Medu Vada, a popular South Indian savory fried snack


  • 1 cup urad dal (split black gram)
  • 2-3 green chilies, finely chopped (adjust to your spice preference)
  • A handful of fresh curry leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, crushed
  • A pinch of asafoetida (hing)
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for deep frying


  1. Preparing the Urad Dal:
    • Wash the urad dal under running water and soak it in enough water for 4-5 hours. This will soften the dal for grinding.
  2. Grinding the Batter:
    • After soaking, drain the water from the urad dal. Grind it to a smooth, thick batter without adding much water. The batter should be fluffy and airy, which is important for making crispy vadas.
  3. Add Spices and Seasoning:
    • Add the finely chopped green chilies, chopped curry leaves, cumin seeds, crushed black pepper, asafoetida, and salt to the batter. Mix well to evenly distribute the spices and seasoning.
  4. Preparing the Vada Dough:
    • To make the vada dough, wet your hands and take a small amount of batter. Shape it into a ball and flatten it slightly. Make a hole in the center to form the classic donut shape. You can use your wet fingers to shape the vada.
  5. Heating the Oil:
    • Heat oil in a deep frying pan or kadai over medium-high heat. To check if the oil is hot enough, drop a small portion of the batter into the oil. If it sizzles and rises to the surface, the oil is ready.
  6. Frying the Vadas:
    • Carefully slide the shaped vadas into the hot oil one by one. Fry them in batches, but do not overcrowd the pan. This will ensure even cooking.
  7. Fry Until Golden Brown:
    • Fry the vadas until they turn golden brown and crispy on both sides. Be sure to flip them occasionally to ensure even cooking. This usually takes about 3-4 minutes per batch.
  8. Drain Excess Oil:
    • Use a slotted spoon to remove the fried vadas from the oil, allowing excess oil to drain. Place them on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any remaining oil.
  9. Serve Hot:
    • Medu Vadas are best enjoyed hot and crispy. Serve them with coconut chutney, sambar, or a hot cup of tea or coffee.

Medu Vadas are a classic South Indian snack, and their crispy exterior and soft interior make them a delightful treat. Enjoy them as a snack or part of a South Indian breakfast!