Masala Vadai/ Paruppu Vadai-Deep Fried Lentil Patties

Today is a cold snowy day. Coming back from work driving in the snow makes me want to sit near the fireplace eating some vadas or pakodas. Here is a recipe for masala vada. They hit all the right spots – hot, deep fried, spicy and crispy! Have it with a cup of tea or coffee or any drink of your choice.

Masala vadai/Vada is a popular (and one of my favourite) snack from South India. It is another easy to make snack is a great potluck food or an appetizer. You could serve this with coconut chutney or coriander chutney or eat it by itself.

Masala vadai brings back memories of traveling in a train anywhere in the South, where hawkers come selling hot vadais at every station. The smell of the vadai reaches you even before you can see the hawker, serving you the vadas on newspaper. These made long train journeys fun, eating different hot deep fried snacks depending on the region and station, every station famous for certain snacks. When I moved to Sweden, we would eat falafels which were the closest we could get to masala vadais.

Try it and let me know what you think. This recipe makes around 15 vadais.


1 cup channa dal

1 red chilli

1-2 green chilli

1-inch ginger

2 onions, chopped finely

8 – 10 curry leaves

2 tbsp chopped cilantro/ coriander leaves

salt to taste

oil for frying


Wash and rinse channa dal

Soak in water for 2 hours (to hasten the process soak in hot water for an hour)

Drain and set aside 2 tbsp channa dal

Grind the rest of the dal coarsely, with chillies, ginger and curry leaves.

Transfer to a bowl, add the rest of the channa dal, onions, cilantro and salt and mix well.

Heat oil.

Flatten a ball of the mixture, and slide it into the hot oil. Fry them for a few minutes till it is golden brown, then turn around and fry.

Once golden and crisp, remove with slotted spoon and remove excess oil on a paper towel.

Serve with chutney or by itself.


3 Comments Add yours

  1. Shalini says:

    Your masala vada recipe is exactly the same as my mother’s. As children, we used to pair it with bananas,one bite of the crispy vada followed by a bite off a ripe yelakki… thanks for bringing back those memories, Preethi.


    1. Thanks Shalini! Never eaten it with bananas though.


  2. Pingback: Chai With Preethi

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