Lockdown Food #4 – Vadakari becomes WadiKari !


I didn’t know how to use the Punjabi Wadiyan because the only way I had seen them being used was with Potatoes. I don’t like potatoes and we rarely buy them… ok, I rarely let Krishnan and Amma to buy potatoes :):). I had a pack of Amritsari Wadiyan that I bought at a Roopak Masala store and then Kabir gave me some more Wadiyan. I just stored them safely waiting to figure out how to use them with some other vegetables besides potatoes. Finally I asked Gurleen when she came home before the lockdown on how to use the wadiyan. She told me that I can add it to any vegetable curry like a seasoning and even while making biriyani.

Then the lockdown happened and suddenly wadiyan became very precious ! They are basically lentils and spices that have been sundried or fried – the equivalent of the South Indian “vathal”.

I first tried using them with Lauki (bottle gourd) ki Subzi and it tasted really nice. Then a few days back Amma made Masala vadai using Chana dal because Krishnan protested that we have no snacks at all … Another food confession, I don’t like vadai as they are called in the South or vada as they are called in the North. I don’t like the traditional ones with a hole, nor the small Moong daal vadas that they make as a chaat item in the North nor the Masala vada… not even the sabudana vada. The only way I eat the masala vadai is by turning them into Vadakari, a restaurant speciality in Chennai ages back. Vadakari came back into our lives because of OPOS. Do read about it Same Base, Two different items.

VadaKari is basically Masala vada with onion and tomato curry with some spices. It tastes great with Appam or rotis or even with Dosas.

Since I have been looking for ways to use the Wadiyan I tried using them in the VadaKari and the result was truly tasty !

So here’s my tribute to being a South Indian who feels more at home in North India – “WadiKari”, a lockdown inspired dish :).

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