Masala Vadai Kuzhambu Recipe (Mudaliar Style Curried Fritters In Spicy Tamarind Gravy)

Uma Raghuraman
Masala Vadai Kuzhambu Recipe (Mudaliar Style Curried Fritters In Spicy Tamarind Gravy)
2939 ratings.

Masala Vadai Kuzhambu Recipe (Mudaliar Style Curried Fritters In Spicy Tamarind Gravy) is another curry form the Mudaliar cuisine of South India. A distinct combination of spices, unique style of cooking and the use of Vadagam (sun-dried fritters) is commonly found in this cuisine. A mixture of onion, garlic and spices are prepared, dried and stored for upto a year too. It lends an amazing taste to many Mudaliar dishes. In this speciality dish, Vadai/Curried Lentil Fritters are added to a tangy and spicy tamarind gravy to make a delicious homemade curry that is best served with steamed rice and a dollop of ghee.

Have you also tried some other South Indian regional favourites like

  1. Paruppu Urundai Rasam
  2. Sabassge Soppu Kootu
  3. Tirunelveli Style Mor Kuzhambu.

Course: Lunch
Diet: Vegetarian
Prep in

15 M

Cooks in

80 M

Total in

95 M


2 Servings


    For the masala vadai
  • 1 cup Chana dal (Bengal Gram Dal)
  • 2 Onions , finely chopped
  • 4 Green Chillies
  • 1 inch Ginger
  • Salt , to taste
  • Oil , for frying
  • For kuzhambu
  • 1-1/2 tablespoon Tamarind Paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric powder (Haldi)
  • 2 teaspoons Coriander Powder (Dhania)
  • 2 teaspoons Red Chilli powder
  • 15 Shallots
  • 6 Garlic , cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 sprig Curry leaves
  • 1 Tomato , finely chopped
  • Salt , to taste
  • For tempering
  • 3 tablespoons Sesame (Gingelly) Oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Mustard seeds (Rai/ Kadugu)
  • 1/2 teaspoon White Urad Dal (Split)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Methi Seeds (Fenugreek Seeds)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Fennel seeds (Saunf)
  • For masala paste
  • 1/4 cup Fresh coconut , grated
  • 2 teaspoon Poppy seeds , powdered
  • 3 tablespoons Water

How to make Masala Vadai Kuzhambu Recipe (Mudaliar Style Curried Fritters In Spicy Tamarind Gravy)

  1. To begin making the Masala Vadai Kuzhambu, first prepare the masala vadais. To do this, thoroughly wash the dal and soak in water for 2 hours.

  2. After two hours, drain the dal completely, put the dal in a mixer-grinder, add chillies, ginger and grind to a coarse paste using very little water (no more than 3 to 4 tablespoons) so that it is thick and crumbly, not runny.

  3. Add chopped onions, curryleaves, salt and mix well in a bowl.

  4. Place a kadai on the heat along with enough oil for deep frying. Warm it to smoking point.

  5. To shape the vadais, first wet your hands. Take a small lump of batter and bind it together between your palms, then flatten it into a 1" round patty using your fingers.

  6. Slip it gently into hot oil and fry until golden brown on both sides. Fry vadai in batches over moderate heat turning frequently till the Vadai is golden and crisp.

  7. Drain them on a kitchen towel.

  8. To prepare the kuzhambu, place a pan over medium heat and warm some oil for tempering in it.

  9. Add Vadagam (if using) or tempering ingredients and saute lightly for 30 seconds till it starts sputtering.

  10. When the Vadagam or mustard seeds splutter, add shallots, garlic and curry leaves. Saute for 3 -4 minutes, stirring continuously.

  11. Add in the tomatoes, salt, coriander powder, chilli powder and toss together for another 1-2 minutes. When tomatoes become mushy add tamarind pulp/juice and combine into a thick sauce like consistency.

  12. If you are adding pulp, then add 2 cup of water.

  13. Mix well and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occassionally.

  14. Meanwhile, grind together the ingredients listed under “masala paste” into a smooth mix, in a mixer-grinder. Gently mix in the prepared paste into the simmering kuzhambu and simmer over low heat for 3 to 4 minutes, till well blended.

  15. Next, add the Vadai one by one into the kuzhambu and simmer for just 2 minutes. Switch off.

  16. Masala Vadai Kuzhambu is ready to be served with piping hot steamed rice and a dollop of ghee.