Masala vada or ambode recipe

Masala vada or ambode is  a very delicious and crispy south Indian snack.  It is popularly known as ambode in Karnataka and masala vadai in Tamil Nadu.  They are very tasty vadas and are prepared for special events, festivals or parties.  Masala vada is also known as chana dal vada, since chana dal is the main ingredient for making this dish.    It is a great evening snack with tea or coffee.  You can have masala vada without any side dish or use coconut chutney or tomato ketchup as an accompaniment.


Prep Time :  10 mins (excluding soaking time of 4-5 hours)

Cook Time : 15 mins

Yield : 20 pieces

Total time – 25 mins


Chana dal – 1 cup

Rice flour – 2 tablespoons

Grated coconut – 2 tablespoons

Whole red chillies – 4 pieces

Few chopped coriander leaves

One string of curry leaves

1/4th teaspoon of turmeric powder

A pinch of asafoetida or hing

Salt to taste.


Wash chana dal thoroughly and soak them  with sufficient water for 4 to 5 hours.  After 4 to 5 hours, drain the excess water and keep the chana dal ready.


Now add the drained chana dal and all the other ingredients one by one into the  mixer grinder and grind them to  a coarse paste by adding very little water. (may be 1 to 2 tablespoons of water).  The ground  chana dal paste is now ready to use.

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Meanwhile, heat sufficient oil in a deep bottomed kadai or pan on a medium flame.  Remove the chana dal paste in a bowl.

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Take small equal balls of the chana dal paste and flatten them into small round shape with your hands and keep them ready in a plate.  Once the oil is hot enough, slide the vadas gently into the kadai and deep fry them on both the sides till golden brown.  Remove the vadas in an absorbent paper to remove excess oil.

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Ensure to deep fry on medium flame so that it  gets cooked evenly and also you get crispy vadas. Too very hot oil will burn the vadas and not so hot oil also will make the vadas soggy.  So always deep fry on medium flame.

So crispy and delicious ambodes are now ready to be served.  Enjoy  them  hot or warm either with tomato sauce or coconut chutney or it tastes good  as it is.



  • Use very little water to grind the mixture, as more water in the mixture  will make the vadas consume more oil.
  • Rice flour added to the mixtures helps in getting crispy vadas.
  • You can also add chopped onions to the mixture.
  • Try to make the vadas as soon as  the masala vada mixture is ready, otherwise the vadas will consume more oil.
  • Always deep fry on medium flame.

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