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Tuesday, June 08, 2021

Karavada | Trivandrum Special Vada (Step by Step Pics)

What is karavada? The name 'karavada' in its literal meaning - spicy vadas. Many famous restaurants serve this vada at Trivandrum and am not sure if its served in other districts as well, so Trivandrum gets the whole credit for this crispy vadas. The history of these vadas originates from the Tamil brahmin families who live in 'agraharam'(a chain of houses mostly sharing one common wall with their neighbor). Many of these brahmin families are living in the Anavaal Theruvu of Trivandrum and they still cook and sell these vadas from home.

If you ask me if its parippu vada then I would say 'no' but still this vada uses a small amount of vada parippu(chana dal) to give the crunch. If you ask me if its medu vada(uzhunu vada) I would say 'no' but the batter uses uzhunnu(urad dal) or idli batter which has urad dal in it. 

Then what is this vada? 
Its a combo of both vadas but tastes different than both popular vadas. The color is orangish red when fried due to the usage of red chilli powder and there are speckles of soaked chana dal and you get to bite through them as you enjoy these vadas. They are crisp like medu vada(uzhunu vada) when fried and the inside is soft. 

I referred many videos to get an idea of this recipe and ended up in Lekshmi Nair's Magic oven series video where she visits the Brahmin family agrahara at Trivandrum which I found was more or less authentic as they have been making and selling these vadas from home. In that recipe, doppi ari(rice) is used for the recipe but I have used steamed sona masoori rice. Any good quality par boiled rice is good enough for this recipe. The outer cover is very crisp and inside is soft. Unlike medu vada, there is no usage of onions in this vadas. Do give these a try if you would like to try a variation to the regular medu vadas/ parippu vadas and enjoy with hot piping tea !!

Preparation time ~ 30 minutes
Cooking time ~ 20 minutes
Serves ~ 20 vadas
Author ~ Julie
sona masoori steamed rice or doppi rice 1 1/4 cup
kadala parippu / chana dal 1.5 tbsp
fermented idli batter / Idli mavu 1/3 cup
rice flour 2 tsp(optional)
ginger 1 tbsp chopped
green chilly 1 or 2 
curry leaves 2 or 3 sprigs
red chilly powder 1/2 tsp 
asafoetida /kayam podi/ hing 1/4 tsp
* baking soda a pinch
salt 3/4 tsp 
water 1/2 cup
oil for deep frying

  • Wash, rinse and soak the rice and chana dal(kadalaparippu) for an hour. Then drain water and grind the rice till almost done but a little coarse. Add very little water to grind, I used about 1/2 cup water. Transfer the ground batter to a bowl and then add chana dal, chopped green chillies, ginger and cut curry leaves.
  • Add the idli batter, chilli powder, kayam podi(hing), salt and mix well. Aerate the batter gently using hand to combine and mix (if required add rice flour to get the batter consistency correct). I did add a tsp of rice flour. Finally add the pinch of baking soda which is optional (read notes section below).

  • Heat oil in a wok and drop spoonful of batter with hands or spoon and cook on medium flame. Ideally as soon as you drop the batter in oil it puffs up like poori and floats on top of oil. Cook both sides by flipping. Remove using slotted spoon and place on paper towels.
  • Repeat the same step of frying till you finish all batter. Serve hot with coconut chutney and tomato chutney.

* I have used sona masoori steam rice but any good quality par boiled rice is nice for this recipe. Ideally its doppi rice used.
* I used 1/2 tsp kashmiri chilly powder and 1/2 tsp hot chilli powder. You can always alter the spice as per tolerance. I used only one green chilli, you can increase that too.
* I have made this vada without adding soda too, in that case increase the amount of idli batter so that the vada puff well, you can increase the idli batter to 2/3 cup for this same measures. But then the batter may turn more thinner and may need to add more rice flour to adjust the consistency. I felt adding a pinch of soda gives a crunchy and light outer cover than made with the ones without soda. I saw many videos adding baking soda too.You may or may not add as per tastes.



Angie's Recipes said... Best Blogger Tips

They look so crispy! I don't think I am able to tell the difference between two, but I just know they are DELICIOUS.

Suja Manoj said... Best Blogger Tips

Looks so delicious, perfect tea time snack.

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks for sharing this recipe