There are many types of wadi/vadai from all over India — this dish takes large Punjabi ones made of sundried lentils and spices (urad dal, mung dal, black pepper, cumin, chillies etc.)
The wadis add flavour, but they also add a wonderful texture to dishes, and being so dry they soak up the wettest of gravies making the dish perfectly composed with a thickness that is delectable. You can get them at your Indian Grocer, but you might like to call first and ask if they stock them. Ask for the large Punjabi Wadi. Or you can make your own!
Tomato, Eggplant and Potato Subzi with Wadi | Aloo Baingan Wadi Ki Subzi
Source : Recipes abound
Prep time: 20 mins
Cooking time: 35 mins
Serves: 6 – 8 people, depending how you use it
1 medium eggplant or 2 smaller ones
2 large Punjabi Wadi
1 onion, chopped
4 juicy tomatoes, chopped finely
1.5 tspn ginger-garlic paste (see note)
1.5 tspn green coriander paste (see note)
1 tspn Garam Masala
0.25 tspn chilli powder
0.5 tspn turmeric
salt to taste
1 dried red chilli, pinched
0.5 – 1 cup water, or more as needed
1 Tblspn Ghee or other oil
Fresh green coriander for garnish
0.5 tspn of cumin
0.5 tspn mustard seeds
1 branch fresh curry leaves
Peel the potatoes and cut into bite-sized pieces. Cut the eggplants into 2 cm chunks and place them in a bowl of salted water. Chop the tomatoes and onion finely.
Break the wadis into chunks. The best way to do this is to press them with your palm on a chopping board.
Heat the ghee in a kadhai or wide pan. Saute the broken wadi pieces until they are golden. Remove and set aside.
Reheat the ghee in the pan if needed. Add the tadka ingredients. When the mustard seeds are popping, add the onion and saute until soft.
Drain the eggplants and add them with the tomatoes and potatoes to the spices. Stir in the 2 spice pastes, the garam masala, chilli powder, turmeric, the dried chilli and a little salt. Add enough water so that the eggplant and potatoes can cook.
Stir gently to mix and cook over medium–low heat for around 15 minutes until the potatoes and eggplants are cooked. Stir occasionally and add more water if necessary.
When the vegetables are cooked, add the sauteed wadi pieces and mix them in with the vegetables. Cook for another 6 – 8 minutes. They will soften as they cook, and will absorb the flavours and some of the gravy/sauce.
Serve and enjoy.
You can use shop-bought or home made pastes, or grind a little of each of garlic, ginger and coriander leaves in the spice grinder or blender, or chop them together very very finely.
This dish goes well with rice, chapati or naan.