Rasa Vada/Split pigeon peas and chick peas fritters dunked in spicy tomato soup. Gluten and Vegan free

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When you combine, vada/fritters with rasam (a spicy tomato soup) then it become rasa vada.  In fact you need two different recipes to make this dish. In my house I made Parippu vada/ Combo of toor dal/ spilt pigeon peas and chana dal/ Chick pea fritters for my evening tea.  Usually it will finish by the end of tea time. So there will be nothing left for making this dish.  But one day I had some left, so I decided to make this vada.
If you live in south India, you can practically live gluten free and a strict Vegetarian life, just like my mom, dad and their ancestors. I too was not eating any eggs until I left India, however we did consume lot of milk and milk based products like yogurt and paneer (cottage cheese). Our side dishes and rice is mostly vegan free.  But when I landed in Japan where fishes are eaten just from fish tank, because of the difficulty in getting the vegetables I was used to eating in India, I started eating eggs.
Actually making rasa vada   is a tribute to my mother. She loved it a lot, and used to make it sometimes. On the last day of every month dad  would goes to his office ( General Post Office) to pick up his pension, and on  his way back home, he would always buys something to eat from restaurant for mom. And she would always ask him to bring Masala dosa and Rasa vada (both her favorites). I came to know about this habit, when I call them from Japan, she told me she is eating Rasa vada and masala dosa. I asked her if she made it.  She told me no, dad had bought from the restaurant.  During her last few years, mom was unable to cook, as she had lost vision in one of her eyes due to diabetes, and the cooking department was taken over by dad.  Now when I become mom, I always remember her every day, when I cook something, when eat something, my little one does something. When two of them make my life crazy, I wish if she is with me, at least I can leave my kids with her and go for a shopping and so on.
I do make rasam once a week as my princess Nidhi likes it a lot. If I make a rasam and a stir-fry/thoran with beet root   or cabbage I don’t need her to tell to eat or feed her. Lunch and dinner will happen without any fanfare. Otherwise you can encounter some flying, throwing etc of rice and other dishes both in floor and chair.
Okay coming back to recipe, for rasa vada we usually only chana dal – toor dal fritters (parippu vada) not the split black gram fritters (Uzhinuvada) .  In Trivandrum area from where I am from,  we make Vada kootu curry with potato and uzhinuvada.  
I make three types of rasam in my house, first one withpuree of tomatoes, pepper rasam if  my hubby or myself catch a cold or has sore throat  and this rasam for my little one. Nowadays I am making the last version a lot. She loves to eat tomato pieces as well as cilantro leaves in the rasam.
I made rasam using store bought Brahmin’s rasam powder and also added some homemade pepper rasam powder. Once you make the rasam add parippu vada ( Toor and chana dal fritters), set it aside for at least 3-4  hours,  best results are with  8 hours or overnight. And you scoop up the softened vada with a spoon to eat.  When you have finished all the vada, you can also enjoy the thickened rasam. Enjoy with your evening tea or coffee or even have it during your breakfast.  Here goes the recipe for rasam in my household.
What you need

Print recipe from here 

For Parippuvada/ Toor –chana dal fritters click here
For Rasam
Tomato: 1 cup ( about 3 no, chopped into cubes)
Cumin seeds: ½ teaspoon
Mustard seeds: ¼ teaspoon
Garlic cloves: 1 no
Rasam powder: 1 teaspoon ( I used Brahmin’s rasam powder)
Pepper rasam powder: ¼ teaspoon ( Home made)
Turmeric Powder: ¼ teaspoon
Tamarind juice: ¼ cup ( A small golf sized tamarind dissolved in ¼ cup water)
Cooked Dal water: 1 cup
Salt: 1 teaspoon or to taste
Curry leaves: 1 sprig
Cilantro /coriander leaves: 1 tablespoon (chopped into fine pieces)
Parippuvada 8-10 nos
Water: 3 cup
Olive oil: 1 teaspoon
How I made 
In a saucepan heat 1 teaspoon  oil and add mustard seeds and cumin seeds when mustard seed starts popping add chopped garlic and fry for minute and then add tomato pieces and curry leaves.
To this add turmeric powder and salt and cook until tomato become soft.
In the meantime heat tamarind and ¼ water into microwave for 15 seconds and extract and strain juice and set aside.
To the tomato mixture add cooked dal water, tamarind juice and water and bring to boil and then add both rasam powders and bring to boil.


Then add coriander leaves and switch off the flame.


Add parippuvada into the hot rasam.  Keep aside for 8 hours or minimum 5 hours before serving.



Preparation time: 25 minutes for making rasam + 8 hours of soaking+ extra time required for making Parippu vada
Yield: 10 rasa vada
Verdict: Yummy
Will you make it again: Yes when vada is available

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  1. says

    That’s true, I have been eating several south Indian dishes before going on gluten free diet. I do like rasam and adding the vadas in it is interesting.

  2. says

    Swathi, I am so impressed with this unusual way of serving the crunchy, spicy fritters, dunked into tomato soup…yumm! My kind of dish. Simply divine, and very systemized, and organized preparation. I can picture you hubby keeping the children occupied, while you were preparing this ‘feast’…and the marvelous aroma throughout your kitchen.
    The photographs are superb…as always! (would love to make this if I could get half the ingredients)
    Have a beautiful Sunday:D

  3. says

    What a beautiful dish! I am not familiar with many of the traditional South Indian dishes, so it’s fun to pop in to your blog and learn a little something with each visit :)

  4. says

    Lucky you for having some of those fritters leftover! I wouldn’t be able to resist! I love any and all fritters. The soup looks delicious too!

  5. says

    Vadai as we call it over here is popular and also the rasam. Somehow this is first time I am seeing both together. Really unique and creative, one I must try out soon.

  6. says

    thats a beautiful post swathi.

    i have had rasam vada before but the urad dal vada with rasam. am sure the dal vada would also be tasting good with rasam.

  7. says

    Swathi, when i saw rasa vada….I immediately hoping to find a trivandrum connection….coz I have never had rasa vada outside tvm, the city I grew up and studied and lived up until my marriage….I frankly do not have the patience to make rasa vada…so whenever I visit tvm…my brothers will get it for me. so sad to learn about ur mom…..BTW my daugters name is also Nidhi…so many things in common alle…apart from blogging and cooking…