Masala Vadai
There is this train journey back in India which has such fond memories for me. My mother would usually pack food for us during such journey to avoid buying anything from outside - but she will skip doing so for this one. Why? Cos I will not eat anything of that. I would starve before and during the journey, would not take anything which fellow passengers would offer and will sit with my stomach grumbling away to glory. Was I such a troublesome child- you ask? Well frankly I would like to think No :) There was a specific reason for my behavior. On the way, there used to be this one particular station where they used to sell one of the best Masala Vadai, I have ever tasted! The aroma wafting through our couch window has the power to just lift you off the seat! Bliss!
Masala Vadai
I used to eat only that and at that age it never mattered what any "subsequent result" would be for eating at such outside joints. But till date, nothing has ever happened to me!So when it was raining recently and we were also expecting guests from India, I couldn't help reminiscing about these spicy fritters and I gave in to make these fried goodies! So much for my avoiding fried foods! Anyways it is immensely simple to make and the taste is simply out of this world. Needless to say this recipe is from my mom and without further delay, lemme go into the method.
  • Cook time:
  • Prep time:
  • Serves: 2 people
  • Yields: Makes around 6-10 Vadais depending the shape and thickness
  • 1/3 cup whole black gram dal (urad gota dal)
  • 1/3 cup bengal gram dal (channa dal)
  • 1/3 cup Pigeon peas (toor dal)
  • 1 medium onion,chopped very fine
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala
  • 2-3 green chillies, sliced thinly (or as per taste)
  • 2-3 dried red chillies (as per taste)
  • salt to taste
1. Soak the 3 lentils in sufficient water (after cleaning in cold water) for at least 1 hour.
2. Drain the water well and blend it in a food processor. Make sure you add No water.
3. The consistency should be very thick. If you are not able to blend properly, then add few drops at a time. The ground mixture should be little coarse and you should be able to take it in your hands and shape them.
4. Now add rest of the ingredients to this mixture
5. and stir until blended well.
6. Take a plastic sheet/zip lock bag. Grease little with oil/water. If you are just a beginner cook, then add oil in order to avoid the water splattering the hot oil when you drop this batter. Take a little of the fritter mixture. Shape it into a round and press it flat on the sheet. oil your fingers to avoid it from sticking to your hands.
7. Now flip the plastic sheet to your hands so that the mixture drops smoothly on your fingers. You can put it directly to the oil if you are comfortable.
8. Drop this gently to hot oil and fry until both the sides is golden.
9. Place it in paper towel to get rid of excess oil.
Serve hot with any condiment of your choice or just by itself. Masala Vadai It is excellent the minute it is made.  So make sure you make them just few minutes before serving. Masala Vadai

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1 Member Reviews

By radhika on Jan 11, 2012

hey the recipe was really good but i made some changes i prefered green chilly instead of red and added some saunf , a piece of ginger and a pinch of asafoetida. it really tasted good.


By Nor Aisah on Apr 29, 2013

:-D Why is my vadai broken to pieces when frying?

By Sharine on Apr 27, 2012

Your recipe calls for whole black gram dal but I do not seem to see any whole black gram dal in your first couple of pictures you posted (of the soaked and drained dal before blending) - do you actually use the whole black lentils or the skinned and split black lentils? Thanks. This looks delicious and I am going to try to make it for the first time, so I want to make sure I get it right. Also, can you please tell me what bengal gram dal/channa dal is called in English? Is it the same as yellow split peas? One last thing - I have read somewhere that it's recommended to soak dal for about 3 - 6 hours before use. You recommended at least 1 hour here. What would you say is the minimum soaking time one need for best result? Thank you so much!

Its skinned whole Black gram. Yes, yellow split peas is channa dal.

By Alex [Dinemates] on Dec 13, 2011

I remembered this is one of the first Indian snack I got to taste as a blew my mind. I like this masala vadai at first but now I like the vadai with chutney too!

By Madhuri on Oct 27, 2011

Great tasting recipe! unfortunately I ended up adding a bit too much water while grinding the lentils out of the fear of resetting the mixer :( so they didn't have a great shape but still tasted pretty there anything I can do once i've added too much water to correct the situation?

