Masala Vada Recipe

Masala Vada Recipe
Masala Vadas are delicious savory fritters made from chana dal (split Bengal gram). They are quite popular throughout Southern India and can be served as either an appetizer or as a tea time snack. Needless to say, masala vadas are always a big hit especially when entertaining.

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

MASALA VADA (Spicy South Indian Fritters)


1 cup chana dal (split Bengal gram)
2 tbsp rice grains
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, finely minced
1” piece of ginger, peeled and finely minced
3-4 small green Thai chilies, finely minced (to taste)
1½ tbsp of freshly grated coconut (you can use frozen or unsweetened desiccated coconut)
6-8 fresh curry leaves, finely chopped
3 tbsp cilantro leaves, finely chopped
1 tbsp cumin seeds
¼ tsp smoked paprika
¼ tsp garam masala
salt, to taste
oil for frying (peanut oil works well but you can use vegetable or canola oil)


Soak the chana dal and rice (separately) in enough water to cover for at least 3-4 hours. Drain well and set aside 1 tbsp of the soaked chana dal. Then coarsely grind the remaining chana dal along with the soaked rice and cumin seeds in either a blender or food processor. A coarse grind gives a wonderful texture in the final product but if you prefer a smoother ground dal, then by all means be my guest.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the onion with the ginger, green chilies, coconut, curry leaves and cilantro. Stir and add both the ground dal & the soaked toor dal. Season with salt, paprika and garam masala. Mix well to combine all of the ingredients together.

Using you hands, form balls (ping pong ball size) and then flatten the balls into round flattened discs using your palms. Shallow fry on medium heat until golden brown on all sides. This can be done in batches. Drain well and serve with your favorite chutneys and sauces.


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

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

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

 photo masala vada.jpg

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You Should Also Read:
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Cashew Fritters Recipe
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