Urad Dal or Medhu Vada

Vadas are lentil based prepared with channa dal or split peas or as is the case with this recipe made out of Urad Dal.  The Plain Vada made out of  Urad Dal is prepared on festive and important occasions!!
It is also served as an entree or a snack at tea time- called Medhu Vada or Ulundu (Urad dal) Vada.
The Vada mix can be prepared in advance, refridgerated and  fried later.
It has to be soft and cooked on the inside, crunchy on the outside and tastes delicious!! 
Vadas are generally served with hot sambhar or coconut chutney.

Variations of the Vada can be prepared to suit to individuals’  taste
Vadas are dropped in sambhars or rasams and served after a while and are called ‘Sambhar Vada’ and ‘Rasa Vada’. 
A quarter cup of finely chopped cabbage,  spinach or onion can be mixed with the ground mixture just before frying, which tastes delicious too called Cabbage Vada,  Keerai Vada or Masala (Onion) Vada.

A real delicious summer treat is the Vada dipped in spicey yoghurt called Thayir or Dahi Vada

To Make 30 Vadas

2 Cups Whole Urad Dal
5 Cups Water to soak the Dal
2-3 Tbs. Water
1-2 Finely Chopped Green Chillies
1 inch Finely Chopped Ginger
Few Sprigs Curry Leaves
½ Tsp. Asafoetida
½ Tsp. Salt
3  Cups Oil  (for deep frying)

Vada Urad Dal

Urad Dal Vada


Soak the urad Dal for a couple of hours in 5 cups of water.
Drain the water completely and grind the soaked dal into a very soft mixture, adding the tablespoons of water only if and when necessary.
The ground mixture should be firm but soft.
Add the finely chopped chillies, ginger, asafoetida, curry leaves and salt and mix it thoroughly.

Heat the oil in a deep frying pan on a medium flame.
(If the oil is too hot, the vada will not cook on the inside. The batch of vadas should take atleast 5-6 minutes to turn golden brown)

To make the ‘vadas’ dip your hand in a bowl of water and take a small portion of the mixture and place it on a banana leaf or a thick plastic sheet.
Wet the tip of your fingers again in water and pat the mixture (to make a round shape) lightly
Place a hole in the centre with your finger.
Take the leaf or plastic sheet in your left hand and gently remove the circular vada mixture with your right hand and slide it into the hot oil.

Repeat this process to make at least 7-8  vadas in one batch based on the size of the pan 
Fry the vadas till they turn golden brown on both sides. Repeat this till all the vadas are done.

Note: It is very important that the consistency of the ground mixture is firm.
Extra water will not hold the mixture well and will prove difficult to make the vada.
It is important to add the salt just before it is fried so that the batter is firm enough to handle to make the vadas