Coconut Vada Recipe

Coconut Vada Recipe
Coconuts are widely used in Indian cuisine, especially in South Indian & the coastal states where they grow in great abundance. Technically, coconuts are not real botanical nuts but are actually fruit. Once thought to be high in cholesterol & saturated fats, the scientific community has recently retracted this absurd notion and is now in total agreement that the health benefits of coconut are quite numerous. A diet rich in coconuts is helpful in the fight against high cholesterol, heart disease & certain types of cancer. Coconuts are always a good source of antioxidants, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium & B-complex vitamins. Coconuts are also thought to be very good for digestion & aid in natural weight loss by increasing one’s metabolism.

My Coconut Vadas are delicious savory fritters made using freshly grated coconut. These are quite popular throughout Southern India & can be served as either an appetizer or as a teatime snack. Needless to say, these vadas are always a big hit especially when entertaining.

Not only are these vadas absolutely delicious but they also have a fabulous crunch & great texture. They taste great with cilantro chutney but you can serve them with your favorite chutneys & sauces. But be forewarned, these vadas can also be very addicting!

COCONUT VADAS (Savory Coconut Fritters)


1 cup freshly grated coconut
2 large shallots, finely chopped
1” piece of ginger, peeled & finely grated
2 large garlic cloves, finely minced
3-4 small green Thai chilies, finely minced (to taste)
2 tbsp cilantro leaves, finely minced
1 tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp red chili powder, to taste
salt, to taste
1 tbsp cornstarch
2-3 tbsp rice flour, as needed
oil for frying (peanut oil works well but you can use vegetable oil)


For more texture in your vadas, grate the coconut coarsely or you can finely chop the coconut into small pieces. But if you prefer a vada with less texture, then use finely grated coconut. This is just a matter of personal preference ☺.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the freshly grated coconut with the shallots, ginger, garlic, green chilies & cilantro leaves. Mix well & add in the spices (cumin seeds, red chili powder & salt). Then add in both the rice flour & cornstarch. Mix well to combine all of the ingredients together – the mixture should come together so you can form small patties.

Shallow fry the coconut vadas on medium heat until golden brown on all sides. This can be done in batches. Drain well & serve with your favorite chutneys & sauces.


You can add freshly chopped mint in place of the cilantro leaves if you wish.

You could also add some finely grated carrots, finely grated cabbage or finely chopped fresh fenugreek leaves (methi) if you like.

For some extra added crunch & overall texture, add some coarsely chopped peanuts or cashews (toasted & unsalted variety) to the mixture.

 photo Coconut Vadas.jpg

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You Should Also Read:
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Spicy Banana Fritters Recipe
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