Make your snack time extra delicious by making this crispy Thotakura Vadalu (thotakura garelu). Vegan and vegetarian thotakura vada is gluten-free too. Amaranth is a popular green leafy vegetable in South. Serve these vadalu with hot tea and spicy Andhra style peanut chutney or karam podi in breakfast or at snack time.
About This Recipe
Recipe of thotakura vada is same as medu vada recipe. The only extra ingredient in this is addition of thotakura leaves . These leaves bring unique taste in vada.
We South Indians, love leafy greens and we add them whenever they are in season. In Andhra, thotakura is available all through the year. We make many recipes with thotakura. Few of the popular ones are, thotakura fry, thotakura pappu, egg burji with thotakura, thotakura pakodi, etc.
Vada plays an important role in Andhra Cuisine. No celebration or festival is complete without making vada. We Andhra people love vada and make many different varieties of vada’s depending on the occasion.
What is Thotakura?
Thotakura (తోట కూర) is the Telugu name of Amaranth leaves. In Andhra, we get a special variety of thotakura. We call it perugu thotakura. Leaves and tender stems of perugu thotakura are edible.
This is one of the most loved green leafy vegetable in Andhra and Rayalaseema regions. Chaulai is the Hindi name for Amaranth leaves.
Amaranth leaves are nutritionally similar to spinach and beets. These leaves are rich in antioxidants and vitamin c. In vegetarian diet, thotakura is super food.
The Best Leafy Green Recipes To Try
Chukka Kura Pappu – Medley of khatta palak and toor dal. Creamy, mildly spicy and totally comforting dal recipe. Rice, ghee, pappu, pickle and papad is always considered as a soul satisfying meal.
Ponnaganti Aaku Kandipappu Koora – Delicious combination of water amaranth and toor dal. This is locally grown green leafy vegetable of Andhra and Tamil Nadu regions.
Bachali Kura Pappu – The combination of Malabar spinach and toor dal is completely droolsome.
Gongura Pappu – This is one of Andhra people’s favourite dal recipe. Tangy and appetizing gongura pappu is my all time favorite.
Main Ingredients In Making Thotakura Vadalu
Thotakura | Amranth Leaves: The taste of these leaves is similar to spinach. Amaranth leaves are available round the season. These are generally available in bunch. Depending on the size of the bunch, this will cost 10-15 rupees.
Untie the bunch and pick the leaves. Roll them and finely chop them. We can use young and tender stems too. If using stems, then finely chop them too. After chopping, you can store this in a clean and dry moisture free container. Stays fresh for 4-5 days.
I prefer storing leafy greens by chopping them. Doing this helps in preserving the greens for long and they come handy when you are short of time.
Urad Dal: I prefer using whole white urad dal. You can use black urad dal too. Vada color will change when we use black urad dal. Always use whole that is round urad dal. Split urad dal is for tempering (tadka).
Onion: Finely chopped onion bring nice crunchy taste in vada.
Ginger: This helps in bringing out the best flavour of thotakura.
Cumin: Adds aroma and flavour.
Green Chilli: Adds heat and flavour.
Oil: For deep frying vadas.
Tips To Make “The Best Thotakura Garelu”
After finely chopping the leaves and tender stems of thotakura, wash them thoroughly.
Using your fingers, squeeze out as much as possible water from the leaves and stems. Add this to fine meshed colander and leave till all the water is drained.
Now spread the leaves and stems on a kitchen towel or tissue. Leave it to dry.
Remember to completely drain the water from thotakura leaves. Otherwise, when added to urad dal batter, the batter will turn runny and you may not get perfect shaped vadas.
Soak urad dal for at least 4 hours in enough water. Drain the water and grind the urad dal till smooth.
Add spoon by spoon water and grind the batter till thick and smooth.
Using a electrical beater or by hand, beat the batter until airy. This helps in getting fluffy and crispy vada.
To check, whether the batter is perfect for frying vadas, add a small ball of batter to a glass of water. If the balls floats up on top, then the batter is perfectly airy and ready to shape.
Oil play a big role in getting crispy vada. Oil should be on medium heat, not too hot or not too cold. If the oil is very hot, vada will turn brown outside but won’t cook inside. If the oil is not enough hot, then vada will absorb lot of oil and will turn soggy.
To check, if the oil is at medium heat – drop a small ball of batter to it. If the ball sizzles and rises up, then the oil is perfect fro frying.
Storing Thotakura Vadalu
If fried properly, thotakura vadalu tastes best even after 4-5 hours. We can easily store this in a clean and dry container. Do not close the lid tightly. I recommend using a fine sieve as lid. This will keep the vada fresh for long.
If you are storing hot vada in closed box, then it will turn soggy soon.
- 1 cup Urad dal | Minapa Pappu
- 1 Onion, finely chopped
- 2 Green chilies, chopped
- 2 cups Thotakura, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp. Ginger, chopped
- 1 tbsp. Cumin | Jeera
- Salt, as per taste
- Oil for deep frying
How To Make Andhra Style Thotakura Vadalu
- Thoroughly wash and soak urad dal in 4 cups of water for 4 hours.
- Rinse chopped thoatakura leaves and leave this in colander to drain all the water.
- Later spread them on a kitchen towel or tissue to dry.
- Drain the water from urad dal and grind it to smooth paste by adding 2-3 tablespoons of chilled water.
- Remove the batter into a bowl and whisk it for 2-3 minutes by adding salt.
- In the same jar, add sliced onions, chopped green chilies, cumin and chopped ginger.
- Coarsely grind and mix this with urad dal batter along with thotakura leaves. Combine well. Set aside for 10-15 minutes.
- In the meantime, heat enough oil in a kadai for deep frying the vadas. When the oil turns piping hot, reduce the flame to low and start adding the vadas.
- Wet your hands with oil or water and take a lemon sized ball from the batter and flatten it to form a circle, put a hole on the center with your finger.
- Slowly and carefully drop it into the hot oil. Repeat and add 3-4 vadas depending on the size of the kadai.
- Leave them in oil for 3-4 minutes. Slowly start flipping and fry on both the sides on a medium flame, till the vadas turn crisp and nice golden in color.
- Using a slotted spoon, carefully drain the excess oil and remove the vadas on a kitchen tissue.
- Continue the process and complete the batter.
- Add love to make this Andhra Style Thotakura Vada taste ‘Yummy’.
Please read the post above, for all the tips I have mentioned to make crispy and delicious thotakura vadalu.
Lubna's Serving Suggestions:
Vadalu (Garelu) made with Amaranth leaves are so delicious, that you will not require anything else to go with it. But if you are making these for guest or for any special occasion, then you can serve these vadalu with,
Phalli Chutney (Peanut Chutney)
Karam Podi with Warm Ghee or Gingelly Oil, etc.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 30Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 69mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 1g