By Radhika on Aug 27, 2010

DK, is it red chillies or red chilly powder that you use in the recipe? As per my knowledge goes it should be the powder. Your ingredient list says dried red chillies & the pic shows the powder. May be you have a typo :)

You can use a combination of both or just one - depending on your level of heat . I used a little of both since we do not consume "hot" food. The powder you see in the picture of Garam Masala and not chilli powder :)

By Swarna on Apr 2, 2010

Love love love ur site....frequent visitor Wonderful recipe. I also add a teaspoon of saunf whole and a crushed garlic to it, gives an another dimension.

Thank you so much swarna :) I liked your suggestion - I love saunf myself. Will add it the next time I make these Vadais :) --DK

By Jyostna on Feb 21, 2010

Hey Dhivi , i have recommended ur site to my co-sister and she was definetly flattened by the whole work.She was wondering how you manage cooking , taking pics at each step ( professional pics ) upload it to the website and do the background coding work.......hmm...good going yaar....Ek aalsi ko bahuth jyada inspiration miljayega aapki website se.. aur aapse bhi .....badhayi hoooo DHivi.

By Therese on Jan 31, 2010

I'm Danish and have tried vadai in Malaysia, where I was for 5 months. First time I tried them was for Pongal which I celebrated with collegues from Tamil Nadu. Yesterday I tried to make them myself for the first time - thank you for both the very informative recipe, and for the introduktion, which convinced my fellows chefs that we had to make vadai :-)

By Nittu on Nov 9, 2009


By Alisa on Jul 1, 2009

I had a friend who shared with me her vada and I love eating it with some catsup. I'd love to guide our readers to your site if you won't mind.Just add this foodista widget to this post and it's all set to go, Thanks!

By Ashwini Shenoy on Jun 10, 2009

Amazing vadas!! Yes, I used to be the Parippu Vada (as we call it in Kerala) The smell of it is just out of this world. In fact, I m getting now!! :-)

By Farina on Jun 3, 2009

I love vadai. I can eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner. All day long!

By shilpa on Jun 2, 2009

Hey yummy vadas, love them.... Good one dhivi...

By Ramya's Mane Adige on Jun 2, 2009

love these vadas! We usually make some extra so that we can have some the next day as well. the first pic is beautiful

By Kalai on Jun 2, 2009

Oh, goodness... It there anything as good as a steaming hot vadai on a cold and rainy day? These look great, Dhivi! You brought back memories of being on the train in India with the vadai vendors calling out, "Tea... Tea... Suda suda tea... Vadai, vadai... Medhu vadai... Masala vadai!!"

By Lubna Karim on Jun 2, 2009

Oh wow my favourite vada....we call it chitti garelu means small vada.....Looks yum....

By Trupti on Jun 2, 2009

wada looks delicious DK..jst give me that plate I am hungry here

By CurryLeaf on Jun 2, 2009

Wow,thanks for the greased sheet idea.I can never get it right.Love the tempting vadais.The train journey evokes such responses from me as well and is now a cherished memory My mother just wets her hand, pats this down on one end..and drops it into the oil! gawd - till date it gives me jeepers creepers. Plastic sheet works wonderfully for me :)

By Divya vikram on Jun 2, 2009

Looks divine!

By Parita on Jun 2, 2009

Love these..just looking at the pics made me hungry:)

By Happy Cook on Jun 2, 2009

Wish i could just grab few of them. I never make vadas or anything like that as i am a clumsy person when i have to use th emixer, i rey to avoid using my mixer as much as possible, could be also my knob was broken after using few times. Now i have to take a spanner to turn it on. Looks so yummy crunch delicous.

By vineelasiva on Jun 1, 2009

Wow the vadas looks very delicious.Cant wait to eat whole plate dear.

By prathibha on Jun 1, 2009

Nice step by step procedure..they look yummy.

By Pavani on Jun 1, 2009

Delicious looking masala vadai.. I love these fried goodies, can eat a whole batch of them if it was not for the calories and guilt conscious later. But anything in moderation is always good.

By Ramya Vijaykumar on Jun 1, 2009

Masala wada with some hot steaming milk will do the magic here!!!

By Muskaan on Jun 1, 2009

Wow .. so healthy, pic looks good as well

By Sonu on Jun 1, 2009

Wow..this vadai goes well with tea/coffee. I m craving for it. :)

By Lisa on Jun 1, 2009

These do sound amazing! I could see why you would save room for these. I once made a fried urad dal patty that I enjoy immensely, but these sound even better!