Being a person from Trivandrum, i should be knowing about the specialties of my home town, and as far as this curry is concerned im happy that i know a lot about this. Sadhya is a traditional vegetarian meal served on Plantain leaf on special occasions , festivals , and on marriages too, there can be more than 20- 24 different dishes served on the plaintain leaf, and this is one of them , the only kind and a special dish only seen in our place. Fried Lentil Dumplings soaked in spicy coconut milk based gravy.
There are many varieties of Vada curry, this is one such curry which surely would accompany rice,idli or dosa. Back at home Amma usually makes this curry for breakfast which would be one without the Vadas / Lentil Dumplings and we call it Potato Masala Curry, which is well accompanied by Appam.
Vada Curry / Lentil Balls Gravy - Trivandrum Style
For the Urad Balls / Uzhunnu Vadas
1/2 Cup Urad Dal / Uzhunnu ( soaked for atleast 3-4 hrs )
2 -3 Pepper Corns ( crushed - using a mortar & pestle )
Curry Leaves chopped ( opt, i added it )
Salt to taste
For the Curry
1 Onion Big ( cut in Cubes )
2 -3 Potatoes ( cut in Cubes )
2 Green Chilies ( slit in half )
1 inch Ginger ( chopped small )
1 cup Thick Coconut Milk ( refer notes )
1 1/2 tsp Red Chili Powder ( adjust accordingly )
1 1/2 tbsp Coriander Powder
1 tsp Turmeric Powder
1 tsp Garam Masala
1 tsp Mustard seeds
2 Dried Red chilies
Grind Urad Dal to a smooth batter adding very little water, if you need to add water just sprinkle water.
Mix it with crushed pepper and salt, deep fry in oil until cooked and drain into a paper towel.
Heat oil in a pan adding Onions, ginger & green chilies, curry leaves until onions turn half translucent.
Add in the powders and saute, for a few mins until the raw smell goes and it starts to change colour.
Add in the potatoes and enough salt , mix well, add little water and cook until the potatoes are done.
Add in the garam masala, Coconut milk + 1/2 cup water and mix well, check for salt, add in curry leaves, simmer it for few mins ; add in the Lentil balls and take off from heat. ( The Lentil balls would get soaked after couple of mins, and you might notice no gravy left, so might need to add more water / coconut milk as per your wish )
Heat oil in another pan and pop mustard seeds, red chilies & curry leaves, pour over the gravy.
Serve hot with Rice, Idli or Dosa.
Notes : If using Canned Coconut milk, you'll need to add water as required to dilute the gravy, i used the Maggi Coconut milk powder, added 5-6 tbsp of Coconut milk powder to 1 cup Warm water.