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March 4, 2014


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Kumbakonam Kadappa as the title says, it is a very famous side dish recipe for idli, dosa in Kumbakonam, Thiruvarur & Thanjavur district, Tamil nadu. It tastes more like kurma but its consistency is between sambar and kurma. I have tasted this once in Sendhil’s uncle’s house in Kumbakonam.

Long back I tried two versions & posted here too. But this recipe is the authentic, restaurant style one from Chef, Master Ravi of  the famous “Vaasan cafe”, Thiruvarur, Kumbakonam. I took this recipe from Aval vikatan Magazine. Last month I prepared this when my in-laws were here. We all loved it & relished with idli. I have tried this many times after that.

The color of kadappa is usually white. In some hotels/restaurants, they make with or without tomato, carrot. Even the recipe given the book had carrot and tomato. So I tried two versions. Hope U can find the difference in color in pictures. Do try any based on your liking. I am sure you’ll love this mildly spiced, kurma like gravy for idli, dosa. Procedure seems a bit lengthy. But its worthy to try. Lets see how to make restaurant style kumbakonam kadappa recipe with step by step pictures.

Kadappa with tomato & carrot

Kumbakonam/Thanjavur kadappa recipe

Kumbakonam/Thanjavur kadappa recipe Kumbakonam/Thanjavur kadappa recipe - Authentic recipe from a chef. A tasty side dish for idli,dosa!
Cuisine: Indian
Category: Side dish
Serves: Serves 4
Prep time: 20 Minutes
Cook time: 20 Minutes
Total time: 40 Minutes

1 cup - 240ml
To pressure cook
  • Yellow moong dal - 1/4 cup
  • Potato - 1 no
  • Water - as needed
  • Oil - a drop
To powder
  • Cinnamon - 1 inch piece
  • Fennel - 1/2 tsp
  • Garlic cloves - 5 nos
To saute
  • Oil - 1 tsp
  • Green chilli – 4- 5 
  • Fried gram dal /Pottukadalai – 2 tsp
To grind with above
  • Grated coconut - 1/4 cup
  • Khus-Khus/Poppy seeds - 1 tsp
  • Soambu/Fennel seeds - 1 tsp
  • Garlic cloves - 5 nos
  • Ginger - 1 inch piece
To temper & saute
  • Oil - 2 tbsp
  • Cloves - 2 nos
  • Biryani leaf / bay leaf - 1 no
  • Star anise - 1 no
  • Small onion - 10 nos OR Big onion - 1 
  • Garlic cloves - 10 nos
  • Tomato – 1 no (optional)
  • Curry leaves - few
  • Carrot - 1 no (small,optional)
  • Mint, coriander leaves - 2 tbsp
  • Lemon juice - few drops

  • Pressure cook moong dal adding required water & a drop of oil. Keep a whole potato inside it. Cook them for one whistle in low flame. Remove, peel the potato skin & cut into cubes. Mash the dal & set aside.
kadappa tile1
  • In a kadai, heat a tsp of oil & saute the green chillies & fried gram dal. Take this in a mixie jar & add grated coconut, ginger, garlic cloves, poppy seeds & fennel seeds. Grind everything to a smooth paste adding required water. Set aside.
  • Crush the cinnamon, fennel & garlic cloves & set aside. In the same kadai, heat 2 tbsp of oil. Saute cloves,star anise,cardamom and biryani leaf.
kadappa tile2
  • Now add the crushed cinnamon powder. Then add onions, garlic cloves & saute till transparent. Now add tomatoes & saute for a minute. No need to become mushy. Adding tomato & carrot is optional.
  • Add sliced carrots, saute well. Add water to cook the carrots and cover cook for few minutes.
kadappa tile3
  • After the carrots are cooked well, add the ground coconut paste and cooked moong dal. Boil for sometime. Check for salt. Add the potato cubes, allow the gravy to boil till thickens slightly. 
  • Before removing, add the chopped coriander and mint leaves. Give one boil and switch off the flame.
kadappa tile4
kadappa tile5
  • Add lemon juice and Serve with hot idlies !

I served it with Oats Barely idli !


  • This gravy would thicken after it cools down.So make it slightly watery.
  • Adding tomato & carrots are optional. I have not seen them in the kadappa I tasted in kumbakonam restaurants. But I added as it was mentioned in the recipe.
  • To make it white, omit tomato & carrots. Add more green chillies if you want it more spicy.
Enjoy this Kumbakonam kadappa for idli,dosa with  Kumbakonam degree coffee !

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harini said...

Hi kadappa looks great.have to try soon.will it be nice for chapathis..

Lincyscookart said...

Have not tried or even tasted this dish. But seems like Kerala Olan made with Colacasia and Moong Dhal except the addition of Raw garam masala. Must be a very tasty dish will try some time:) Wonderful pictures too dear.

Chitra said...

It tastes more like u can try :)

great-secret-of-life said...

So tasty kadapa.. I love it with Dosa

hotpotcooking said...

Love the white version of kadapa.

Unknown said...

Yummy and delicious.....lovely clicks!!

nandoos kitchen said...

Kadappa looks great and lovely. Delicious.

Unknown said...

Kadappa sounds delicious dear ..Love it !!

Laxmipriya said...

the famous kadappa recipe.. looks too good..

Priya said...

Kadappa nu pera ketathum aga etho sweet nu nenachen.I never heard the name kadappa before .This look so yummy and second one with tomato looks more more yummy..

Unknown said...

New dish to me.. will sure want to give it a try.

Unknown said...

looks very tempting... must try this one..

Hema said...

My father grew up in Thiruvarur, he should be knowing this Vaasan Cafe, I should surprise him with this kadappa, looks delicious..

Lifewithspices said...

wonderful recipe..

divya said...

this looks absolutely amazing...

Radha said...

Tried it today.. Came out well exactly like urs.. We had it with chapathi and liked it very much..

Chitra said...

Thank u so much for trying and the feedback dear :) I am so glad !

Unknown said...

wow very flavorful and deliicous kadappa to go with hot idili's :) tempting me dear !!

Sona said...

Looks very delicious, will try it sometime..

Unknown said...

Thanq for posting it .as soon as I ll try to do

Unknown said...

Very delicious recipe. Me ,my husband , my 2yr old daughter my 11 month daughter every one loved it with idli.

Unknown said...

Very delicious recipe. Me ,my husband , my 2yr old daughter my 11 month daughter every one loved it with idli.

Chitra said...

Thank you so much for the positive feedback :)

Gayathri Rajesh said...

A little variation on festival days, I omit garlic and use few cashew nut ,khus khus and fresh coconut (soak in water) gives rich taste and not strong garam masala, except for bay leave.. It tastes good...

Chitra said...

Thanks for sharing your variations. I will try this way 😊

Gayathri Rajesh said...

Would like to have your feedback please....

Chitra said...