Thursday, February 21, 2013

Uzhunnu Vada / Medhu Vada / Lentil Dumplings

Uzhunnu Vada - yet another favorite snack either during tea time or with idli/dosa in the morning. For a south indian, if you are out looking in for a restaurant for breakfast, what would be the item that you would have pre ordered in mind - Idli-vada. Yes, any restaurant that you get into would have it as the first item on their menu. And the server would also recite the menu starting with idli- vada, dosa-vada, masala dosa....

I have made these vadas a number of times.These are easy to make if you are not bothered about the hole that is supposed to be present in the center of these vadas. I never used to get the consistency of the batter right. Well, I should not call it a batter as, these get its shape only if, the mixture has the consistency between a dough and a batter. I still don't think I have gained that perfection, but atleast the hole is there,  is what I say to myself :).

This time again, the mixture turned out to be a little watery. I was like, how can you grind urad dal into a paste without adding atleast a bit of water. I was so disappointed at this. I did add 3-4 tbsps of rice flour to overcome the flaw. Infact, adding the rice powder turned out to be a hit, the vadas turned out to be crispier like never before :). So, FINALLY, here it is the recipe to crispy uzhunnu vada with their characteristic hole at the center :). 


  1. 11/2 cups of uzhunnu/urad dal/lentil(the one used to make dosa batter)
  2. 1-2 chopped green chilly
  3. 2 tbsp of finely chopped onions
  4. 1 tbsp of finely chopped ginger
  5. Curry leaves
  6. 3-4 tbsp of rice flour
  7. Salt to taste
  8. Water as required
  9. Oil for deep fry

  • Wash and soak the urad dal for about 4-5 hrs.
  • Drain out excess water and grind it in a mixer to form a fine paste. Use just enough water to grind the dal.
  • Remove it into a bowl and add rice flour, ginger, onion, curry leaves, green chilly and salt and give it a mix.
  • The mixture should be of the consistency that you should be able to form smooth, soft and loose balls out of it.
  • In a deep bottom pan, heat the oil. Once hot, maintain the heat in between medium and high.
  • Wet your palms and grab a handfull of the mixture and form a smooth ball. Press it gently between your palms to flatten them.
  • Dip your pointer finger in water and poke it in the center of it.
  • Drop it into the oil. Once, the vada gets golden brown in colour on one side, flip it. 
  • Drain out excess oil and remove it onto plate lined with paper towel.
  • Serve it with coconut chutney/ sambar.
  • Makes about 9-10 vadas.

  1. Adding the rice flour to the mixture helps make the vada crispy.
  2. You could fry the vadas for a little longer to get a darker texture. I like it this way and hence didn't let them fry longer.
  3. If you prefer, you could add whole pepper as well. I just ignored it. I simply didn't want the peppers interrupting me while I am enjoying my vadas :). 
  4. Some people store the batter in the refrigerator , if the batter turns out to be excess for one serve. But I have observed that the vadas tend to absorb more oil, in that case. So I just fry all the vadas. Once the vadas cool, I refrigerate them. Just microwave it the next day.
  5. The authentic taste of vada is rendered when the urad seeds are ground to form the batter. However, you could use the urad flour to make it. I made it once using the flour. At the first bite of it, my husband could say that it had something different other than the usual ones and he preferred the usual ones that I always used to make :). Remember nothing replaces fresh ingredients.


  1. totally love this pic.. what an idea sirji:).... am inspired...


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