Paruppu Vadai | Karthigai Vadai Recipe | Indian Festival Recipes
I might sound like a biased scum bag but really - Indian culture rocks! Wait, listen to my reason. Now, you tell me which other western country can boast of so many festivals in a calendar year?  I think we have more than 30 Hindu festivals alone (and there are other equally celebrated festivals like Christmas, Ramadan to name a few). Can you now imagine the number of festival (National) holidays that comes down to? And now can you even fathom the number and variety of festive dishes we enjoy?  Am I justified yet?  So can you blame us for breaking out into a song, dance and upbeat mood at the drop of the hat?  We can be a festive happy bunch  :)
Paruppu Vadai | Karthigai Vadai Recipe | Indian Festival Recipes
Vadais play a quintessential role during festivities in my house.  This particular recipe for the vadai comes from my paternal grandmother side of the family that's made during Karthigai Deepam. Though my mother usually made Ulundhu Vadai's, she insisted that I try these Karthigai Vadais as well. I make both the types 'cos we are a Vadai family after all and more the merrier :) When I tried it the first time around, it was a massive hit and hence went straight to my recipe repertoire. Very crunchy and slightly soft inside and it makes for an awesome protein rich snack.  When fried right, it does not retain even a bit of oil.
  • Cook time:
  • Prep time:
  • Serves: 4 people
  • Yields: Makes around 12-14 (abt 2-inch) Vadais
  • 1/2 cup Bengal Gram (Channa Dal, Kadalai Paruppu)
  • 1/4 cup Pigeon Peas (Toor dal, Thoram Paruppu)
  • 3 tbsp Black Gram (Urad dal, Uzhutham Paruppu)
  • 2 tsp Raw Rice
  • 2 tbsp yellow Moong Beans(Moong Dal, Pasi paruppu/Paitham paruppu)
  • 2-4 Dried Red Chillies, or as per taste
  • Generous Pinch of Asafoetida powder
  • Few slices of Coconut (optional)
  • Few sprigs of Curry leaves, torn
  • Salt to taste
1. Soak the first 4 ingredients together along with dried red chillies, if using, in a bowl for 3-4 hours. For the same amount of time soak the moong lentils separately in another bowl. This is because we are not going to be grinding the moong lentils along with the rest of the lentils. Since my family does not take well to heat, I have used only one dried red chilli but you can add as many as you like.
2. Drain the chana dal , urad dal, rice and toor dal mixture well and add it to a food processor.
3. You want to make a coarse paste. You would need to do this in small batches to be able to do it well without adding water. A little sprinkling should do the trick. Take care not to add too much water.
4. Your end product should look like this. Its totally OK if you have few pieces of lentils intact. It will add to the texture. Set aside,
5. Drain the mung lentil well.
6. Add it to the ground mixture along with salt, torn curry leaves and LG powder.
7. If you are using coconut, go ahead and add it as well. I used a few dried coconut slices (broken into small pieces).
8. and mix well until combined.
9. Take a small portion - may be size of small lemon (lime) and press it to make patties.  Usually vadas made for festivities are made without holes and hence I don't. But you can poke a small hole in the middle (like that of a doughnut). I think my patties measured around 2 inch in diameter.
10. Drop it in hot oil for deep frying. The oil should be medium-high heat.
11. You can add more at a time, depending on the size of your vessel (and that of your vadais). Please avoid adding too many which would bring the temperature of the oil down leading to rubbery and oily vadas.
12. When its golden-brown all over, remove and place it on a  paper towel to remove any oil in excess. If fried perfectly, these don't retain any oil at all.
Enjoy them on their own 'cos personally I think they need no accompaniments. But if not making during festivities, I don't see why they won't go well with a hot cup of tea, some ketchup, sriracha and may be even coconut chutney! Paruppu Vadai | Karthigai Vadai Recipe | Indian Festival Recipes

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By sowmya on Dec 16, 2013

Hi, I did these today and they were so yum!! My hubby and son couldn't wait to finish them all!! Thanks a ton!

By Connie on Dec 9, 2013

I love Indian food with all the aromatic spices. What is LG powder in step 6?

Its Asafoetida and the common brand that's available is LG. :) --DK

By Lilla on Dec 3, 2013

Thank-you SOOO much for this wonderful website. I love all the recipes and it has made my life living with a vegan so much easier. Not to mention delicious! I have one small request: can you write a page with some photos of all the "dals"/beans/lentils maybe in chart form? I am so confused as to which one to use!! I am Canadian and we have different terms for all of them once again. For example you mention pigeon peas in this recipe and then call them toor dal, and to me they are 2 different things, one being more like a black eyed pea, and the other a yellow lentil. (????) How about some info on the flours that are used in this cuisine too? I would like to know more about the differences between Atta flour and Chapati Flours in general and how they can be used for other purposes, ie can they be used for making bread as well as roti and chapati? i hope you can help me, and thanks again for this brilliant website which I use several times a week!

I will definitely do this chart for you :). Thank you so much for the motivation. --DK

By anuja tarkar on Dec 1, 2013

:lol: I made the vada recipe following the instructions correct ly. They turned out superb. Also tried same recipe with some finely cut onions just before frying, equally good.

By Deepikah on Nov 21, 2013

I dont get how this is "healthy" when you are deep frying it? Have you tried baking this? 8-O

It is healthy 'cos of the immense protein and nutrients that you get out of it. Deep frying is not the worst thing you can have, esp. when you know to fry right. If your oil reduces considerably after frying "anything", it just means you are frying wrong and that your food is soaking up oil. B'cos of lack of know-hows, ppl start thinking that deep frying is unhealthy when in fact its their technique that is. P.S. But in case you want to try baking, see this post for ideas: Baked Masala Vadai Recipe--DK

By Tiana Gustafson on Nov 18, 2013

Thank you so much for this amazing looking recipe! I love healthy recipes and I will look forward to trying it out and sharing it with my followers at As Arnold says "I'll be back" :) Thanks again!

By divs on Nov 18, 2013

Which blender are you using?

By Hari Chandana on Nov 17, 2013

Perfectly made vadai.. Yummy!!

By madge on Nov 13, 2013

This looks awesome. I love Indian food..esp southern. But wow..This would be way too hard and time consuming for a mere mortal like myself to make. My dear friend veena has given me some Indian cooking lessons but these recipes take so long. I wish I had more time in my life...keep cooking for the rest of us.

Looks can be deceiving you know! :) But to be honest, yes, its lengthy in the sense it won't get done in 5 minutes. But the technique is simple and you will indeed find it effortless when you actually do it. Trust me. :) --DK

By The Tin Man on Nov 12, 2013

so perhaps you are the biased scum bag ; however, this recipe ROCKS

You got me ;). --DK

By Sowmya on Nov 12, 2013

delicious vadai!! I am surprised that your blog did not have this till now!! looks so festive and delicious!! Sowmya

Believe you me, I have none of the "Basic recipes" that most others in fact start out with. Hoping to rectify it pronto thanks to all the recipe requests that make it a point to do so :) --DK

By radharamesh on Nov 12, 2013

If you add porikadalai half cup to above recipe, it comes out so well and the crispiness remains even after 2 days.

By vanamala on Nov 12, 2013

Superb , looks crispy