Medu Vada / Urad Vada

1 hr. 35 mins.
Serves 15 pcs.
Author: Rajni Ram
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Urad Vada or Medu Vada, as it is called, is probably one of the most simplest and yet difficult to make recipes. This is because the texture of the ground batter is very important for a perfect turn out and the quality of the Urad dal is important too. With time and practice one gets a hang of it. In this recipe I have tried to give detailed pictures of various steps of grinding so that the recipe becomes a no fail one, and I am depending on your feedback on this once you try it. The Medu Vada is different from its North Indian counter part, because of the hole in the center, and making that hole is what makes grinding the batter perfectly important.

Urad Vada can be a snack, an accompaniment to the mains or even a starter when made bite sized. In South India it is a part of Prasad / Bhog ( holy offering) to God and so is made many times during the year. In my house after eating a few plain with chutney or Sambar the rest are converted to Dahi Vada in the evening. If one doesn’t want to get into making Dahi Vadas, just  dunking them is tomato sauce is also a good option.

I prefer using the whole Urad dal without skin for these Vadas, as compared to the split urad dal as they almost are no fail. There are many add ins to into the batter like finely chopped onions, grated carrot, mix of finely grated veggies, the only rule- once the add in’s go in, pat and fry Vadas immediately. Another variation of this Vada is the dry Pepper Vada or Milagu Vadai. 

While you are here, check out my other snack recipes like Semolina Cheese Balls, Patra/ Pathrode, Ratlami Sev, Mirchi Bajji/Mirapakaya Bhajji, Potato Cheddar Bake, and more…

Here is the recipe for fluffy Medu Vadai for you

Ingredients

Ingredients

  1. Whole or Split Urad dal (without skin) 1 cup
  2. Green chillies 2
  3. Ginger 1/2 inch piece
  4. Peppercorns 5 to 6 crushed
  5. Curry leaves a few
  6. Salt as required
  7. Rice flour 1 tbsp (optional)
  1. Soak the Urad dal in water for 1 hour.
  2. Grind the green chillies, ginger, and curry leaves to a coarse dry paste ( check picture).
  3. Now in a blender add the dal after draining all the water and grind to a smooth paste. Add water a little at a time, by sprinkling and not by pouring it. So, sprinkle water, grind, sprinkle, grind, until the batter is smooth and thick. Take care to see that the batter does not become runny or else Vadas cannot be formed. The right consistency of the batter is when it doesn’t fall off your hand easily. ( see pics for stages of grinding)
  4. Remove the batter from the blender into a bowl, add salt and the green chili and ginger paste, ground pepper powder, add few more curry leaves if required and rice flour in case using ( I have not used in this recipe), and mix well with your fingers.
  5. Next, take a banana leaf or a plastic cover( I have used a flexible plastic lid) for patting the Vada. Now, wipe the leaf/ plastic with some water, take a small lemon sized portion of the batter and place it in the centre of the leaf/plastic, do not flatten, just wet your index finger in water, and make a hole in the center . Now carefully pick the Vada out of the leaf/ plastic and gently drop it on hot oil and fry until golden brown. Remove on to absorbent paper .

Soak the Urad dal in water for 1 hour. Grind the green chillies, ginger, and curry leaves to a coarse dry paste ( check picture). Now in a blender add the dal after draining all the water and grind to a smooth paste. Add water a little at a time, by sprinkling and not by pouring it. So, sprinkle water, grind, sprinkle, grind, until the batter is smooth and thick. Take care to see that the batter does not become runny or else Vadas cannot be formed. The right consistency of the batter is when it doesn’t fall off your hand easily. Remove the batter from the blender into a bowl, add salt and the green chili and ginger paste, add few more curry leaves if required and rice flour in case using ( I have not used in this recipe), and mix well with your fingers. Next, take a banana leaf or a plastic cover( I have used a flexible plastic lid) for patting the Vada. Now, wipe the leaf/ plastic with some water, take a small lemon sized portion of the batter and place it in the centre of the leaf/plastic, do not flatten, just wet your index finger in water, and make a hole in the centre . Now carefully pick the Vada out of the leaf/ plastic and gently drop it on hot oil and fry until golden brown. Remove on to absorbent paper . Repeat the process for the entire batter. Enjoy hot with Sambar and Chutney.

Notes:

  1. Sprinkling water a little at a time and not pouring it into the dal while grinding is critical.
  2. The batter should be smooth, yet not lose or runny.
  3. I usually add rice flour only if I find that the batter is not turning fluffy as we grind, and kind of flat. Anyway adding 1 tbsp does no harm, and gives crisp Vadas.
  4. I prefer to grind in the wet grinder, as then, even with minimum water we are able to grind well. But those who don’t have one can certainly use the blender and be patient while grinding.

To make these yummy Dahi Vadas – To a blender add 1/2 a bunch of coriander leaves, 1/2 inch piece ginger and two green chillies. Blend to a paste. Add little curd to it and now blend to a smooth paste. Add this mixture to 500 ml of curd, and add salt as required. Soak the Vadas in hot water for 2 minutes, squeeze lightly and put them into this spiced curd mixture. Let it soak in for 30 mins in the fridge, before serving.

If you tried this recipe and liked it please comment below. I would love to hear from you. If you have a query about the recipe email us and ill respond as soon as I can.

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