Medu Vada with Sambar

Medu Vada with sambar

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. Medu vadas are very crispy, fluffy and delicious snacks.

It is a popular food item in the South Indian and Sri Lankan cuisines and is generally eaten as a breakfast or a snack. "Medu" is the Kannada word for "soft"; "medu vada" thus literally means "soft fritter". Medu vada is usually served with Sambar.

Another variation involves baking the medu vadas instead of frying them.

Medu Vadas are 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, in starter or as a snack.

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

Sambar, also spelled sambhar or sambaar, is a lentil-based vegetable stew or chowder cooked with a tamarind broth originating from the Indian subcontinent. It is popular in South Indian and Sri Lankan Tamil cuisines.

Sambar is made either exclusively with one of these vegetables or a combination of them:

  • okra
  • moringa
  • carrot
  • radish
  • pumpkin
  • potato
  • tomato
  • brinjal (eggplant)
  • whole or halved shallots or onions.

Sambar also goes well with steamed rice and served as one of the main courses of both formal and everyday south Indian cuisine. Apart from vada sambar, idli sambar is also a popular dish that is served in breakfast or as an evening snack in the south Indian states.

Sambar is also served as a side dish for dosa.

Medu Vada with sambar is a traditional South Indian dish, a very delicious dish. These days this dish is not restricted to South Indian kitchen but also loved and served in other parts of India.

  Recipe Servings: 4
  Cooking time: 50 Minutes


For Medu Vada

  • 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

For Sambar

  • Arhar dal (Toor Dal/Pigeon Pea lentils) - 1/2 cup
  • Chopped Vegetables (Okra, French Beans, Carrots, Bottle Gourd, Peas) - 1-1.5 cup
  • Onion (finely chopped) - 1
  • Tomato (finely chopped) - 1
  • Green Chillies (finely chopped) - 2
  • Garlic (sliced lenghthwise) - 3-4 cloves
  • Cumin Seeds (Jeera) - 1 tsp
  • Tamarind pulp (seedless) - 1/2 tbsp
  • Turmeric Powder (Haldi) - 1/2 tsp
  • Red Chilli Powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Sambar Powder - 1-1.5 tbsp
  • Dry Red Chilles - 2-3
  • Curry Leaves - 10-12
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil - 3 tbsp
  • Water - 2.5 cups


For Medu Vada

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

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

  • Take the batter in a large mixing bowl. Now add cumin seeds, salt, finely chopped ginger, finely chopped green chillies, crushed pepper, finely chopped onions and chopped curry leaves. Mix it well.

  • Then add finely chopped green chillies and salt. Mix it again.

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

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

  • Slowly slide the Vadas in the hot oil. The vadas should be fried on a medium flame.

  • Once the vadas get golden brown on one side, flip it and cook the other side. Cook till it gets golden brown in colour.

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

  • Repeat the same process with the remaining batter.

For Sambar

  • Soak tamarind in warm water for approximately 30 minutes.

  • Then mash it with hands or with a spoon. Strain it with the help of a sieve and discard the solid part. Tamarind puree is ready, keep it aside for later use.

  • Wash dal (lentils) several times with water. Add washed dal in a pressure cooker and add 2.5 cups of water.

  • Add chopped vegetables, finely chopped green chillies, finely chopped onions and finely chopped tomatoes into it.

  • Now add cumin seeds, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, salt and 1 tbsp of oil.

  • Pressure cook on a high flame. When the steam starts to escape from the valve, switch to the medium flame and let it cook for 4 whistles or for 7 minutes.

  • Dal needs to be cooked till soft and smooth.

  • Allow the steam to escape and then open the lid.

  • Add sambar powder and tamarind puree into it. If the consistency of water is thick you may add water.

  • Keep the pressure cooker on stove and simmer the sambar for 12-15 minutes.

  • Keep on stirring occasionally so that dal does not stick to the bottom.

  • In a small pan take 2 tbsp of oil. Add mustards seeds into it.

  • When mustard seeds begin to crackle add curry leaves and garlic into it.

  • Broke dry red chillies into 2 pieces and add them into the seasoning.

  • Cook it till garlic turns into golden brown and red chillies changes its colour.

  • Pour the seasoning into the hot sambar.

  • Mix it well. Simmer for 2-3 minutes.

  • Sambar is ready to serve.

  • Serve the hot sambar with hot medu vadas.