Medu Vada

Medu Vada

Medu vada is an Indian fritter made from Black lentils (urad dal). It is usually made in doughnut-shape, with a crispy exterior and soft interior.

A popular food item in the South Indian and Sri Lankan cuisines, it is generally eaten as a breakfast or a snack. "Medu" is the Kannada word for "soft"; "medu vada" thus literally means "soft fritter".  The dish is often mentioned simply as "vada" on menus.

Other names for the dish include uddina vade (Kannada), urad vada, medhu vadai, ulundu vadai (Tamil), garelu (Telugu), and uzhunnu vada (Malayalam).

The medu vada is made primarily of black lentils (urad dal) batter. The black lentils are soaked in water for several hours, and then ground to a paste. The paste may be flavoured with other ingredients such as asafoetida, methi seeds (fenugreek), ginger, cumin seeds, black pepper, curry leaves, chillies and coconut pieces. It is then patted into doughnut-shapes and fried in oil until golden brown.

One variation involves baking instead of frying. Other variations of the dish involve use of pulses other than black lentils. For example, am-bada (or aama vadai) is made with chana dal (split chickpea lentil); occasionally, tuar (pigeon pea) and masoor (lentil) are also used.

The dish is usually served with sambar (lentil and vegetable stew) and coconut chutney. Along with idli, it is often eaten as a breakfast. It is also eaten as a lunch starter or a snack.

The medu vada is sometimes also served with yogurt, as a chaat snack (dahi vada).

  Recipe Servings: 4
  Cooking time: 20 Minutes


  • Dhuli Urad daal (Black gram without skin) - 1 cup
  • Ginger (finely chopped) - 1" piece
  • Green Chilli (finely chopped) - 2-3
  • Black Pepper(Crushed) - 1/2 tsp
  • Curry leaves (finely chopped) - 1-2 strands
  • Onion (finely chopped) - 1 meduim
  • Cumin seeds (jeera- 1/2 tsp
  • Oil (for frying) - as required
  • Salt to taste
  • Water - very little for grinding


  • Clean, wash and soak the urad dal in enough water for 2-3 hours.

  • Drain the water and blend the soacked dal in mixer to a smooth batter using as little water as possible.

  • Take the batter in a bowl. Now add cumin seeds, salt, finely chopped ginger, finely chopped green chillies, crushed pepper, finely chopped Onion and chopped curry leaves and mix well.

  • Add chopped green chillies and salt. Mix it well.

  • Heat the oil in a frying pan or kadhai over a medium flame.

  • Wet your palm with water. Take a portion of the mixture in your hand and give it a round shape. Make a hole in the centre with your thumb or finger.

  • Slowly slide the Vadas in the hot oil. The vadas should be fried in medium heat.

  • Once the vadas get golden brown on one side, flip it and cook the other side.

  • Drain the excess oil from the vadas and transfer them over a kitchen tissue paper/absorbent paper.

  • Serve the medu vadas hot with coconut chutney and sambhar.