South Indian Breakfast – Idli Vada Sambar

Summer vacation is here , the most dreaded time for any parent. Vacation camps and classes are saviors for many, else entertaining a single kid at home is no easy task.

So, I was surprised when Mittu – my neighbor’s daughter, informed me that she is not going to dance class anymore. Its vacation and kid being even an hour away from home means a lot for sanity, so I checked with her mom the reason behind it.

And her mom said that Mittu’s dance looks more like Bhagyaraj doing exercise than dance itself. So after waiting for a long time to see whether Mittu will dance with some grace, her mom finally decided to take her out of the class as a show of respect to the art.

Mittu is now going to Hindi class instead, where she is really shining.

Like Mittu bowing down to the art and moving out, I had bowed out of the art of deep frying. I cannot even fry a papad, I would brown them. But finally I gathered some courage, poured the oil and made some vada. And the funny thing was that they came out well and paired wonderfully with idlis for this tiffin thali. A couple of them went into the Punjabi Thali as Dahi Vada too.

So may be, at some point of time, Mittu too might dance with some grace!


Ingredients for Tomato Chutney:

  • Onion                     :             1 big, chopped roughly
  • Tomatoes             :             2 medium, chopped
  • Red Chilies           :             3-4, per taste
  • Roasted Gram    :             1-2 tbsp
  • Salt
  • Oil


  1. In a microwave proof bowl, add the chopped onions and a teaspoon of oil, mix so that the oil coats the onion. Cook on high (do not close with a lid) for two minutes.
  2. Add the tomatoes and the chilies next. Microwave for another 3-4 minutes, until the tomatoes are cooked.
  3. Wait for it to cool down and then blend in a mixie with roasted gram and salt. I usually add a tbsp of roasted gram and then do a taste check before adding more.
  4. Serve with dosa or idli. If preferred, season with mustard and urad dal seeds.

Coconut Chutney:

  • Grind together 1 cup coconut, a handful of roasted gram (2-3 tbsp pottu kadalai), 2-3 green chillies, 1/2 tsp tamarind paste (or a small ball of tamarind), salt as required. Add ons can be : 1/4 cup coriander leaves, 1/4 cup mint leaves, a small piece of ginger, 1/2 cup of sauteed onion and tomato mix etc
  • If desired, we can season this with mustard seeds, curry leaves and urad dal.

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20 thoughts on “South Indian Breakfast – Idli Vada Sambar

  1. Hahaha am still laughing at ‘bagyaraj’ reference :). I too have put my lil one in summer classes and its a ‘life saver’ for sure. And the thali its awesome and would love to indulge right now…


  2. …and I wait for these vacations so I can pamper my grand children!!….capture these moments..spend lot of time with kids …its actually a therapy.keeps u happy and lively:))
    The thali is wonderful..I make the same chutney with a addition of a bit of coconut.


  3. Rajani, beautiful pictures! I love how that scattered presentation makes such an appealing sight ..coming to your woes of summer! me when I say it’s harder with 3 kids on only have to worry abt one! I have to worry abt 4 as athamma also gets hyper with the antics the kids do..hahah..:)


  4. Rajani, your posts are so interesting and instantaneously cheers me up…..i appreciate ur neighbour for being intelligent enough to know what works and what not rather than wait for an entire month to pass….btw lovely platter, can i have something similar when we meet


  5. Beautiful thali. Looking at all of those dishes is making me hungry. Great job.
    Loved reading your post, especially about Mittu. Hope she learns to dance with grace some day.


  6. A dreamy platter on any given day. :)Though as Champa mentioned I wouldn’t have the patience to make varieties unless I have some guests at the breakfast table. Idli – chutney would be enough for me.


  7. Your writing brought me smiles. I had put my older one in bharathanatyam. Drove her 45 minutes one way every weekend for 6 months. She was not bad, but wasn’t interested at all. She would talk non-stop and that drove me crazy. I pulled her out and now she looks forward to her art class every week. Nice thali. I don’t have patience to make so many things at once unless there is a party.


  8. Its quite a dream for me to have this kind of breakfast, but its quite difficult for me now to have such a complete and super filling breakfast..


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