Medu vada recipe – How to make south indian medu vada (urad dal vada) recipe – South Indian snacks

Medu vada is  a very popular South Indian snack or fritter made from black lentils or urad dal.  It is usually made in doughnut shape with a crispy exterior and soft interior.  Medu vada is best served with sambar and coconut chutney and generally eaten as a breakfast or a snack.  ‘Medu’ is a kannada word for ‘soft’.  So it means ‘soft fritters’.   The origin of medu vada can be traced to the Maddur town in Karnataka and this dish was made popular outside South India by Udupi restaurants of Mumbai.  Medu vada is usually served along with idli as a breakfast dish.


Prep Time :  10 mins plus 2 hours of soaking time

Cook Time : 30  mins

Servings :  3 to 4 persons

South Indian cuisine


White whole urad dal (without skin) – 1 cup

Chana dal or toor dal – 1 teaspoon (optional)

Green chillies – 2 (chopped finely)

A pinch of asafoetida or hing

Ginger – 1 teaspoon (grated or chopped finely)

Crushed black pepper – 1 teaspoon

Cumin seeds (jeera)- 1/2 teaspoon

A spring of curry leaves

Salt as required


Wash and soak the urad dal and chana dal in sufficient water for 2 hours.  Then drain the water completely.  Use this water for grinding the dal.

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Grind the urad dal in a wet grinder, without using water for first 1 minute.

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Sprinkle little water when the dal gets stuck to the wall of the grinder.  Sprinkle water now and then so that the dal gets ground well.  Keep wiping the sides of the grinder and bring it to the centre.  The batter will start becoming fluffy.  It will take 10-12 minutes to get the entire fluffy batter.  The batter should be thick but non sticky.

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Remove the batter from the grinder into a bowl or a vessel.  Keep all the ingredients – green chillies, coarsely ground pepper, cumin seeds, curry leaves, asafoetida and ginger ready.  Add these ingredients to the batter and mix well.

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To check the correct consistency of batter,  add a small teaspoonful of batter to a bowl of water.  It should float and not dissolve or settle down.  Heat sufficient oil in a kadai or pan.

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Add salt to the batter just before making vadas, otherwise the batter becomes a bit watery and you cannot give shape to the vadas.  Wet your hands with little water.  Take a small ball of batter and make a small hole in the centre with your thumb.

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Gently slide the vadas into the oil and deep fry on medium flame on both the sides till it turns crispy and golden brown in colour.  Drain the vadas in an absorbent paper.

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Remove the vadas and serve hot with sambar and coconut chutney.



Chana dal or toor dal gives a good colour and crispiness to vadas and helps avoid oil absorbtion.

Always use good quality whole white urad dal for better results.

Add salt to the batter just before making vadas.  Also do not add salt at the time of grinding the urad dal.  It makes the batter watery.

You can store the batter in the refrigerator.  Add salt and chopped onions just before making vadas.

Preferably use cold water or ice water for grinding the dal.  It helps in making the batter fluffy.  You can also keep the soaked urad dal in the refrigerator and use the same water for grinding.

Wet grinder gives good volume and makes the batter fluffy.  But if you grinding in a mixie, use ice water for grinding the dal and store the batter in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before making the vadas.

Do not grind the dal for too long as the batter will become a paste and you cannot give shape to the vadas.

Beat the batter  by hand, just before making vadas, to give aeration.  This helps in getting light and crispy vadas



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