Dal vada(Masal Vadai)

Its always good to indulge in some hot, spicy and crunchy snacks during  a cold evening, Last evening it was raining in New York so I had to sit at home doing nothing which made me cook these yummy vada’s for my evening snacks. Masal vadai with a hot cup of tea is a marriage made in heaven. I always make these like 20 or something and store it in zip locks and use them for lunch now and then as it goes well as a side dish for any rice dish you make. This recipe is quite popular in South India, every household has their own recipe and modify  it according to their taste. So feel free to experiment and try to manipulate in different ways you like 🙂


To grind:

Channa dal(Split Bengal Gram) – ½ cup (Soaked for 3 hrs)

Red chillies – 2

Fennel seeds – ½ tsp

Hing powder – a pinch

Salt – To taste

Add to the batter:

Onion or shallots – 1 (Finely chopped)

Coriander – few leaves (Finely chopped)

Curry leaves – few sprigs(Finely chopped)




  1. Drain the channa dal completely and add it to a blender along with red chillies, fennel seeds, salt and hing powder. Pulse it twice or thrice until it gets grinded but not into a smooth paste, you should able to see few channa dals.

  2. Transfer the contents of the blender to a bowl and add finely chopped onions/shallots, coriander leaves and curry leaves. Mix them all together.

  3. Take a wide bottomed pan, pour enough oil to deep fry the vadas.

  4. Make sure the oil is hot enough when you drop the vada, if not, the vada s are going to be soggy and not crispy.

  5. To test the oil, put a small amount of batter into the oil it should raise to the surface which means the oil is hot enough.

  6. Now make round discs of the batter in your palm and slide it carefully into the oil, you can use plastic sheets as well to make the vada.

  7. Allow them to get cooked, once the oil sizzling minimizes, turn the vada on the other side and allow them to cook on both sides.

  8. Drain them in a paper towel, serve these vadas hot with ketchup.



  • Be cautious in the amount of channa dal you soak as they increase in quantity after soaking for 3 hours 🙂

  • Do not add too much water while grinding the dal, just add a tablespoon or two.

  • You can add finely chopped cabbage, beetroot or carrot to this vada for a nice variation.

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