Tuesday, December 27, 2011

White and kidney beans falafels and spicy hot vandikkaran chutney

There are times that you want to try something different from the usual fare and the dish is a hit with guests. Year after year, for navrathri, we make sundal recipes. I do that too; but at times I add something extra to make it more interesting, like making a chat style or adding some crisp to the regular sundals and such. However, this year while shopping for the legumes I chanced to add to my grocery the white haricot beans. They looked quite tempting and when I soaked for the sundal they soaked quickly too. I had, without thinking, soaked a bit too much that I had to reserve some for later use.
On the day I invited ladies from our compound, I decided to make use of the soaked beans. I soaked some red kidney beans/ rajma that day and made use of both beans in one dish - falafels. I made the very easy and hot 'vandikkaran chutney' variation using the locally grown fresh chillis and tomatoes. Both the falafels and chutney paired very well.
This time on the all eight of us, free spirit bloggers have made one round of dishing out various themes and for this month Mridhubashini chose a very colourful theme for the festival season. I have been asked to cook 'RED' dishes for the Rainbow. I opted to do one each of starters, main course and a dessert for the theme, as with other mates. Thus the three posts in succession will feature my "free spirit's rainbow red'.

Ingredients for Falafel:

1/2 cup white haricot beans
1/2 cup red kidney beans
1/4 teaspoon red chilli powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
Salt to taste
Cooking oil for deep frying

For the Chutney:
5 medium red tomatoes
1 small marble size tamarind
6 medium size and very hot red chillis
Salt to taste
2 teaspoons oil
(the regular vandikkaran chutney is a smooth blend of just salt, tamarind and dry red chillis. I tweaked a bit as I had those fresh chillis and wanted to use them)

For falafels:
Wash the legumes clean and soak them in water for about 8 hours/ overnight.
Drain the water well and pulse to a coarse dough in the blender.
Add the red chilli powder, tumeric powder, cumin seeds and the salt.
Heat cooking oil in a pan and when the oil reaches optimum heat, make small balls of the dough, flatten slightly in your palms and slide them in the oil as many as would fit in.
Deep fry well on both the sides and remove the crisply fried falafels with a slotted ladle.
Place them on absorbent tissues before transferring to a serving dish.

For the chutney:
Wash and pat the chillis and tomatoes clean and dry.
Soak the tamarind in very little water, enough to soften it up for grinding.
Chop the chillis and tomatoes in very tiny pieces.
Heat oil in a pan and toss the chillis for a few minutes.
Remove from the pan and keep aside.
In the same pan toss the chopped tomatoes until they are cooked to a pulp.
Cool the tomatoes to room temperature.
Transfer the tomatoes, soaked tamarind, saute'ed chillis and salt to the jar of a blender. Grind to a very smooth paste adding sufficient water.
Once done transfer to a serving bowl. Clean the jar with a little quantity of water and extract the adhering paste. Add this to the chutney.
This chutney is not usually tempered or garnished. But if you feel like it you may do so too.

Serve the falafels accompanied with the chutney and enjoy!
Don't thhey both have a very lovely RED?


  1. Wow..perfect evening snack...delicious..

  2. Falafels looks super tempting, btw vandikaaran chutney,never heard of tis name,eventhough i prepare the same chutney at home..Lovely spread..

  3. Looks absolutely delicious. Ya sure the best combo with vandikaran chutney

  4. yummy dish..Should try it sometime..


  5. The falafels look so perfect and inviting that u r taking me back to dubai reminding me of the tasty falafels which we used to hog very often.
    indu srinivasan

  6. Sounds very interesting. Have never tried this combination

  7. Will try this out Lata! Nice to read this!

  8. I want vandikaaran chutney..miss it much!

  9. I did not know about vandikaaran chutney.:) The falafels with the chutney look delicious. Obvious good pairing, Lata!

  10. These look delicious. I hope I'm not being dumb in asking - you start with dried beans, correct? And you don't do any other prep before grinding them other than the overnight soak and rinse? I would like to try this at home this week and just want to clarify before I do. Thank you!

    1. Yes, that's right.. I did not do any other prep. Only soaked overnight and ground the beans.


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I sincerely hope to improve with them.
Hope we shall interact often.
Thanks once again,
Lata Raja.