Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Medu Vada | Ulundhu Vadai | Urad Dal Vada | Medhu Vadai Recipe


Medu vadas are my all time favorite, just love it anytime with some coconut chutney.  It is a very famous South Indian snack that can be seen in every street corners. Though I make it very often, I haven't posted it until now because the moment I make them, it will be all over or as it would be evening time I would get busy with household things that I don't get time to click. But today thought that I'd make time for it and so made these and clicked before serving. Since I clicked them at 6 in the evening, I had not much light to get good pics, so kindly bear with my not so good pics. Also could not take every step-wise pictures as I was struggling single handed clicking and making vadas all by myself, apologize for that too, will update those missing clicks as soon as possible. December month's SNC challenge for the Northern team was Medu vadas and I was really impressed with all of their posts, credit goes to Sherin from the Southern team and to every member from who attempted the challenge. Okay so coming to the recipe, I love these vadas just like I love chicken, but I need them to be crispy or else I would just avoid them. Sometimes when am not satisfied, I would just eat the outer crispy layer and leave the white and soft inner pieces. The hotel vadas are always crispy, but the home-made vadas stay soft, so I have tried many ways experimenting to know how to make crispy vadas. 

Obviously when you make vadas with a grinder you will get better crispy vadas, but what if you want to make only few vadas? only a blender will work then. Using blender / mixer, for making vadas is a tough job and you can't make fluffy vadas, but it is the only handy way. So to get fluffy and crispy vadas using a blender, I tried soaking dal for different hours, tried fermenting the batter (of course that is a big blunder L and you should never do that), tried adding rice flour. But nothing yielded me good results, I still made vadas for family but I wasn't satisfied and I kept toiling my head. Finally one day I added more water accidentally while making the batter, (yes that was a mistake too) and the batter went too runny thereby I could not make vadas with perfect shapes, but still I managed to make some. After frying I found those vadas to be so crispy, wow I was happy thinking that I had finally found a way to make crispy vadas. But became disappointed the next moment I took a bite, the vadas were so dunked in oil, L after which I realized that excess water had made the vadas absorb more oil thereby making the vadas crispy. Similarly dal soaked for longer hours yields crispier vadas but drinks too much of oil. Then I inquired one of my Mom's friend who was a specialist in making vadas, she said that in some hotels a little maida (all purpose flour) and rice flour was added to the batter to make the vadas crispy, so the same evening I tried the vadas as per her instructions and voila!! I got good crispy vadas. From then I always follow this method and succeed. But the same technique can make the vadas a disaster, if you add flours in excess, they will make your vadas hard too. So follow the measurements that I have provided below and get crispy and tasty vadas. 


Serves 8 to 10 vadas
Total Preparation Time - 2 hours 15 minutes hours (Soaking - 2 hours)
  1. Urad dal / Ulundhu / Black gram - 1 cup (150 grams) [I used skinned]
  2. Salt - As per taste (2 tsp) 
  3. Asafoetida - A pinch 
  4. Rice flour - 1/2 spoon (Optional)
  5. Maida / All purpose flour - 1/2 spoon (Optional)
  6. Curry leaves - Few (Optional) 
  7. Oil - For deep frying 
Note: Avoid the flours, authentic South Indian vadas do not need them. 


  • Soak urad dal in water for atleast an hour in water. I soaked it for 2 hours. (For a cup of water add atleast 4 cups of water for soaking).

  • Then drain all excess water and put the soaked dal into a blender. 
  • Grind coarsely first without adding water. Then open the blender, scrape the sides with a spatula or spoon and add 2 spoons of water, close the blender and grind again. The blender may get stuck at times because there is not much water. So stop and give a pulse type of grinding. Don't pour water. 
  • Once the dal becomes almost ground, add salt, asafoetida, rice flour, maida and grind again. Add 2 more spoons of water and grind into a smooth paste. Remove from blender whip well using a fork or spoon. Now check for salt and add if needed, then add curry leaves (optional) and mix again. (to check the batter just grease your fingers with oil, then pinch some of the batter and roll into a ball, if you are able to make a non-sticky ball with it the batter has the correct consistency)

  • Meanwhile place a kadai or frying pan on low flame and pour oil into it for frying these vadas. Let the oil heat up well (not smoky hot). 
  • Now take a small plastic sheet place it on your left hand and brush it well with oil. Also keep a bowl of water by your side, you will need it all through the process while shaping vadas. 
  • Now take a spoon of the vada batter and drop it on this greased sheet, then wet your right palm with water and spread the batter into a flat round but thick disc, then make a hole in the center (if in case you are not able to make a hole then your batter consistency is watery and thereby it will be runny and sticky). 
  • Now transfer the shaped vadas from the plastic sheet to your right hand by inverting the sheet upside down. It will easily come off as you have greased the plastic sheet with oil. Now slide the vadas from your right palm, gently and carefully into the oil. 

  • There is also another way you can use your right palm itself for the whole process of shaping vadas. Just wet your right palm well take a ball of batter and shape it with your thumb, make a whole in the center with your thumb and slide it into the oil slowly and carefully. The oil is hot so don't just throw the vadas, the oil will splatter out.
  • You can fry 2 to 4 vadas at the same time in oil, but don't crowd the pan. Fry the vadas on medium flame on both sides until it turns golden and crisp. 
  • Remove from flame using a slotted spoon and place on a tissue paper or kitchen towel to absorb excess oil. 
  • Serve hot!!

TIP 1: Never pour too much of water while making batter even though your mixer/blender seems stuck, the batter will become runny and you wont get perfect shaped vadas. So just open the mixer jar, scrape the sides and sprinkle some water and give pulse kinda spin. 

