Salem Thattu Vadai Set Recipe

Salem Thattu Vadai Set is a popular street food from Salem, a small town in Tamilnadu (in the southern part of India).  It is a savory, crispy sandwich made with thattu vadais (crispy savory deep fried rice flour cookies), slathered with green coriander-mint chutney and red tomato-onion chutney and filled with a mixture of grated carrots, beetroots and onions in tangy lemon juice.

India is famous for its various street foods.  Even in the smallest town, you will find a wide range of savory and sweet street food carts at every street corner.  We Indians love our spicy, tangy and flavorful street foods so much, there are whole streets dedicated to just street food with trucks, carts and even vendors with just a small basket doling out all the flavors of chaats and savory snacks like samosas, aloo tikkis, Pani Puri, Bhel, deep fried snacks made of raw plantain or even chole bhature!

Salem Thattu Vadai set or sandwich is one such street food local to Salem. Although I am from this small town, I was not fortunate enough to try these during my school or college days as we never preferred to eat from any street food cart or any roadside snack, mainly for hygienic reasons.

Being an avid food blogger, constantly scouring the net for interesting recipes to try, give it my own twist and share it with all of you, I came across this street food and when I saw the name “Salem” (with the name of the recipe), it piqued my  interest. It looked so easy and effortless to put together that I decided to make these with our evening tea or chai.

All I needed was to make my own thattu vadais or get store bought ones (an easier and quicker option!).  There is a small shop near our house where we buy all our savory snacks owned by a Tamilian (people from Tamilnadu are called Tamilians) and he had these thattu vadais. Well, now there was no stopping me from trying these out as I already had the ingredients to make the chutneys that go along with this snack.  Carrots, beetroots and onions are a staple in my house.

The way the street vendors serve is they place a layer of thattu vadais on the plate (or most of the time on a piece of newspaper), smear them with one chutney, then top them with loads of the filling of grated beets, carrots and onions in lemon juice before placing the top the top layer of thattu vadais, again smeared with the second chutney. I like more crunch and flavor in every bite and the messy presentation they place in front of you did not appeal to me.  So, I decided to make them as individual sets or sandwiches which are easier to eat and look more presentable!

Making these chutneys took no time at all and most of the time, most Indians have these chutneys or at least a variation of these in the refrigerator all the time. Store bought crispies made it easier to make them. My food processor did the job of grating the beets, carrots and even onions easier; a twist of lime, some salt and chopped green chillies and my filling too was ready.

Once all the elements of this snack were on my dining table, I started to assemble them, photograph them from all different angles (now I had to share them with you, didn’t I?) and could not wait to chuck one of these delectable and colorful snacks in my mouth. I loved the crunch of these savory crisps along with the cooling and refreshing grated spicy salad; and  the flavors of the two spicy chutneys hit me with every bite!!!

To give it more crunch and spice, I added some spicy peanuts I had in my pantry along with spicy Khara boondis (deep fried chickpea batter droplets that shape themselves into small crispy balls) along with the filling; totally optional. If you cannot get thattu vadais, you can try using papdis (a north Indian deep fried flour crispy normally used in chaats) or even some salty crackers like Monaco biscuits or even Ritz crackers! For a more north Indian flavor, you can use tamarind chutney instead of the tomato-onion chutney.

Play around with different types of chutneys like Tomato Thokku, Green Coriander/Cilantro Chutney, Tomato onion chutney (normally used for dosas and idlis) etc. or even ketchup or any hot sauce like Sriracha sauce, chilli sauce etc. and you have a different flavor to relish every time!

Do try this unique but simple and tasty south Indian street food, popular in my hometown, Salem, and treat your family and friends to this spicy, crunchy and refreshing unique snack called Salem Thattu Vadai Set or Sandwich at your next party or with your evening chai or coffee!

