Sunday, August 17, 2008

A Taste of Amritsar

Writing in the middle of my vacation from my beloved hometown. Amritsar, the holy city, right next to the border they drew when they partitioned Punjab. There is a lot I can tell you about Amritsar food, and I probably will sometime. But right now, I just want to talk about this one curry from Amritsar's culinary repertoire. I want to talk about aloo-wadi.

Wadis are sun-dried spheres of urad dal cooked with lots of black pepper and red chillies. You can get wadis at most grocery stores in Punjab but the true Amritsaris go to those tiny stores in the old walled city. We have a favorite store to buy wadis and pappads. Every family does!

Before I tell you how to cook wadi, a word of warning. Wadis are very, very spicy and definitely not for the faint-hearted. The two most popular ways to cook wadi are with bottle gourd or a curry with potatoes. I've never cared much for the gourd family, so aloo-wadi it is.



Break wadi into small pieces. Heat a tsp of ghee in a pan and fry wadis for a minute, taking care not to burn them. Remove and set aside. Puree a large onion and 2 tomatoes into a paste. Heat a tbsp of ghee and fry the tomato-onion paste until ghee separates. Add 1/2 tsp turmeric and stir for another minute. Now add the wadi and 2 potatoes, cubed. Stir fry on low heat for a couple of minutes, then add 1/2 tsp salt and a cup of water and pressure cook for 3 whistles.

Sprinkle some garam masala and chopped coriander and serve with roti. It's a good idea to serve some plain yogurt alongside the curry to balance the spice. At the very least, have a few glasses of water ready. These ugly brown rounds truly pack a punch.

Srivalli, the spicy aloo-wadi is coming over to your Curry Mela.

13 comments:

notyet100 said...

even we prepare thesame...specially durin winters,,,ur curry looks delicious,..wil taste great with roti,,:-),..hppy bloggin ceeya

live2cook said...

Even in southern India we have a wadi like this. We call it sambar vadam.

The curry looks delicious. Can you please get the recipe for homemade wadi while you are in Amritsar?

Jayashree said...

Wow....sounds like something I'd love to taste!!! Haven't come across authentic wadis where I live.

Shriya said...

Looks so delicious. Must have tasted soo good. Nice recipe.

Kitchen Flavours said...

Wow curry looks awesome.

SMN said...

Hey i just saw how to prepare potato wadis but didnt get wat exactly u mean by wadi?

i watched the chakde india show in ndtv imagine..

Bharti said...

That looks so delicious! My MIL used to make these but then stopped 'cause the vadis available to her were not that great any more. I wish we could taste some authentic ones.

Priti said...

Wadi aloo are always great combo to prepare..your version looking quite yummy..liked the wadi colour very much

Swati Raman Garg said...

ohooo log ghar gaye hue hain.... cool .... ghar par sab kaise hai... sabko mera namaste.... and when r u returning.... ghar ki aloo wadi .. lucky u .... mumma in mansa makes amazing wadi matar...

Shreya said...

It looks so good, and I have never had this:-( Love the recipe, will try it. Great entry.

Pragyan said...

Would love to try the wadis. In Odiya cuisine, we too have urad dal fritters sun-dried, but they are not very spicy.

Sunshinemom said...

I know - I am weak hearted! I can't just have them, they are too too spicy!!

Srivalli said...

Thats such a lovely dish!..thanks for the entry.