Vadai with Yoghurt

Truth be told, making Indian batters from lentils or pulses is a challenge. The Indian grinder is not available here, nor the ubiquitous mixi with its multiple contains all for a different purpose. My Indian friends pop over to India at least once a year, so their kitchens are purpose built for Indian cuisine.

You will find numerous people advise high speed blenders, like Vitamix, for grinding batters, and I bought one with this in mind (and my old blender had had its day). It was Ok, I have to say, but still hard work. At the same time I bought a popular high-mid-range food processor – high speed with a twin blade. I decided to experiment with it to make batter for these vadai, and am really happy with the result. Quick and easy, no need to use a tamper to push, as with the blender, and I wiped the batter down only twice. There was no need to add extra water. To say I am over the moon is an understatement.

These deep fried vadai, a simple form of Medhu (Medu) Vada, are made from Urad dal with a few spices. They are the type that are soaked in yoghurt for 30 mins – on their own they are a little dry. They can also be soaked in Sambar, or, as I do when I am in a hurry, serve with a bowl of seasoned yoghurt and dip each bite into the yoghurt so that you get a luxurious amount over the vadai.

Similar recipes include Beetroot Vadai, Maddur Vadai, and Broad Bean and Mint Croquettes.

Browse all of our Vada and all of our Indian Snacks. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Autumn dishes.

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Kadhi | Yoghurt Curry

My first ever yoghurt curry experience was from a Parsi lady from India. It was a life changing experience – the creaminess of the yoghurt with the spices  is a wonderful pairing, and once you’ve had a yoghurt curry, there is no looking back. This recipe is very very simple – few spices, and not much chilli. It lets the yoghurt shine.

I recommend reading these posts before cooking with yoghurt or buttermilk:

Note that Indian Buttermilk is very different to the product called Buttermilk outside of India. Confused? Read the second of the two links above.

Browse all of our Yoghurt Curries, and all of our Yoghurt recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Summer dishes.

This recipe is one of the vegetarian recipes from our first blog which was in existence from 1995 – 2006.  You can find other recipes from that blog in the Retro Recipes series.

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Plantain Moar Koottu | Plantain in Yoghurt Sauce

This dish is a yoghurt sauce served with cooked plantain. It is similar to an aviyal, but made with one vegetable only. Other vegetables that can be used instead of the plantain are amaranth stems, chow chow, ash gourd, and plantain stem.

The recipe is one of Meenakshi Ammal’s from her cook books Cook and See. One of our very special projects in the kitchen is to cook through these books, as they are very traditional Tamil recipes.You can find all of Ammal’s dishes that we have made here. Most of them are from Vol 1 so far.

Similar recipes include Moar Kuzhambu, Kerala Aviyal, Pulissery, and Pineapple Pulissery.

Browse all of our Koottu dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Autumn dishes.

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Yoghurt Curry (Kadhi) with Okra

Okra and yoghurt are a common pairing and here is another such recipe, flavoured with mustard oil and red and green chillies. The okra is fried until crisp and then served with the kadhi or yoghurt curry.

It is a typical dish from Odisha. Odia cuisine  uses less oil and is less spicy than many other parts of India while nonetheless remaining flavourful. Mustard oil is often used as the cooking medium.

Similar recipes include Kadhi, Okra and Cumin with Yoghurt Sauce, Ladyfinger Masala, and Kurkuri Bhindi.

Browse all of our Okra dishes and all of our Yoghurt recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Tri Colour Pachadi

We make raita and yoghurt pachadi often at home – they are easy, no fuss dishes that can be served with an Indian meal or used as sauces and dressings for baked and steamed veggies, in wraps, over simple salads etc.

This raita uses carrots, cucumbers or zucchini, and tomatoes for a colourful raita that brings a happy note to the table. The vegetables are just grated or chopped and incorporated into the yoghurt with some chillies, ginger and a tadka. Enjoy! You could sub other vegetables – finely grated cabbage (red or green), or red or green peppers, for example.

Similar recipes include Dried Mango Pachadi, Asparagus Raita, Okra and Coconut Raita, and Spinach Pachadi.

Browse all of our Raitas and Pachadi recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Spring recipes.

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Dried Okra Pachadi | Crispy Dried Okra in Yoghurt

Some time ago I dried some okra to see us through the non-okra season, and it is time to use them.  These are teeny crispy dried okra, tiny little rounds of okra and today we pair them with yoghurt in a Dried Okra Pachadi.

The dried okra is flash fried in some ghee and added to yoghurt which has been flavoured with spices. It is totally delicious, and can be used as a snack or as a side salad to a meal. We have even used it as a sauce or dressing for other dishes.

