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Medu Vada

Medu Vadas are a traditional South Indian dish which can be served as a main course, side dish, or snack. This crispy deliciousness is made with spiced urad dal batter and fried in donut shape dumplings. They are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. They are served with Sambar and Coconut Chutney.

Recipe will make about 10 to 12 Vadas.

Medu Vada Recipe by ManjulaIngredients:

  • 1 cup split washed urad dal (available in Indian stores)
  • 1/8 teaspoon asafetida (hing)
  • 2 teaspoon whole coriander seeds (sabut dhania)
  • 1 tablespoon green chili chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro chopped (hara dhania)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Oil to fry


  1. Wash and soak dal in about 3 cups of water for about 4-6 hours.
  2. Drain the water and grind dal to smooth paste using very little water just enough to grind, food processor works good for this. Blend for another 2 minutes to whip dal to make fluffy. Take dal batter out in a wide bowl.
  3. Add all the ingredients to the dal batter, cilantro, green chili, coriander, asafetida and salt, beat the batter for 2-3 minutes this will make the batter light and fluffy. To make sure batter is ready put one drop of batter in a bowl of water, batter should float.
  4. Keeping the right consistency of batter is very important; add water as needed batter should not be soft but not runny. When you put the batter on your palm batter should hold its shape. Make the Vadas batter when you are ready to fry them, as the batter sit will get soft if you are not ready to fry keep batter refrigerated.
  5. Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium high heat.
  6. The frying pan should have about 1 inch of oil. To check if the oil is ready, put one drop of batter in oil. The batter should sizzle and come up but not change color right away. If oil is very hot Vadas will not cook through and will not be crispy.
  7. Wet the palms and take golf size batter and place over your palm, flatten to round shape and make hole in the center looking like donut now with other hand wet fingers slowly slide Vada into the hot oil.
  8. Fry the Vadas from both sides to golden brown. Take them out over paper towel to drain access oil.
  9. Traditionally Medu Vada served with Coconut Chutney, and sambar (aromatic lentil soup with vegetables).


  1. If Medu Vada Batter is too thick: The Vada will shape nicely but they will be hard inside after frying.
  2. If batter is too soft: it will not be able to hold the shape and will absorb too much oil.
  3. It’s the consistency of the batter that determines how soft and shapely the Vadas turn out.

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33 thoughts on “Medu Vada

  1. Hello Manjula,
    I like your recipe informative and straightforward. I just did differently; instead of my hand beating the mixture, I used a whisk and added a pinch of baking soda.

    1. Had u added anything else in the wada? Once I had added 2 tbps of corn flour to the batter as it had become a little loose and the WADA had blasted. Not a drop of oil was left in the kadhai.

  2. Thanks manjula ji ….ur website is very helpful ..I always look for ur website only whenever I need to find any new recipe.. Keep posting new recipes …thanks a lot

  3. Hi I tried making mendu wada from readymade batter from outside, but they turned to be very hard. Should I add little hot oil to batter for making soft menduwadas please help.

  4. Hello mam. I tried them so many times they taste good but not soft. I want to know how to check the right consistency.. Sometimes they blast during cooking. Please help me. My daughter loves vada a lot.

  5. Fantastic website and recipes.

    I can’t get black urid dal from my local shops. Can I use either black urid beans or white urid dal instead? Would either be a good substitute?

  6. Mam, you can add a spoon or two of rice flour which will help the vadas to remain crisp for some more time.. and people do add ginger which is chopped into small pieces which adds a very much good flavour to these vadas.

  7. mam,thanks for the recipe.. its not the coriander seeds that are used. it’s whole black pepper oly.. using coriander seeds spoils the actual taste of medu vadai.. and also the curry leaves not the coriander leaves..

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