Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Masala Vada-Paruppu Vadai-South Indian Masala Vadai Recipe

Masal vadai is a very popular snack of South India.It is made with bengal gram dal and some spices. It can be had as a snack with a cup of hot tea or even as a side dish for sambar sadam. It  is a common street food in Tamil Nadu and is available in most of the road side shops and hotels. Well! Are you carving for  a restaurant style masala vadai now? Here is a very simple recipe which can be prepared even by a novice.

How to make Masala Vada/Vadai

Prep time - under 15 mins
Cook time - under 15 mins
Yields - 10-12 vadas

Ingredients needed

Channa dal / Bengal gram /Kadalai paruppu -1/2 cup + 1 tbsp
Red Chillies - 2
Saunf / fennel seeds /Sombu - 1 tsp

Onion- 1 very finely chopped
Green chillies -1-2 finely chopped
Curry leaves - few
Coriander leaves - few finely chopped
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying

Masala Vadai-Masala Vada


Soak Channa dal (kadalai paruppu) in water for 4 hours.

Drain the water completely in a colander. Keep 1 tbsp of channa dal aside.

Grind 2 red chillies and fennel seeds first and then add the rest of the channa dal and grind without adding water coarsely.

Then add finely chopped onions, soaked and drained channa dal (1 tbsp which we kept aside), finely chopped green chillies, finely chopped coriander leaves and few curry leaves to the above mix.


Heat oil (to check if the oil is hot enough to drop the vadas, add a small pinch of batter, if it raises to the surface immediately , then that is the right stage to fry the vadas). Take a small lemon sized ball of the mix, flatten it with your hands and gently slip it into the oil.

Keep in medium heat and fry the vadas both sides till golden brown and crisp. Repeat the same procedure for the rest of the mix. (The number of vada you add to the oil depends on the quantity of oil you heat)

Variations and tips

The secret of a delicious masala vada is the flavor of fennel seeds and finely chopped onions.But if you do not like fennel seeds, you can add finely chopped ginger instead of fennel seeds.

Masal vadai will taste more delicious if you use baby onions, instead of big onion.

If case, if there is moisture and you are unable to shape vadas out of the mixture, add a little besan/ bengal gram flour to the vada mix, so that it will absorb the excess moisture.

Beginners can grease a plastic sheet or ziplog bag or plantain leaf, flatten the vadas on it, flip the sheet and transfer the flattened vadas to the hand and then slip them gently into the oil.(in case, if you are not comfortable with the above method).

Check out my Ulundu vadai or Medu Vada Recipe

Medhu vada-vadai

Enjoy making these delicious vadas.Come back for more interesting recipes and tips.


  1. crisp and so delicious.mine are still in draft:).your looks so inviting..

  2. Just saw a vada in priyas place and now here too everybody is tempting me to make them; looks yumm.

  3. Looks yumm..I add a lil bit of minced garlic too..

  4. One of my favorites in vadas...they look perfect and yum.....

  5. Same pinch even i posted a masal vada, yummy fritters.

  6. So crispy n yummy.. For me it's a any time snack

  7. Samma super.. we always add toor dal.. Channa dal only..very interesting

  8. Lovely vadas, craving for some now

  9. Crispy and yumm, very tempting..

  10. All time favorite vada. Looks perfect and would love it on a rainy day !!

  11. Would love to have this any time.

  12. It's a awesome snack...whole family enjoyed it

  13. I tried this yesterday but ran into a problem.

    The batter started to crumble in my hands despite all my efforts to squeeze it into obedience ! In fact, when I transferred it to the oil, it had crumbled considerably and I had many lumps and many smaller particles floating in the oil, However, the lumps themselves were tasty when tried.

    What am I doing wrong? How do I solve this? The issue surely has more to do with my clumsiness rather than your recipe but any tips?


    V. Suresh
    Strasbourg, France

  14. Viswanathan - The reason could be- Your batter was not thick enough. You might have added water while grinding the dal.

  15. the reciepe is obviously good. what i liked best was the tips given along with the recipe. like how to figure out when oil is ready and what to do if the mixture is too watery. :) these tips are what beginners like me need the most.

  16. thank u paduma madam.i have seen ur website today only its very usefull to all.

  17. It needs dry coconut added and tastes terrific.

  18. Hi Padhu

    Tried this recipe last week and came out awesome. Excellent recipe. Thanks to you :)

  19. Wow Padhu! I am a guy (living in India) and I learned to cook some things from your website. It's kind of become my hobby. Almost all things that I've tried after looking your website have come out very well! Thanks!

    My wife also learned to cook all dishes from your website only. That's how I came to know about your website. We are thankful to you.

    PS: Except when after when I finish cooking, my wife is angry on me as she had to clean up my mess :P

  20. Greetings Padhu
    Tried the Vada this morning. Somph does it a good taste to the Vada.
    Thank you for always sharing your recipes
    Veni Singh from South Africa

  21. Hi padhu... Am a very big fan of your mouthwatering dishes....where can I get your recipe book?? can you please assist me to get your recipe book...please...

    1. Thank you so much Aysha for liking my recipes. I have not published any books till now.


Thank you for dropping by my blog.Hope you enjoyed reading the recipes.Your feedback and comments are appreciated. Comments with links to external sites will be deleted.