Sepu vadi- A healthy spinach curry with lentil dumplings
Sepu vadi is a specialty from the hilly state of Himachal Pradesh .Dumplings made of ground fermente lentils/urad daal, are boiled in water and then deep fried in mustard oil, and the gravy is made with spinach, dill,yogurt and whole spices.
Sepu vadi is Best served with Rotis (Indian flatbreads) and cumin rice or just plain steamed rice. I have learned this from a friend of mine, and tweaked it a bit. Hope you will like this traditional Himachali recipe.
- Urad daal / White lentil – 1 cup
- Crushed fennel seeds /kuti hui saunf- 1/2 tsp
- Crushed pepper corns/kuti hui kali mirch – 1/2 tsp
- Salt /namak- 1/2 tsp
- Tomato,chopped – 1
- Curd /dahi- 1 cup
- Spinach /palak- 100 gms
- Dill leaves /suwa – 2 tsp(optional)
- Cloves/laung – 4
- Peppercorns/kali mirch – 10
- Green Chilies/hari mirch – 2
- Green Cardamom/hari elaichi – 2
- Black Salt/Rock Salt – 1/4 tsp
- Table Salt – 1 tsp
- Turmeric /haldi- 1/3 tsp
- Chili Powder – 1/2 tsp
- Fennel Powder(saunf) – 1/4 tsp
- Lemon Juice – 1.5 tsp
- Water – 3 cups
- Mustard oil – 2 tbsp
- Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
- Crushed Coriander seeds – 1 tsp
- Asafoetida – 1/3 tsp
- Black Cardamom – 1
- Grated Ginger – 1.5 tsp
- Bayleaf – 1
- Cinnamon – 1/2 inch
For the Dumplings (Vadi) –
- Wash and soak ‘urad daal’ (white lentils) in 2 glasses of water for 4-5 hours.
- Drain, wash and grind to make a smooth paste of moderate thickness.
- Take the paste out in a bowl and keep it covered for 2 hours to let it ferment (I skipped this step).
- Whisk well to make it lighter and then add 1 tsp of crushed fennel, 1/2 tsp of crushed pepper corns and 1/2 tsp of salt. Mix well.
- Heat 2.5 glasses of water in a pan, and when it starts boiling take a big lump of the ground daal mixture (made in step 4) and drop in the boiling water and let it boil for 5 minutes.
- Take the boiled lump out in a plate and let it cool down for 5 minutes and then chop to make medium size pieces.
- Heat oil in a pan and deep fry the vadi pieces (made in step 5) till they’re golden in colour (traditionally frying and cooking is done in mustard oil only, but you can use your choice of cooking oil for frying).
For the Gravy –
- Wash and blanch spinach in hot boiling water for a minute.
- Drain and refresh in cold water and then grind with dill, green chilies, green cardamoms, cloves and peppercorns to make a fine paste.
- Take out in a bowl and mix curd and whisk well,then add 2.5 cup water and mix.(A)
- Heat 2 tbsp of mustard oil in a pan, add 1 tsp of cumin seeds, crushed coriander seeds, grated ginger, bay leaves, cinnamon, 1 whole black cardamom (slightly crush to open the mouth) and asafoetida.
- When cumin start crackling add turmeric, chili powder and fennel powder.
- Add spinach mixture (A).Let it boil for 5 minutes.
- Now add salt and the fried dumplings (sepu vadis) and let it simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add lemon juice and serve hot.
Serving suggestions – Best served with cumin rice/plain rice and chapati.