Ulundu Vadai Recipe with Cabbage | Cabbage Dal Vadai Recipe
Whenever I have a wee bit of Cabbage left over, I make these Cabbage fritters or what South Indians would call as "Vadai"s. Well, if this sounded like a lame reason ( more like an excuse ) to fry up some crispy goodies, err - ahem, you aren't that far from the truth.  These are counterparts of the classic Medhu Vadai which is just Urad Dal (black gram lentil) batter. This one has couple of veggies in them.
Ulundu Vadai Recipe with Cabbage | Cabbage Dal Vadai Recipe
If you are among those who want to make every meal count (including fried up goodies) by adding more nutrition, then this is for you. And if you are among those who are all about sneaking some veggies for your kids with a "no-veggie" palate, then this will hit the mark exactly where you want it. The veggies hide pretty well and both you and your kids will be happy at the end of it :)
Ulundu Vadai Recipe with Cabbage | Cabbage Dal Vadai Recipe
I have been making this from my first year of marriage and I remember getting this idea from a website. I have worked with the recipe to suit my taste but failed to note down the original source.  I tried hunting down the site, but given the plethora of blogs that have blogged this recipe now, I fail to locate my original site. These Vadas are crispy on the outside and soft/spongy on the inside.
  • Cook time:
  • Prep time:
  • Serves: 6 people
  • Yields: Makes around 10-12 medium sized Vadais
  • 1 cup Whole Black Gram (skinned) Lentils (Urad Dal Gota)
  • 2 tsp Rice flour, optional (see Tips)
  • 3/4 cup grated Cabbage, see Tips
  • 1/4 cup Red Onion, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1-2 Green Chillies, thinly sliced (or as per taste) - see Tips
  • 1" Ginger, grated
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
  • Few sprigs Curry Leaves
  • Salt to taste
    Optional Additions
  • 1 tsp Whole Peppercorns, see Tip 4
  • 1 Tsp (or to taste) tiny bits of fresh coconut
  • A pinch of Baking Soda
1. Rice Flour: Its optional but added in small quantity provides a wonderful crispiness to these fritters. Instead of using the flour, you can soak a little (1 generous tsp) raw rice along with Urad dal while soaking and grind it.

2. Cabbage: Depending upon your taste and preference, you can increase the grated cabbage up to 1-1/4 cups. You probably might be able to sneak in some more, but I haven't exceeded that quantity, so personally, have no idea how it will turn out.

3. Onion: You can use regular yellow onion too for this recipe. Or skip it. I add it to suit our preferences.

4. Green Chillies: The Indian variety/ Thai Green chillies are quite potent, so add it according to your taste. If you are looking for something milder, try using Jalapeno (seeded) chopped finely. You can also use Whole Black peppercorns instead (1 tsp) in this recipe. I, at times, use the Peppercorns additionally along with green chillies.
1. Soak the Urad (Black Lentil) for around 40 minutes. The soaking time will vary depending upon the weather but I think up to 1 hour should be more than enough. That way, its not only easier to grind it to a good consistency but also ensure that they do not absorb oil while frying.
2. While that's soaking, grate the cabbage. Pls refer Tip 2 for the quantity to be used.
3. In a plate, mix this cabbage with about 1/4 tsp salt and set aside for around 10 minutes. This is done to bring out excess water from the cabbage so that the consistency of our batter does not become too liquidy later.
4. Squeeze out the excess water and set aside.
5. Prepare the oil for deep frying at this point. Now drain the urad dal very well making sure that no water is left in the dal.
6. Grease a Banana leaf/plastic zip lock bag/flat plate and set aside.
7. Place the well drained lentils in a food processor.
8. and grind it without adding much water. Depending upon your blender, you might need varying amount of water to be able to grind this but make sure you add the water teaspoon at a time. This minimal addition of water is extremely important when it comes to shaping the vadas.
9. Use the Pulse option in your blender to grind it to a smooth consistency - should be thick but smooth.
10. Add rest of the ingredients.
11. Give it a good mix and shape a small portion into a small ball.
12. Flatten it on the greased surface and pat it down to make a disc. You can oil your fingers to avoid the batter sticking to your hands. Or you can use a small bowl of water on the side and wet your fingers every time it starts sticking to your fingers.

Note: Make sure to prepare these vadais as soon as the batter is made. Fermenting the batter will result it soggy fritters. Though, in the winters of US, I do not face this issue as much given the lack of humidity. But if you are not going to be preparing the vadais pronto, simply refrigerate them promptly until frying time.
13. Poke a hole in the center with your finger
14. You can wet your finger with little water/oil to aid you to make the hole.
15. Transfer this to your hand (or if skilled enough, slide it directly, but slowly, to the hot oil.
16. Make sure to keep the oil temperature to 350F- 375F. Too hot will brown the outside faster without cooking the insides and too less heat will result in a soggy Vadas.  
17. Depending on the space in your deep fryer, you can fry 1 or more vadas at a time. Make sure to keep regulating the oil to the temperature mentioned above.
18. Fry until browned on the outside. If fried properly, your vadas/fritters wont absorb any oil.
19. Drop it on a paper towel.
Serve hot with any accompaniment of your choosing. These go well with Sambar, Onion Chutney, Coconut Chutney or simply along with tea/coffee. Ulundu Vadai Recipe with Cabbage | Cabbage Dal Vadai Recipe

Recipe Reference

my kitchen notes

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1 Member Reviews

By Thomas on Jun 19, 2013

SUPER easy and delicious!  Made them with black lentils and fried in coconut oil...awesome - will def make again!


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By Lucy on Nov 6, 2013

I have a mini donut maker (electric). Would I be able to make these in there? (I want to avoid fried foods). If so,what changes to the recipe would you recommend? Thanks!

By Shobana Vijay on Oct 12, 2013

Lovely and its a perfect snack

By Marcel Dawson on Jun 2, 2013

Ingredients: Rice-1cup Urad dal(preferably with the skin) - 1/4 cup Fresh coconut (scraped) - 1cup Fenugreek seeds- 1 tsp Garlic - 2-3 Salt to taste Gingely oil- 1 tsp water - as required Method: Roast urad dal in a kadai without the oil until it turns into golden colour. Remove and mix the dal with the rice and wash well for 2-3 times. Add 3½ cups of water (adjust to ur choice of rice used)salt,fenugreek and garlic. Cook it in a pressure cooker normally. Once the rice and urad dal is cooked, then add a tsp of gingelly oil & scrapped coconut into the rice & mix gently. This goes well with Avial and sesame seeds chutney, or Appalam/papadam or onion Vadagam or even with the coarsely powdered Jaggery. This is too gud for health especially for the girls & ladies.

By How Recipe on May 27, 2013

Love the taste of this recipe, also cabbage and black gram are nutrient rich which make this recipe to be hygenic.

By Charul @ Tadka Masala on May 25, 2013

Wow.. loved your way of making vadas and transfering them to the fryer.. i always have problem with that and since I don't have a machine it is all the more messy.. loved this idea.

By Priya on May 23, 2013

Wish i get some vadas rite now, sooo tempting.

By Julia on May 23, 2013

sounds amazing! i have urad dal at home, but it's unskinned. could i use that?

You can use that but it will look greenish black and might look unappetizing! But apart from that, taste/texture wise should be same as skinned ones. --DK

By Nandita on May 23, 2013

Vada looks perfect. Loved the post :)

By Divya on May 22, 2013

I love Medu vadas as is and you have made it doubly tempting by adding cabbage.Love the pictures and wonderful to see how you've nailed it to perfection!