Medu vada recipe – South Indian crispy lentil doughnuts

medu vada recipe

 

Medu vada is a very tempting snack from South India, a gluten free little round shape snack, soft inside and crisp on the outside. It looks like a doughnut and is made with a spiced skinned black lentil (urad dal) batter. The traditional medu vada is deep fried but if you want to avoid deep frying, you can also bake it in a donut baking tray.

Getting the perfect round donut type shape, with the hole in the middle, requires a little practice. As you can see, even though I made medu vada couple of times before, I still need more practice to obtain that perfect shape.

The lentils must be soaked for 3-4 hours or even overnight. I soaked them overnight to be able to prepare medu vada in the morning, for breakfast.

The consistency of the batter is very important and it is the one that determines the perfection of vada. The texture of the batter should be fluffy, not too sticky while shaping it, not too thick and not too soft. Apart from this little batter trick, the preparation is very easy and the result so delicious.

Medu vada recipe step by step – South Indian crispy lentil doughnuts

Wash and soak the lentils (urad dal) in enough water, for 3-4 hours or overnight.

Drain all the water completely and add the soaked urad dal into the grinder. Do not add water. Grind for a few seconds then stop and add little water. Grind and repeat adding water, until you obtain a fluffy and soft, but not runny batter.

Once the batter is ready, add the remaining ingredients, mix well and keep aside.

Note: Fresh curry leaves are not easily available in Western markets, you can find them at your local Indian market or you can buy online on amazon.

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Heat oil in a deep frying pan, check the temperature of oil by dropping a pinch of batter. If it rises immediately, oil is just right.

Wet your palms and shape the vada like a donut. Make a hole in the center using your finger. Drop the vada into the oil.

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Flip both the sides and cook the vada till the bubbles ceases and the vada turns golden brown on both sides. Remove and drain on a tissue paper.

medu vada snack recipe

Serve warm with coconut or mint chutney, tomato sauce or with just a cup of tea.

Medu vada recipe - South Indian crispy lentil doughnuts
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4
What you need
  • 2 cups urad dal/skinned black lentils (black gram);
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds;
  • 2 sprigs fresh curry leaves, chopped;
  • 1-2 green chillies, chopped;
  • 1 tsp minced ginger or ginger paste;
  • ½ tsp salt;
  • ½ cup water;
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper;
  • pinch of asafoetida/hing (optional);
  • oil to fry.
Method
  1. Wash and soak the urad dal in enough water, for 3-4 hours or overnight.
  2. Drain all the water completely and add the soaked urad dal into the grinder. Do not add water. Grind for a few seconds then stop and add little water. Grind and repeat adding water, until you obtain a fluffy and soft, but not runny batter.
  3. Once the batter is ready, add the remaining ingredients, mix well and keep aside.
  4. Heat oil in a deep frying pan, check the temperature of oil by dropping a pinch of batter. If it rises immediately, oil is just right.
  5. Wet your palms and shape the vada like a donut. Make a hole in the center using your finger. Drop the vada into the oil.
  6. Flip both the sides and cook the vada till the bubbles ceases and the vada turns golden brown on both sides. Remove and drain on a tissue paper.
  7. Serve warm with coconut or mint chutney, tomato sauce or with just a cup of tea.

 

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