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Medu Vadai

Medu vadai, An indispensable part of the menu on festivals and any special occasions in an South Indian home.

They are usually served along side idli and pongal as part of a perfect South Indian breakfast in restaurants, marriages or any functions, but can’t be restricted just to the breakfast, its a great side for the main course too!

I remember My grandfather always used to ask amma (mother) to reserve two vadai to be soaked in Rasam in a small cup. That used to be his evening snack with filter coffee. Ohh how much i miss him and the small portions of the well soaked vadai he used to share with me!

This recipe of the vadai will be a basic ingredient for thayir vadai (vadai in yogurt) and Sambhar vadai.


1 cup Split Black Gram (Urad Daal/Ulundu Paruppu)

Water- till dhal is fully submerged.

Salt – to taste

Ginger – 1″ (optional)

2/3 Green Chilies

10-12 Black Pepper,whole (Optional)

Asafoetida – pinch

Onions (Optional)

Oil – for deep frying

Soaking Time: minimum 2 hours.


1. Soak Split Black Gram (Urad Daal/Ulundu Paruppu)

2. First grind the ginger, green chillies and black pepper (i don’t prefer biting into any of these). Then Drain off all of the water completely from the soaked dhal and grind it with ground ginger, chilli, pepper using very little water (i generally sprinkle). Add salt at the last and grind till the salt is mixed well and the batter is fluffy.

3. Remove batter into a bowl, add Asafoetida and onions. My mother adds curry leaves too broken into tiny pieces.

Tip: Wet your palm with water when handling the batter so that it doesn’t stick to your palms. Also ensure you don’t wet your palms that the batter begins to become thin.

4. Heat Oil on medium heat.

5. To make the vadai: Wet you palm and scoop up a small portion of batter in your hand, Using your thumb, make a small hole in the center of the batter.

6. Gently drop the batter into the hot oil. Allow vadai to get medium golden brown on one side before flipping over to the other side.

7. Allow other side to get medium golden brown and remove onto a paper towel to absorb excess oil.

8. Repeat process for all the batter to make vadai

Serve hot with chutney or sambar.


Grind the batter with just enough water to make a soft and fluffy but not watery dough, as the consistency of the batter, determines how soft and shapely the vadai turns out

Make the vadai as soon as the batter is made, as they will absorb too much oil if left to ferment

Happy Cooking

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November 2017
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