Recipes from leftovers X

(Continued from previous posting)

We had been discussing several options to make use of leftovers so far and I hope some of you might have tried even though I do not get any feedback. In this concluding part of this series, I will discuss Chilli bread and VaDai Curry which are famous in Chennai especially and in many major cities of Tamil Nadu. For chilli bread, you need leftover bread slices or bread loaf and for vaDai curry we can make from leftover aDai, Amai vaDai and BONDA. Let us see, how we go about.

Chilli Bread

Take a few slices of the bread (preferably salty ones) and remove the sides and take only the soft portion. Break them into pieces and keep in a bowl. If you want, you can add the crusts also but ensure that you smash them well while mixing. Take green chillies, salt, asafoetida to required taste, a small tomato, a small onion, a small piece of ginger, two or three cloves of garlic, a pinch of turmeric powder and a few leaves of coriander and grind them into fine paste. If you like, you may add a little garam MaSAlA powder to the paste. Mix the broken bread pieces with this paste and smash well for homogeneity. If you need you may add red or any other food colour a pinch.

Similarly, if you want to enrich you may add boiled carrot, potato and capsicum.  You may use the paste directly or if you do not like its raw small you may use after sautéing with a little oil. In that case you need to mix the broken bread pieces with the sautéed paste and mash.

Chilli Bread 29 Dec 2013 Kdgr

Chilli Bread

Roll the mashed bread with the paste (raw or sautéed) into small dumplings and fry till the inside portion is also fried but ensure that you do not fry too much as to char and spoil. Alternatively, you may just smash the bread pieces only with a little water (1 tsp), roll into dumplings and smear the ground paste over it and fry. In this case you need not sauté the paste. If you need a bit sour taste more, add two or three crystals of citric acid or a few drops of white vinegar.

This is really a tasty item and goes well with sauces.

Remember not to fry under high flame but only under medium fire and also that you should not turn immediately unless the side is fried well.

VaDai curry

This can be prepared from the leftovers or afresh. 



If freshly preparing 

A) Bengal gram dAl (CanA)

    Red Chilli powder




    Refined rice bran oil


B)  Ginger


     Green Chillies

     Fennel seeds (Saunf)





C)  Onion


     Turmeric powder

     Red chilli powder

     Extracted coconut milk

 If using leftovers   

 Avoid (A) except salt and oil



 125 gms

½ tsp (or as per taste)

a pinch

to taste

a small one

Qty. required to fry


¼” pc

2 cloves

1 or 2  

½ tsp

½” pc

2 pcs

1 pod


1 medium sized

2 medium ones

2 pinches

½ tsp (or as per taste)

¾ cup




Soak the Bengal gram dAl for about 2 hours or till it becomes soft. Drain the water and keep aside. Ground all the ingredients shown under (B) into fine paste. Add ½ tsp of this paste tot the soaked dAl and grind coarsely without water along with all other ingredients under (A) except onion. Cut the onion into small dices and add to the ground dAl. Keep aside. Make small dumplings or flatten like vaDais and either you can fry these or steam under pressure as done in the case of Paruppu uSili (See earlier posting). Keep aside the VaDais or dumplings thus fried or steamed. (Personally I prefer fried ones)

VaDai curry

VaDai curry

Cut the onion shown under (C) into small dices. Heat oil in a kaDAi and add one or two bay leaves. Add the cut onions along with a little salt. Sauté for a few seconds till the onion becomes pinkish brown. Add the remaining ground paste prepared under (B) and sauté again. Add the tomatoes after cutting them into small pieces, turmeric powder and chilli powder as under (C). Add ½ a glass of water. Simmer the flame and cook well till the contents become a sort of thick gravy. Stir in between. Take ½ a cup of coconut milk and add ¼ cup of water. Mix well and add this to the boiling gravy. Mix well. When it starts boiling again, break the VaDai into two or three and add. If dumplings, you may add directly if small and break if bigger ones. After allowing boiling for 10 minutes to enable the VaDai pieces absorb the gravy (You may check by tasting a piece), add the remaining ¼ cup coconut milk and allow boiling for 5 minutes. Switch off the flame and garnish with coriander or mint leaves. Remember not to stir vigorously as to disintegrate the VaDai pieces.

This is a fine dish and goes well with dOSai, iDlis or CapAttis/ ParATTAs.

If you want to prepare the above with leftover aDais, Amai VaDais and BONDas, then you may avoid preparing the VaDais but use these in their place.


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