Medu Vada

A popular and tasty breakfast in South India, made from a thick batter of lentils and shaped like a doughnut
Ingredients - Makes 10-12 vadas
  • 2 cups black gram (urad dal), soaked for at least 4-5 hours
  • 4-5 green chillies, chopped (adjust based on your spice/heat tolerance)
  • 1" piece of ginger, chopped
  • ΒΌ cup fresh coconut, diced, optional
  • 1 tsp black pepper, whole, optional
  • 8-10 curry leaves, chopped, optional
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil, for deep frying
  1. To make the batter
    1. Wash and soak the black gram in 4-5 cups of water for at least 4-5 hours
    2. Drain well and grind to form a thick, smooth batter. Use very little water. It is critical that the batter remain thick
    3. A {wet grinder} will make the best batter but a {blender} can also do the job
    4. Add chopped green chillies, ginger, and curry leaves, coconut, black pepper, if using, season with salt and mix well
  2. To make the vadas
    1. Heat oil in a large, deep pot for frying
    2. Use a {deep fryer} if you want to. A deep saucepan will do just as well
    3. Wrap a small plate with cling film. Wet the plate surface and place a dollop of batter on the plate. Wet your hands and shape the dollop into a thick disc. Make a hole in the centre with your finger
    4. Wet your hands again and flip the vada onto one hand. Carefully slide the vada into the hot oil and fry till golden brown.
    5. This step requires a lot of practice and care. Hot oil is dangerous!
    6. Alternatively, for a safer option, just drop large spoonfuls of the batter into the hot oil. The vadas will not have a doughnut shape, but will be just as tasty
    7. Check the first vada to see if the inside is cooked. If not, it means that the oil is too hot. Try again
    8. Serve immediately with Sambar, and/or any of the following chutneys - Coconut chutney, Tomato-Sesame chutney, Peanut chutney, Andhra Allam Pachadi
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