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Here is the recipe for the ever-popular south Indian snack - Uzhunnu Vada or Medhu Vada. This is usually served with coconut chutney and/or sambar.

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Uzhunnu Vada
(Medhu Vada or vadai)



Uzhunnu Vada

  Uzhunnu vada served with white coconut chutney.

Vada Maker


Vada maker used to make donut shaped vadas.


Frying Vada


Yummy vadas being fried in hot oil......





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Ingredients :

Urad Dal 2 cups (makes 18 to 20 vadas)
Chopped Onion 1/4 cup
Green chillies

3 or 4

Curry leaves

1 sprig

Black Pepper Corns 1 tbsp

1 inch piece


to taste

Baking Soda

1 pinch


to fry








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Preparation :

  • Take urad dal in a vessel and add water to just cover the dal and keep aside to soak.
  • After about 30 mins. the water level would have gone down. Now add more water to cover the dal again. After 30 more minutes the dal will be well soaked and ready to be ground.
  • Making the Batter:  In a wet grinder, grind the dal in small portions without adding water. If the grinder is unable to grind well, sprinkle some water and grind again till you get a smooth, thick and fluffy paste.

    : if you intend to make the vadas using a vada maker, then the batter has to be the consistency of idly batter. But if you prefer making the vadas the traditional way - using the palm of your hand - then the batter has to be as thick as possible. In case the batter has become less thick, you can add some urad flour to make the batter thicker.

  • To this dal batter, add chopped ginger, green chillies, onion, curry leaves, whole black pepper corns, a pinch of baking soda (to make the vadas soft) and salt and mix well. If you like the vadas to have a crispy exterior and soft interior, add 2 tbsp rice flour to the batter - I don't. Let the batter sit for 5 to 10 mins.
  • Heat oil (better to use fresh oil - not the oil that was previously used to fry other foods)  in a kadai or deep skillet. Let the oil get really hot - you know if it is hot enough by placing your palm at a safe distance above the pan - you can feel the hot steam from the oil. Or use a deep fryer thermometer - temp should be at least 380 deg. F.

  • Make donut shapes with the batter either using the palm of your hand or using a vada maker as described below.
    • Making donut shapes using hands: wet the palm of your hand with water and place a ball of the vada mix on it . Press it down slightly with the fingers of your other hand. Now using one finger make a hole in the middle of it. Drop it slowly and carefully into the hot oil. Wet your palm each time you make the donut shape - this prevents the batter from sticking on your hand.
    • Making donut Shapes using vada maker: Fill the vada maker with batter. Hold it over the hot oil (as shown in the picture shown above). Now with your thumb push down the lever/knob and the hole at the bottom of the vada maker opens to let the batter out. Keep your thumb pressed down for as long as you need - this depends on how big you want your vadas. The longer you hold the lever down, more batter comes out and vada becomes bigger. Hold the lever down for a short time to make smaller vadas.
  • Fry the vadas till golden brown and lay them out on a tray lined with kitchen tissue to absorb excess oil.
  • Serve hot with chutney and/or samber. YUM YUM ....



Note :


  • Use as little water as possible to make the batter - this also makes the vadas absorb less oil.

  • Skip the green chillies and peppercorns when making these for kids or for people who are not used to spicy food.





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