. You can also use ready-made sambar powder or make your own at home.
- You can shape the vadas without making a hole in the center if you prefer. You can also add other ingredients like cumin seeds, coconut pieces, or coriander leaves to the vada batter for more flavor.
- You can make the sambar and vada ahead of time and refrigerate them separately. Reheat them before soaking and serving.
- You can also serve sambar vada with idli, dosa, or rice for a complete meal.
How to Make Sambar Vada Recipe - Frequently Asked Questions
What is sambar powder?
Sambar powder is a spice blend that is used to make sambar. It consists of roasted lentils, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, red chilies, curry leaves, asafoetida, and turmeric. You can make it at home or buy it from any Indian grocery store.
How to make coconut chutney?
Coconut chutney is a simple and easy dip that is made with grated coconut, green chilies, ginger, salt, and water. It is tempered with mustard seeds, curry leaves, urad dal, and red chilies.
How to store sambar vada?
You can store sambar vada in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. Reheat them in a microwave or on a stovetop before serving.
How to Make Sambar Vada Recipe - Summary
Sambar vada is a delicious South Indian dish that consists of crispy lentil fritters soaked in a tangy and spicy lentil-based soup. It is simple to prepare at home with basic ingredients and steps. Here is a summary of how to make sambar vada recipe:
- Cook the toor dal for sambar in a pressure cooker with tomato, turmeric, and water.
- Prepare the sambar by sauteing mustard seeds, asafoetida, dried red chili, curry leaves, green chilies, and onion petals in oil. Add tamarind extract, jaggery, salt, sambar powder, and cooked dal and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Soak and grind the urad dal for vada with salt and ice-cold water to a smooth and thick batter. Beat it well to make it light and fluffy. Add peppercorn, green chilies, onion, curry leaves, and ginger to the batter and mix well.
- Fry the vada by shaping them into doughnuts and sliding them into the hot oil. Fry until brown and crunchy on both sides. Drain on paper towels.
- Soak the vada in sambar by dipping them in water for a few seconds and squeezing out the excess water. Transfer them to a bowl and pour some hot sambar over them. Let them soak for 10 to 45 minutes depending on how soft you want them to be.
- Serve the sambar vada in a bowl with more sambar on top. Garnish with finely chopped onion and coconut chutney. Enjoy hot or warm with more chutney on the side.
Sambar vada recipe is a mouthwatering and satisfying dish that can be enjoyed for breakfast or a snack. It is simple to prepare at home with basic ingredients and steps. You can customize it with your favorite vegetables and spices. It is healthy, nutritious, and delicious. Try this recipe and let us know how you liked it in the comments below.