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Kadapa is a very appropriate accompaniment for idlis. It is popular in the south indian towns around tanjore. I've heard that people queue up outside the old eateries, especially in kumbakonam, on the days when kadapa is served (i believe each restaurant serves this on one or two fixed days of the week, and the veterans always know which hotels serve it on which days!)

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Kadapa recipe - How to make Kadapa

Preparation Time:    Cooking Time:    Total Time:     4Makes 4 to 5 servings
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  1. Soak all the masala ingredients in a little water, for around 10 minutes, and grind to a smooth paste.
  2. In a heavy-bottomed vessel, heat the oil and season mustard seeds, gram dal, asafoetida, green chillies and ginger, mix well and saute for 2 minutes.
  3. Add the onions (shallots give a better flavour and aroma) and tomatoes and saute for a while.
  4. Add the prepared masala paste and saute for a few seconds (do not saute for too long).
  5. Add a cup of water along with the potatoes and salt, mix well and boil for a few minutes till the aroma pervades the whole room.
  6. Add the cooked moong dal, mix well and boil for a while. Add a little water if the mixture seems to be too thick.
  7. The gravy should be a little thinner than sambhar.
  8. Serve hot and garnish with coriander and curry leaves.


  1. If you do not have much time, you can replace the paste with one or two spoons of garam masala and half a spoon of coriander powder.
  2. It will be close to the original flavour, but the coconut texture will be missing.
  3. If you do not have time even to cook the moong dal, you can use a paste of besan (gram flour) and water. It will thicken and give the same consistency that dal gives.
  4. While the original version does not have even tomatoes, more modern versions do use tomatoes to give a slightly tangy flavour.
  5. If you want it even more tangy, you can use tamarind water. Add the tamarind water, salt and potatoes after sauteing the onions and tomatoes, and add the ground paste after.
  6. You can make a healthier version by adding other vegetables like beans and carrots.

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This recipe was contributed by Janani G Vikram on 05 Nov 2018
I am a technically-qualified freelance writer, editor and hands-on mom based in Bengaluru. I write o...

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