Vadakari / Vadakari with Falafel

Falafel vadakari

Vadakari / Vadakari with Falafel

Vadakari (vada curry) is the most popular side dish from the lands of Chettinad in Tamil Nadu. As the name suggests it’s a Curry using Vadas. Restaurants / Hotels in Tamil Nadu serve this with Idli / Dosa / Pongal / Aappam / Idiyappam, etc. However I have tweaked the traditional recipe by dunking the Falafel instead of regular Dal Vadas. I have already shared the recipe for Black eyed beans Falafel.

The traditional way to prepare the vadakari is to make vadas in Channa dal & deep fry them. Secondly, dunk the vadas in a curry of onion and tomato with coconut milk.

The time-consuming part of this dish is making the vadas. But you can prepare the vadas in advance. You can also make this with previous day’s leftover vadas. Making the gravy takes the least time. Once you keep the vadas ready, it’s a vada walk. ? The gravy with all the fragrant masala and the moist vadas soaked in it makes this a very delicious accompaniment for both idlis as well as Rotis. In fact I would equate this dish to the Punjabi curries with masala Vadis.

Vadakari / Vadakari with Falafel

Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Tamil Nadu
Keyword: Falafel, vadakari, coconut milk, bay leaves
Author: Rama G


  • 1 cup finely chopped onion / ground onion
  • 1 cup tomato puree ( approximately 2 tomatoes blended in the mixer)
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 cloves
  • 1” cinnamon stick
  • 2 green chillies
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds (saunf / sombu)
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds powder
  • ½ tsp cumin powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup Falafel broken into big chunks


  • Heat oil and add bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon and fennel seeds.
  • Once they are roasted well, add the green chilli & ginger garlic paste and sauté for few minutes.
  • Add onion and sauté further till it turns pink. Do not brown the onions.
  • Now add the tomato puree, salt and all the dry masala and sauté for few more minutes.
  • Add water and half the coconut milk and bring it one boil
  • Add the broken Falafel 
  • Allow the mixture to boil and then add the remaining coconut milk and mix well.Bring it to just one boil and switch off.
  • Garnish with coconut cream and coriander leaves.



  1. You can use normal dal vadas instead of Falafel
  2. if you do not have coconut milk, you can grind 1/2 cup coconut and add to the gravy. 


You can also check: 

Black eyed beans Falafel

Gluten free Pita Falafel



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Welcome to my blog


February 10th is celebrated as World Pulses Day. I am an avid fan of whole pulses / lentils. When I took a review of my posts so far, I realised I have as of today posted 22 recipes using whole pulses & legumes. I decided to compile all those recipes and make an eBook that you can download from my site.


Healthy Eating ?

Rama Ganapathy