Are you after more Okra dishes? Try Yoghurt Curry with Okra, Spicy Dried Okra SnackOkra with Apricots and Lemon, Dried Turmeric Okra, and Fried Okra.

Also try Tri Colour Raita.

Browse all of our Okra dishes, and all of our Indian recipes. Our Indian Essentials are here. Or find some wonderful recipes to make in our Early Summer collection.

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Aviyal | Avial | Vegetables in a Coconut and Yoghurt Sauce

It is interesting to compare the Madhur Jaffrey version of Kerala’s Aviyal (delicious) with this traditional Tamil version from Meenakshi Ammal (also delicious). Madhur Jaffrey wrote for Western audiences, and used commonly available ingredients and vegetables, while Meenakshi Ammal wrote for Indian wives using locally available produce. There will also be regional differences. The first thing I noticed is that Ammal specifically excludes okra from the recipe list, while Jaffrey includes it. (I did put a few in this time, I quite enjoy them.)

The recipe is one of Meenakshi Ammal’s from her cook books Cook and See. One of our very special projects in the kitchen is to cook through these books, as they are very traditional Tamil recipes.You can find all of Ammal’s dishes that we have made here. Most of them are from Vol 1 so far.

Avial can be made with a liquid sauce of coconut and yoghurt, or the sauce can remain thick and just coats the vegetables. It is generally eaten with rice.

The word aviyal (aka avial) is also used to denote ‘boiled’ or ‘cooked in water’ —this sense being derived from the way the dish is made. They say that the origins of this recipe is from the Nambudiri cuisine but it is now common throughout South India.

Similar recipes include Kerala Aviyal, Pulissery, and Pineapple Pulissery.

Browse all of our Aviyal dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Autumn dishes.

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Burghul, Walnut and Yoghurt Salad with Pomegranate

There is a Lebanese dish, sometimes called Mafrouket Laban (not to be confused with the dessert of the same name), made from burghul (aka Bulgur) and yoghurt with plenty of herbs. It is a delight in Summer. Because the burghul is soaked, it is the sort of dish you begin in the morning, and leave for 4 or 5 hours, then mix in the remaining ingredients and serve for lunch or dinner.

The burghul soaks in the yoghurt for a few hours to form the base of the salad. It is often served with tender young vine leaves, so it is a perfect dish for Spring and Early Summer. With all that yoghurt, it is a cooling dish, perfect for the first heat waves that we encounter in Spring as it warms up towards Summer.

Use the coarse burghul for this dish if you can (otherwise, medium will be fine).

Similar recipes include Burghul, Pistachio and Tomato Salad, Burghul Salad with Olives, Pomegranate and Hazelnuts, Cracked Wheat Kitchari, and Cauliflower, Mung and Broken Wheat Kitchari.

Browse all of our Burghul dishes and all of our Salad recipes.  Our Lebanese dishes are here. Or browse all of our Early Summer recipes.

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Pan Fried Broad Bean Salad with Spring Onions and Yoghurt

Broad Beans with yoghurt is a common dish in the countries of the Middle East, and this simple recipe makes a nice salad – or eat with flatbread for a snack, light lunch or part of a mezze spread.

The taste of the beans – lightly green – against the yoghurt is beautiful. Fennel herb is a classic pairing with broad beans, although in the Middle East dill is probably more common. Use either herb.

Similar dishes include Broad Bean Salad with Asparagus, Olives and Black Garlic, Salad of Broad Beans, Spring Pasta with Broad Beans and Mint, and Pan Fried Broad Beans with Chilli and Lime.

Browse all of our Broad Bean Salads and all of our Broad Bean recipes. All of our Salads are here and our Middle Eastern dishes here. Or explore our Mid Spring dishes.

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Mulberry Sweet Lassi | Indian Sweet Mulberry Yoghurt Drink

In mulberry season, we are so lucky as our local Green Grocer has both white mulberries and the darker, more usual (in Australia) dark mulberries. The white mulberries are incredibly sweet whereas the darker ones have a definite tang to them.

Make lassi with either, or with mixed mulberries. They will all be delicious. My preference is the lighter ones to eat, the darker ones for a lassi. The flavours are more intense when you use the darker ones for this drink.

By the way, Mulberries can also be spelt Mullberries.

Similar recipes inlcude Black Grape Lassi, Mango Lassi and Banana and Berry Lassi.

We have a range of sweet, fruit and salt lassi recipes for you to browse. Explore all of our Yoghurt recipes too. The Drinks recipes are here. Explore our Indian recipes and our Indian Essentials. Or be inspired by our Late Spring recipes.

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