Hotel Special Vada Kari

    As a kid I remember eating hotel Annapurna’s (Lloyds road, Gopalapuram) vada kari with my perimma’s (mom’s elder sister) soft dosas. My perimma’s family are true foodies. They will spend that extra energy to buy idli and sambar from Ratna Cafe, vada kari from Annapurna and parotta from a nair stall on the same day for the same meal.

    Masala Vadai
    Hotel annapoorna’s vada kari is hands down one one of the best vada kari in Chennai. I tried to recreate this vada kari few days ago and my son loved it. It’s Friday today so I can make a fresh batch of masala vadai and dunked it in the flavorful kari base. I have shared a detailed post on how to make crispy masala vadai. I generally make a batch for tea time snacks and save the rest for the vada kari. In this recipe, we will be using mint-coriander leaves paste for added flavor. I have used fennel seeds that is always part of any kurma/sauce I make for idli/dosa/poori/roti.


    Vada Kari



    Serves 4


    • 8 Masala Vadai , cut into quarter
    • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
    • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
    • Whole spices – 3 cloves, 2 cardamoms, 1 bay leaf
    • 10 curry leaves
    • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
    • 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
    • 1 green chilly, finely chopped
    • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
    • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
    • 2 teaspoon coriander powder
    • 2 small tomatoes, chopped
    • 1 cup water
    • 1/4 cup cilantro + 20 mint leaves + 1/2 cup fresh or dry unsweetened coconut – ground to a paste
    • 1 teaspoon garam masala
    • Salt to taste

    Cooking Directions

    1. Heat oil and once hot, add the fennel seeds and whole spices. Saute for a second.
    2. Add curry leaves, onions and ginger-garlic paste and little salt
    3. Saute for 8-10 minutes on medium heat
    4. Add turmeric, chili and coriander powder and saute for 1-2 minutes until the raw smell disappears.
    5. Add the tomatoes and 1 cup water. Cook covered in medium heat for 15 minutes. Keep an eye to prevent burning.
    6. When the mixture boils, add the cilantro-mint-coconut paste. Add more water if needed.
    7. Add the masala vadai and simmer for 10 minutes. Let the vadai soak the sauce.
    8. Check for salt and sprinkle garam masala. Serve hot with idli/dosa/poori

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