Salem Thattu Vadai Set
Serves 4
Salem Thattu Vadai Set is a spicy, tangy and tasty street food from south India; fresh and tangy beet, carrot and onion filling is sandwiched between crispy thattu vadais, smeared with spicy chutneys, for a crunchy and spicy bite.
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80 calories
13 g
0 g
3 g
2 g
0 g
175 g
162 g
6 g
0 g
3 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
175g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 80
Calories from Fat 26
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 3g
5%
Saturated Fat 0g
1%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 162mg
7%
Total Carbohydrates 13g
4%
Dietary Fiber 4g
16%
Sugars 6g
Protein 2g
Vitamin A
80%
Vitamin C
66%
Calcium
6%
Iron
12%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 20 readymade Thattu Vadais/Rice Flour Spicy savory Crisps
For the beet-carrot filling
  1. ½ cup grated carrots
  2. ½ cup grated beetroots
  3. ¼ cup thinly sliced onions
  4. Juice of half a lemon/lime
  5. 3 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves/cilantro
  6. Salt to taste
  7. 2 finely chopped green chillies/jalapenos (optional)
For the green chutney
  1. 1 cup coriander leaves/cilantro
  2. ½ cup mint leaves
  3. 3 to 4 green chillies/jalapenos
  4. 2 to 3 cloves of garlic
  5. Juice of half a lemon/lime
  6. Salt to taste
For the red chutney
  1. 1 medium onion, cubed
  2. 2 tomatoes, chopped
  3. 2 cloves of garlic or ginger
  4. 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
  5. 1 small marble size tamarind or ½ teaspoon tamarind paste
  6. Salt to taste
  7. 2 teaspoons of cooking oil
  8. Optional toppings or fillings”
  9. Spicy roasted peanuts
  10. Spicy khara boondis(deep fried chickpea flour batter balls)
Method
To make the filling
  1. Wash, peel and grate beetroots and carrots.
  2. Finely slice onions.
  3. In a bowl, mix grated beets, carrots, onions, finely chopped coriander leaves, green chilles and lemon juice. Add salt to taste and mix well. Keep aside.
To make the green chutney
  1. In a blender jar, place chopped coriander leaves, mint leaves, green chillies, garlic or ginger, salt to taste and blend to a fine paste.
  2. Remove to a bowl, add lemon juice, mix well. Keep aside
To make the red chutney
  1. In a small saucepan, heat oil.
  2. Add onions and garlic and sauté for about 2 minutes till slightly soft.
  3. Add red chilli powder, tamarind/tamarind paste, tomatoes and fry again for about 2 to 3 minutes more.
  4. When cool, transfer to blender jar and make a fine paste. Remove to a small bowl.
  5. Add salt to taste and keep aside.
Assembling the Salem sets
  1. Apply red chutney to one side of half of the thattu vadais.
  2. Place a teaspoon or two of the filling (be generous) over the crispies. Top with few kernels of spicy peanuts and some boondis.
  3. Smear the rest half of the savory crisps with green chutney. Gently top the filled thattu vadais with these like a sandwich and serve these crispy and spicy savory sandwiches immediately.
Notes
  1. If you do not have thattu vadais, you can use papdis (north Indian savory flour crispies mainly used in chaats) or even salt biscuits like Monaco biscuits, Ritz crackers etc.
  2. During mango season, you can add grated raw mangoes to the filling to give a new sour dimension to the sandwich set.
  3. Make sure the chutneys are spicy for a tasty treat. If you have access to spicy variety of thattu vadais (like mine) use them, Salem thattu vadai sets will taste much better.
  4. For a north Indian touch with flavors of chaat, you can use chaat masala in the filling along with tamarind chutney instead of tomato chutney. Addition of sev (deep fried chickpea batter fine noodles) makes it crunchier.
beta
calories
80
fat
3g
protein
2g
carbs
13g
more
Curry and Vanilla http://www.curryandvanilla.com/

How to make Salem Thattu Vadai Set with step-by-step Method:

To make the green chutney:

  • In a blender jar, place chopped coriander leaves, mint leaves, green chillies, garlic or ginger, salt to taste and blend to a fine paste.
  • Remove to a bowl, add lemon juice, mix well.  Keep aside

To make the red chutney:

  • In a small saucepan, heat oil.
  • Add onions and garlic and sauté for about 2 minutes till slightly soft.
  • Add red chilli powder, tamarind/tamarind paste, tomatoes and fry again for about 2 to 3 minutes more.

  • When cool, transfer to blender jar and make a fine paste. Remove to a small bowl.
  • Add salt to taste and keep aside.
  • Now, the chutneys are ready.

To make the filling:

  • Wash, peel and grate beetroots and carrots.
  • Finely slice onions. (My food processor did the hard work!!)
  • In a bowl, mix grated beets, carrots, onions, finely chopped coriander leaves, green chilles and lemon juice.  Add salt to taste and mix well. Keep aside.

Assembling the Salem sets:

  • Apply red chutney to one side of half of the thattu vadais.

  • Place a teaspoon or two of the filling (be generous) over the crispies. Top with few kernels of spicy peanuts and some boondis (optional).
  • Smear the rest half of the savory crisps with green chutney.

  • Gently top the filled thattu vadais like a sandwich and serve these crispy and spicy savory sandwiches immediately.

  • Enjoy!!!

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Other snacks or street foods you may like:

Pani Puri

Aloo Tikki/Spicy Indian Style Potato Croquettes

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