Monday, June 25, 2007

Vijayawada Combo: Rice Sevai N Dahi Vada

Flash back to Mumbai. Anusha my little neighbor would jump the fence and come to our home the moment Durga Rani mentioned mealtime. Anusha whom we call Anu was my Pilloo ( cute baby). I spoilt her silly I know and her Ammama tells me that she believes in the same things that I do. Some of which is to work towards one's goal in life as quietly as possible and question all rules if one does not get a good explanation and be discrete. She is the kid who nurtured the mother in me. I loved to dress her up and how she would refuse to give a pa for the fear of spoling her lipstick. Rao used to scold me for using cosmetics on her. Its funny how our entire household used to call him Daddy be it young or old. I haven't met her for sometime but they tell me she is in junior college now. Rani made different types of muddas to feed her daughter and she hated them. She would go straight into our kitchen and check all the pots and pans and take whatever she wanted to eat. She loved Chavlachi Roti and fish curries made at our home. She spoke excellent Marathi and called my Mom Aai just like me and all other elders by the names we called like Kaka, Kaki, Mothe baba, Mothi Aai etc.

But that did not mean Durga Rani was a bad cook infact she was an excellent one. So when we felt like it we went to their home for mid meal treats. Rani made snacks that were most times mini meals ideal when we returned home tired from college/ university.

I am sharing with you two of her best that I have labeled as Vijayawada combo for that's from where they are, Anu's native.


Rice Sevai

1 cup rice sevai (MTR brand)
4 cups water
1 big onion chopped
2 tomatoes chopped fine
2 green chilies chopped
2 handfuls cilantro chopped
1 handful curry leaves
1 teaspoon udid dal
1 teaspoon chana dal
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon asafeotida
1 tablespoon oil
salt to taste

In a saucepan heat 4 cups water add salt and cook the rice sevai (indian noodles) till its doubled in size. Drain on a mesh.

Meanwhile heat the oil in a wok. Follow the order to add the seasoning items asafoetida, mustard seeds, udid dal, chana dal fry till golden then add curry leaves. The smells will pervade the entire home. Now fry the onions till translucent to it add the tomatoes and with a bit of more salt cook till they melt to give a paste. This is the right time to add the cooked rice sevai and cilantro. Stir gently to mix well. The sevai should be coated evenly. Serve Hot.

Dahi Vada

There are so many types of Dahi vadas, sweet, salty, udid dal, moog dal, besan ones too that go by the name of pakora curry. Rani's version is a perfect balance of flavours and quite different from what you would expect a Dahi Vada to be.


For the flavored Dahi

6 cups hung curd
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
handful curry leaves
2 medium onions chopped long
2-3 green chilies chopped fine
handful cilantro chopped
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon asafeotida
1/8 teaspoon turmeric powder
2-3 pods garlic slivered
1 teaspoon oil

For the Vada

1/2 cup udid dal
1 tablespoon rice flour
1 teaspoon whole pepper corns
oil to fry
2 cups water with salt

Soak the udid dal for 2 hours and then grind to paste. Mix in the rice flour and pepper corns. Heat oil and fry vadas by dropping a teaspoon of the paste into hot oil. After the oil is hot turn the heat to medium and ensure that vada is cooked inside. Fry just one first to get nice crips golden ones check if cooked inside then fry the rest. Remove the first batch of Vadas and put them in the bowl of water and salt to soak. Add the second batch of vadas in oil to fry. As they turn golden remove the vadas bathing in the salt water and squeeze out the water between your palms and leave them on a plate. Now remove the second batch of fried vadas from oil and put in the salt water. In this fashion fry and soak all the vadas and keep aside.

Next lets temper the curd. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a vessel and add asafoetida, msutard seed, curry leaves and after you hear them splutter add the onions, garlic, cilantro, green chillies, turmeric. Fry for 5 mins and turn off the heat. Now add the sugar, salt and beat the curd in the vessel. Lastly add the presoaked vadas into the curds and mix. Chill for an hour before you serve.

When younger this was a mini meal for us but now I make it as a complete meal when we are not in the mood for a poli-bhaaji.

This post is to mark the begin of the theme of other regional influences on my daily meals.


  1. Hi!
    Sevai and vadai is a nice combo!! Rice flour is added for crispness I think!

  2. Hi Anjali, this is first time at your blog. Great recipes and nice blog here. That rice savai and dahi vada are my favourites. Thanks for sharing dear. Keep it up buddy.

  3. ushaprashanth yes rice flour is for crispness.

    Jyothi welcome here. Hope you enjoy more visits here.

    hanks for the comments gals.

  4. I am particularly interested in dahi vada. Crispy vadas in juicy dahi.


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