TIP 2: Do not add too much of rice flour, this will make the vadas too hard. You can avoid all the flours and make just plain authentic soft vadas. 

TIP 3: You can add some chopped onions, green chillies, coriander leaves, grated carrot, crushed pepper and cumin seeds to the batter and make vadas. I have discussed just a plain version of the vadas. Just added some curry leaves to make it flavorful.

TIP 4: Before frying always check whether the oil is ready. The oil should not too be too hot, if its too hot the vadas will turn too brown immediately in the outside, but will still remain raw in the inside. So always before frying, drop a small ball of the batter into the oil to check if it is ready. If the oil is ready the batter will come up without browning, this is the right time to put fry the vadas. If the batter sinks into the oil and remains at the bottom, then it means that the oil is not yet hot or ready. If the oil is too hot the batter will brown immediately and will look smoky hot. Always keep your palm a foot above the pan and check the heat, if you are able to feel the heat then the oil is ready, this is a basic and easy tip to check if the oil is hot enough. 

TIP 5: Use a grinder if in case you are making more vadas. This will give a crispier and better vadas. Obviously the blender / mixer, vadas are not good as the grinder ones. 

Scrumptious crispy and tasty vadas are now ready!! 

  1. Serve as snack accompanied coconut chutney or (and) with sambarYou can also try other chutneys.
  2. Sambar Vada / Rasam Vada - Soak Vada in hot sambar for 5 minutes and just before serving top with some chopped coriander leaves, chopped onions and serve. You can also soak in hot rasam and serve. 
  3. South Indian style Dahi Vada - Soak vadas in warm water / diluted curd, until it gets soft then gently squeeze excess water and set aside. Take thick, non-sour curd or unflavored yogurt and add salt to it, beat well. Take a serving bowl place the vadas in it and pour curd over it. Leave it soaked for 5 minutes. Then top it with some chopped coriander leaves, sprinkle some red chilli powder and boondhis or mixture then serve immediately. 
  4. North Indian Dahi Vada - Soak vadas in warm water / diluted curd, until it gets soft, then squeeze gently to remove excess water, set aside. Then place these vadas in a pan pour beaten curd over it then drizzle date tamarind chutney, then finally sprinkle some red chilli powder and serve. 
  5. Or serve as sides for lemon rice, curd rice or tamarind rice!! I love it even with rasam rice. 
  6. You can chop the leftover or hard vadas into smaller pieces and make curry with it just like vada curry.

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  1. Crispy n soft vadas...perfect with coconut chutney n sambar

  2. who can resist this yummy circle? I can not. it's very tempting.

  3. perfect circles in the vada.Love it.my favourite too.i love the idea of vadacurry.

  4. Perfectly made vadas, nothing like home-made, your clicks are beautiful so no worries sis I love them... and lovely tips dear will sure try them soon... I am sure your enjoyed them and was looking for this recipe as I knew you make them often at home...

    take care

  5. crispy and perfect vada's :) you are tempting me to make them again :)

  6. My hubby loves them divs..bt I coul not get the shape

  7. Happy Pongal..i too made these yummy vada today :)
    U have made so perfectly, so soft n tempting vadas....nicely shaped!

  8. Perfect Vadas with a perfect hole and perfect chutney on the side. Pass me a serve please :)

  9. I have fallen in love with these after I moved to the south, they just make it different here!
    These looks super crunchy!

  10. Perfect shape Div.. For crispy idea, i used to soak one handful of raw rice/ idli rice with urad dal and grind.. You will get crispy vadas..

  11. this is so delicious....pass me some.

  12. wow very beautiful....well presented n yummy vadas

  13. asathalana vadai & chutney..appa tips mannipa..

  14. Who can resist those crispies Divya ? I love them so dearly that I can finish many in one sitting.Your look crispy and apt for my taste..Yum.

  15. I loved the perfect shape of the vadas,Beautiful!!.Happy to follow your blog.

  16. Delicious and crispy medhu vadas.

  17. Wow..methu vada looks os crunchy and yummy. Perfectly done, Divya.

  18. wow beautiful clicks and vada looks tempting to eat.... wonderful explanation...

  19. nice tips hvnt made these since last month challenge not getting time at all

    wud try ur tips when i make again

  20. Looks perfectly done. Would love a bite

  21. Superb vadas, nice tips at the end..

  22. well made dear :) neat presentation..

  23. Your clicks are so tempting, feel like grabbing them :)

  24. super crispy vada's.. wish i could grab them all :)

  25. Lovely Vada... You made like an Expert. Well describes Divya.

  26. this is great torture,Divya..fabulous vadas..love this a lot,parcel me some :)
    Join EP event-Nutmeg OR Parsley @ Chef Mireille's Global Creations

  27. very perfect and soft..

  28. wow..wonderful clicks..yummy vada

  29. Yummy yummy vadas,clicks are awesome dear.

  30. Perfectly made. They r yummy hence vanished all the time right. Who can resist this wonderful vada's? Luv it.

  31. This is my son's fave snack .......hes drooling at your pics - great post!!

  32. Wow..perfect beautiful vadas...I feel to have some now..

  33. Beautiful vadas, love to munch some anytime.

  34. yummy and perfect vada crisp outside and soft inside :-)

  35. tempting crispy vadas! cant resist seeing the pics..definitely will make this evening:)..

  36. Vadas Looks perfect colour & perfect shape very nice.

  37. Perfect and crisp vadas. delicious.
    Do drop in sometime at http://aathidhyam.blogspot.in/

  38. crisp and delightful vadas. Yummy.....

  39. vadas have come out well Divya. hope you read my mail.

  40. The vadas are great-looking, it does not look like it is soaked in oil at all!! Great cooking!!!


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