Vengaya kari vadagam recipe. These are most commonly called as thalippu vadagam. These are sun dried condiements that are used for tempering various dishes in the south indian cuisine.
These thalippu vadagams are considered to be the most important and essential thing that should be available in every kitchen & in your “anjarai petti” or masala box.
Every family or rather every community belonging to a particular geographical sector have their own recipe for making thalippu vadagam depending on their cuisine and the ingredients available in their area.
These tempering balls are made in bulk during every summer season, stored and used throughout the year. If done, dried and stored well, these vadagam stays good even for 5 years.
When used in kulambus for seasoning, this thalippu vadagam gives a distinct flavor to the dish.
In my family, we make this during the month of February and March though the official summer season is from April-June.
It is said to prevent them from dust spread from the strong winds during the summer season.
They tend to be brown after grinding them but with sun exposure, these become dark brownish in color. But after storing, over a period of time they turn almost black in color.
The changes of color does not signify that they have spoiled. Over a period of time, the balls may become dry also.
At times like that, dip your palms in castor oil and once again press the balls between your palms and sun dry them for a just a day before storing them once again. This is optional though to make them last for many years.
- In some areas, instead of making balls, they apply castor oil all around the insides of the bottle and dump the mixture directly into bottle, close the mouth with a clean cloth and tie a twine around it to keep the cloth in place.
- They just place these bottles or bharanis in the direct sun continuously for 10 days or a fortnight.
- In some areas, they do not use castor oil, but use cold pressed groundnut oil and they also reduce the onions but double up using chana dal (kadalai paruppu) and halved raw peanuts.
Points to note while making thalippu vadagam:
- Use only castor oil. This not only acts as a binding agent but also acts as a preservative preventing fungus formation when stored for many years.
- The salt added in this recipe is not for taste but only as preservative.
- So add only powdered rock salt and not regular table salt.
How to use Vengaya kari vadagam:
- Take just 1 ball and slighly press it enough to crumble. Store this in your anjarai petti.
- When a recipe calls for tempering, use around 1/4 tsp to 1/2 tsp and not more, as the whole gravy will get a predominant smell of these vadagams.
- Also the castor oil added might give a bitter taste when added more than recommended.
Do not waste the summer time and make these vengaya kari vadagam balls when you make your yearly stash of vathals.
Vengaya Kari Vadagam recipe details below:
Vengaya Kari Vadagam
- Urad dal – 1 cup
- Shallots or sambar onions – 1 kg
- Whole dry red chillies – 1 cup
- Rock Salt – 3 to 4 tsp
- Asafoetida or hing – 1/4 tsp
- Mustard seeds – 2 to 3 tbsp
- Cumin seeds - 2 to 3 tbsp
- Castor oil – 1/2 cup approx.,
- Soak urad dal for 1 hour in water.
- Grind rock salt in a mixe jar to a coarse powder and set aside.
- Soak the shallots in water for 20 to 30 mins and peel them.
- Spread on a clean cloth to let it air dry.
- Divide the onions equally in volume.
- Keep one half as whole and chop the other half finely and set aside.
Make the paste:
- Drain water from urad dal and transfer to a wet grinder to grind.
- Add red chillies and grind both together coarsely as you would for vadai batter.
- Before taking the batter add one half of the whole onions and grind together again.
- Let the onion get crushed into tiny pieces and get mixed well with the urad dal mixture.
- Remove the batter and transfer to a vessel.
Make the vadagam balls:
- To the ground paste, add powdered rock salt, asafoetida, chopped onions, mustard seeds, cumin seeds and mix well.
- Add 5 to 6 tbsp castor oil and grease both your palms also to prevent the mixture from sticking to your hands.
- Mix well making sure that the oil coats all of the mixture. Add more oil if the mixture is way too dry.
- Make small balls the size of a gooseberry.
- Spread a clean plastic sheet on the terrace and arrange the rolled balls one next to the other.
- Let the balls dry out under direct sunlight for at least 3 to 4 days.
How to store:
- Wash and dry out the bottles or plastic jars directly in the sun.
- Store the sun dried vengaya kari vadagam balls in these bottles and keep them air tight.