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How to Make Crunchy Medu Vada (White Lentil Fritters)

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Medu Vada (Urad dal Fritters)

Medu Vada (Urad dal Fritters)

Split Black Lentil Vada

No South Indian breakfast is complete without split black lentil vada (also called urad dal vada or black gram dal vada or medu vada). At local restaurants, these vadas are often paired with idli to make a popular breakfast combo. The combo, referred to as idli-vada, is typically served with hot sambar (curry) or coconut chutney. To enjoy delicious and crunchy vadas, eat hot vadas with chutney as a side dish. When immersed in sambar or chutney, they absorb the moisture and become soft and delicious.

Health Benefits

Split black lentil is a good source of protein, potassium, calcium, iron, niacin, thiamin, and riboflavin. It is also considered to be helpful in lowering cholesterol levels.

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Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

15 min

20 min

35 min

Yeilds 15 vadas


  • 1 1/2 cups split black lentils (black gram or urad dal), soaked in water for 3-4 hours
  • 1 tablespoon dry coconut, cut into small pieces
  • 2 pinches asafoetida (hing)
  • 1 green chili, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon ginger, finely chopped
  • 15 curry leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon coriander leaves (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, to taste
  • Oil, for deep-frying


  1. Wash dehusked split black lentils (urad dal) in water. Drain the water. Add fresh water and soak for 3-4 hours.
  2. After 3-4 hours of soaking, collect the soaked water in a glass. Set aside.
  3. Grind urad dal to get a near-smooth but slightly coarse paste. Don't add water while grinding. If needed, sprinkle some of the soaked water that you set aside earlier to the mixture to ensure smooth grinding. The batter should be thick.
  4. Transfer the batter to a mixing bowl. Aerate the batter by beating it with your hand in the clockwise direction for about 30 seconds. This process is needed to get fluffy vada.
  5. To find out whether the batter is aerated or not, drop a small ball of the batter in a bowl of water. If it floats on the surface, it indicates that it is aerated.
  6. If it is not aerated, beat it once again to get the required consistency. The batter will increase in volume as it aerates.
  7. Add the chopped dry coconut, asafoetida (hing), green chili, salt, ginger, and curry leaves. Mix well.
  8. Heat oil for deep-frying. Moisten your fingers. Take a round ball of the batter, moisten your left palm, place the ball on the palm, slightly flatten, and make a hole in the center. Drop the ball into the hot oil, using your right-hand fingers that are wet.
  9. Fry 5-6 balls per batch. Let the flame be medium-high throughout. Turn the balls occasionally for uniform frying. Transfer the cooked balls to an absorbent paper towel when they turn golden brown.
  10. Repeat the procedure with the remaining dough.
  11. Crunchy vadas are irresistible! Serve them hot with coconut chutney.

Important Tips

  • If the batter is watery, add some black lentil flour or rice flour to thicken it.
  • Soak the lentils for no less than 3-4 hours.
  • Making properly shaped vadas comes with practice. Another way to make the proper shape is to place a ball of batter on a greased plastic sheet before dropping it into the hot oil.
  • Serve hot for the best taste!

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