Back to Masala Vada (Chana Dal Vada)
Masala Vada (Chana Dal Vada)
Masala Vada, a crispy and savory deep fried fritter made from chana dal and spices, is a popular street food of South Indian cuisine. It is also known as Paruppu Vadai in Tamilnadu. Besides chana dal, the other important ingredient in masala vada which plays a major role for its flavorful taste is onion. However if you want to make it without onion, add fennel seeds for the flavor (*read tips section). Process for making chana dal vada is very simple and takes very less time except for the time required for soaking the chana dal. If you are craving for something crispy and crunchy, then make this vadai and your taste buds will not stop thanking us.
1/2 cup Chana Dal (Bengal gram)
1 medium Onion, finely chopped
1 Green Chilli, seeded and finely chopped
1/2 inch piece of Ginger, finely chopped or grated (optional)
4-5 Curry Leaves, finely chopped
2-3 tablespoons finely chopped Coriander Leaves
Salt to taste
Oil, for deep frying
  1. Wash and soak chana dal in water for 2 hours. Transfer soaked dal to a colander and drain the water.
  2. Transfer drained dal to the small jar of a mixer grinder.
  3. Grind until medium coarse texture. If required, scrape the sides and grind the mixture again. It should be okay if a few whole dal remains (this would give a nice chunky texture to vada). Don’t add water while grinding. if required, add only 1-2 tablespoons water.
  4. Transfer it to a medium bowl. Add finely chopped onion, green chilli, ginger, curry leaves, coriander leaves and salt.
  5. Mix all ingredients well. Mixture should not be very moist or dry. If the mixture is too crumbly and it’s difficult to make vadas from it as described in Step-6, then grind 1/4 cup mixture again until smooth and mix with the remaining mixture. If the mixture is too moist and it’s hard to shape vadas, add 2-3 teaspoons of rice flour or gram flour in the mixture.
  6. Grease your palms with oil and divide mixture into 7-8 equal portions. Take each portion of mixture, give it a round lemon like shape and flatten it a little by pressing it in-between your palms and give a pattie like shape. Place all vadas in a plate.
  7. Heat oil in a deep frying pan over medium flame. When oil is medium hot, slide 2-3 vadas in oil from the side of pan and deep fry them until golden brown and crispy.
  8. Transfer them to a plate on paper napkin. Deep-fry remaining vadas. Masala Vadas are ready to serve. Serve them hot with tea or coffee.
Tips and Variations:
  • Don’t add water while grinding the dal.
  • Do not deep-fry vadas on high flame otherwise they will turn dark brown fast and remains uncooked from inside.
  • Place mixture in refrigerator for 15-20 minutes before making vadas in step-5. This would make crispier masala vada.
  • Grind 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds (saunf), 1/2 teaspoon dry coriander seeds (dhaniya ke bij), 5-6 black peppercorns (sabut kali mirch) and 2 garlic cloves together and add it to the crushed chana dal mixture for extra flavor.
Taste:   Crisp crust with soft inside.
Serving Ideas:  Serve this Paruppu vada as an evening snack with tea/coffee or with green chutney and tomato ketchup. It can also be served as a side dish with south Indian meal.

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