Appetizer, Indian, Lunch, Dinner and Entrees, Sides and Snacks

New Series – Street foods of India

Episode 1 – Masala vadai with Sundal – Chennai special 


Why are street foods so delicious? My guess: they’re made fresh with a few, locally available ingredients. 

Recently we had a costume party at our place and the theme was Disco/Flower power. Embracing the unique styles of the 70s, all of the guests adorned beautiful costumes. 

So what would be appropriate foods to go with this theme? Street foods of course! 

Presenting various street foods from India. 

I am no authority on the validity of these ‘cities’ and their ‘street foods’…. So take my guesses with a pinch of salt (rather a bag!). 🤷🏻‍♀️😜

Of course, Chennai, I can vouch for! 

  • Masala vadai with Sundal – Chennai special 
  • Fried corn – Delhi special 
  • Pau Bhaji – Mumbai special
  • Khaman Dhokha – Gujarat special 
  • Kothu parotta – South Indian special (Sri Lankan, maybe?) 
  • Tava pulav – Mumbai special 

Surprisingly enough, all of these foods are completely vegetarian and in fact vegan too! 

I will present detailed recipes for each one of them in a series of Street food specials. 

Let’s start today’s post with my own city, a Chennai special – Pattani Sundal especially available at Marina beach. 

This Sundal is a runny gravy which is poured on top of broken pieces of vada. It is topped with green chutney and garnished with freshly chopped onions n cilantro. Hot and spicy is all I can use describe of this delicacy. 

This Sundal is made with white or yellow peas of the dried variety. This is a good source of protein. Soak the peas overnight for a quick cook time or it can be cooked a little longer using the InstantPot for a no-soak fix. 

Tip – cook the peas for double the time for a no-soak option 

This recipe is extremely easy; remember, it is prepared on the street by vendors in little carts. Here are the details. 

Sundal – chennai beach special

Crispy lentil vadai are broken coarsely and topped with loads of runny sundal gravy. Garnished with chopped onions and cilantro. Drizzled with sweet and spicy chutneys. This street food is enjoyed piping hot.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Soaking time10 hours
Course: Snack
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Street Food
Servings: 7


  • 2 cups Yellow or White Peas soaked overnight
  • 1 large Onion finely chopped
  • 2 large Tomatoes chopped
  • 3 pods Garlic sliced
  • 1 inch piece Ginger grated
  • 5 Green Chillies
  • Cilantro chopped
  • 1 tbsp Curry Powder
  • Turmeric Powder
  • Salt


  • Cook the soaked peas in instantPot for 5 minutes under pressure
    Once time has reached, wait for 2 minutes and Release pressure
  • Carefully remove the cooked peas, add turmeric powder and salt and let it sit
  • Meanwhile return the pot to the InstantPot on Saute mode 
    Add oil liberally, add chopped onions and saute
  • Add garlic, ginger and green chilies
  • Finally add the tomatoes and cook until tomatoes are soft
  • Add the cooked peas, curry powder and 2 cups of water and mix well
    Bring to a slow boil and turn off heat
  • Garnish with tons of Cilantro leaves
  • Pour it on top of Masala vada broken into pieces and enjoy! 

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