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Kombdi Vade Thali

Updated: Aug 13

Kombdi Vade combination is beyond words can describe - It may sound a bit exaggerated but it is as I said. I can eat it all the time and never get bored. :-)


Kombdi Vade is a classic chicken preparation from a fishing village called Malvan - a beautiful place on Konkan strip, in Western Indian coastal belt. They have some fantastic fish recipes and their chicken or goat mutton recipes are equally delicious. Kombdi Vade is one such delicious and strange (in a good way! ) combination. Kombdi here means chicken (curry) while, Vade is a mix of different flours with very extraordinary spices and deep fried poori or bread. Vade is usually paired with Mutton curry too (Mutton Vade)


The first time I had this delicious combination nearly two decades ago, I had no idea a curry and poori can be so close to my tastebuds. I eventually picked up the recipe from a close family friend who was from Malvan and till date I enjoy making it and relishing it as much as I would have done if staying in India.


There are many versions as to how Kombdi and vade are made. I follow what was shared with me with a slight twist of using ingredients as how they are available. Let me take you through my recipes for Kombdi Vade


Malvani chicken curry

One kg chicken, skin off, curry pieces, washed and marinate with salt

one medium onion sliced +

one small onion finely sliced

5-6 garlic cloves finely chopped+

5-6 crushed garlic

one inch fresh ginger

1tb coriander seeds

1tsp fennel seeds

3 dry kashmiri chilies

Sprig of curry leaves (optional)

one large tomato

3tb desiccated coconut or fresh grated coconut

1tsp Kashmiri Chili powder

1tb Malvani masala (or any garam masala)

4tb coconut oil recommended (or canola or vegetable oil)

salt

2 tb chopped cilantro


Method:

Preparing the base Masala

1 - In a pan add one tb coconut oil and roast one medium sliced onions along with 5-6 chopped garlic cloves, one inch ginger, one tbs coriander seeds, 3 red dry chilies, few curry leaves, one tsp fennel seeds until fragrant and onions turn light brown

2 - Now add 3 tbs fresh or desiccated coconut and roast on lowest flame until coconut has a toasty brown color (If using desiccated coconut, I suggest to to take out the onions once browned and in the same pan roast the desiccated coconut on low flame)

3 - cool down the mixture and blend all with one large tomato until you get a fine paste. Add very little water if at all needed


Making the curry

4 - In a heavy bottom pot, add 3tb oil, and once it heats up add one tsp Kashmiri chili powder (very quick) and immediately one small chopped onion, 5-6 crushed garlic and sauté until onions turn soft. **Chili powder is added to hot oil to get a deep red color. Be careful and let the red chili foam only for 5-8 seconds before adding chopped onions*

5 - Add the ground masala, salt (chicken is marinated in salt too) and cook until oil separates.

6 - Add chicken pieces fry for 4-5 minutes

7 - Add one Tbs dry Malvani masala (ready made or any garam masala if you don’t have malvani masala), mix well and add half cup hot water and cook until chicken cooked through. Garnish with cilantro once done

Note:

**I have used pressure cooker and added less than half cup hot water and 2 whistles (one high flame and one low - total cooking time for pressure cooker was 12mins)


MALVANI VADE RECIPE


Ingredients:

2 cups rice flour

half cup urad dal flour

Half cup Jowar (sorghum)

Half cup wheat flour

1tb coriander seeds

1/2tb fenugreek seeds (Methi)

Salt as per taste

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

Oil for deep frying


Method

1 - Make a fine powder of coriander seeds and fenugreek seeds)

2 - Add the above powder to a bowl, along with all the other ingredients as per above. Give a good mix

3 - Now add little water at a time and work on a firm but smooth dough. You would have to use heel of your palm, punches to get a smooth dough (it is a fantastic arm workout)

4 - The dough will be wet and firm. set aside for 5mins while you heat oil for deep frying

5 - Vade are hand patted, so prepare a piece of foil (half of A4 size), grease the centre of the foil with oil, pluck a golf size ball from the dough, give a good massage between palm and make a smooth round, gently flatten between palms with little pressure on the edges (grease palm if dough sticks)

6 - Place the flatten dough on the greased foil and hand pat centre of the dough to make a disc (as in the image).

7 - Edges crack slightly but it is ok as long as you are able to flip to the other side. Make a hole in the centre as shown in the image. The discs should be like poori thickness (not too thick, it wont cook well nor too thin else it will burn and wont puff)

8 - Gently lift and carefully drop in very hot oil. do not disturb until you see it starts to puff. Press down with a slotted spoon or spider spatula (gently) , flip over to the other side and fry until the you see dark brown edges (oil is super hot so the browning happens too quick as soon as the vade is slightly puffed)

9 - remove on a kitchen towel and fry the rest.

**The measurement I have given makes 6-8 vade. If you make smaller disc then 8-11 possible**

**If you dont have jowar flour, you may use only rest of the flour. If urad dal flour not available then you can soak urad dal for 3-4hrs and grind to a smooth paste**


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