Friday, April 5, 2013

Kumbakonam Kadapa | Side-dish for Idli/Dosa

Chutneys and Sambar may be the most popular accompaniments for Idlis and Dosa. But there are many other tasty options as well like Chidambaram Kathrikkai Gothsu, Thiruvarur Kathrikkai Gothsu (a milder version ), Tomato Gothsu, Madras Vadai curry, Kumbakonam Kadapa to name a few. In fact, there are various varieties in making Kadapa itself. For example, in Chidambaram the Kadapa is mild and is made without the spices like fennel, cinnamon, cloves and coconut. While the Kumbakonam Kadapa is relatively elaborate in preparation and more flavorful. It is interesting to note how the "same" recipe varies from one locality to the other.

Here is one more interesting information on regional food practice that I am sharing - In and around Salem, they serve the previous night's Naatu Kozhi(Chicken) Kuzhambu as a side for Idli/Dosa breakfast. You may ask what is unique about this Kuzhambu... Before the days of refrigerators, they used to keep the Kozhi Kuzhambu in a mannsatti (earthern ware) and cover it with a cloth and let it rest on the rooftop overnight. The night's chillness protects the food from going bad and also imparts more flavor to the dish. This Kozhi Kuzhmabu is said to suitably compliment the piping hot idlis.

Now to the Kadapa madness :)

Preparation Time: 5-7 Minutes
Cooking Time: 30 mintues
Yield: 3-4 Persons

You will need:
1 cup moong dal (spilt and dehusked green gram)
1 medium sized Potatoes
1 green chillies
1 Onion
1/2 Tomato (Optional)
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
Juice of half a lime
Fresh Coriander
Salt to taste

To grind
1/4 Cup grated Coconut
1 tsp poppy seeds 
1 tsp fennel seeds
2 green chillies
1 inch piece of ginger

2 tsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 bay leaf
1 clove
1 small piece of cinnamon
A pinch of Asafetida
few curry leaves


Soak the poppy seeds in 2 tbsp of water. Peel and dice the potatoes to small pieces.

Cook the moong dal and potatoes together with 2 cups of water until tender and soft.

Grind the soaked poppy seeds, coconut, green chillies and ginger to a fine paste.

Chop the onions, tomatoes and coriander. Slit the green chillies.

Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds, bay leaf , clove and cinnamon. 

When the spices begin to change color add the asafetida and curry leaves.

Add the onions and slit green chilly and saute for couple of minutes. 

Mix in salt and turmeric powder. Add tomatoes and ground paste cook until the raw smell disappears.

Stir in the boiled moong and potato mixture. Add 1/4 cup of water if its dry.

Bring it to a boil and turn off. Add chopped coriander and lime juice before you serve!

We had a gratifying breakfast of Dosas, Kadapa and Aval nenaichathu (Sweet aval)!


  1. Makes me nostalgic, love this authentic dish with idlies very much.

  2. delicious and droolworthy dish.
    anonymous Indu srinivasan

  3. very nostagic my father native is kumbakonam only i tasted this many times. i always love this aroma, :D Good one