Recipe for Dal Vada/Masala Vada

Dal vada

Recipe for Dal Vada/Masala Vada

Dal Vada/Masala Vada is a popular south Indian tea-time snack. It is a fried snack made with split chickpea lentils ( Chana Dal) and a few spices. After soaking and grinding the lentils, small portions are taken and shaped and fried in oil.

Masala vada or Dal Vadas are served as an evening snack or with south Indian meals to add variety. If you attend a south Indian wedding, there is a good chance that you will get to savour this delicacy with the wedding lunch.

India is also known for its street food culture. Dal Vadas find a place there too. Street vendors sell Vadas, Bhajjis ( fritters made with various vegetables) and other fried snacks in the evening. It is a common sight to find impatient people lining up outside the shops of popular street-side vendors and waiting for the next batch of hot fried vadas, which they can then savour with their evening tea or coffee. As a fresh batch of vadas comes out of the hot oil, the vendor immediately starts serving the customers.

Dal Vada/ Masala Vada is traditionally served with coconut chutney. However, if you make them home, you can even serve them with tomato ketchup.

Let us start with the recipe:

Ingredients needed for making Dal Vada /Masala vada ( about 15):

  1. Chana Dal ( Split chickpea lentils): 1 cup
  2. Water: 2 cups
  3. Curry leaves: 10-15 ( to be crushed), 10-12 to be added later
  4. Fennel seeds: 1 tablespoon
  5. Dry Red Chillies: 4-5 ( you can increase or decrease as per your taste)
  6. Salt: 3/4 tablespoon
  7. Onion: 1 Big, chopped
  8. Oil: For deep frying

Method for making Dal vada/Masala Vada:

  1. Wash and soak the chickpea lentils in 2 cups of water for about 2 hours.

    Chana DalChana Dal
  2. Course grind curry leaves, fennel seeds and dry red chillies.

    spice mix for dal vada
  3. After 2 hours of soaking, separate the lentils from the leftover water. Don’t discard the water yet.

    Chana Dal
  4. Divide the lentils into two parts. Grind one part fine and add it to the spice mix made in step 2. While grinding, you will need to add water. Use the water that the lentils were soaked in. (Use only as much water as is needed to grind the lentils. Don’t use in excess).


  5. Course grind the 2nd part and add it to the mixture.


  6. Now mix everything. Add salt, onion and curry leaves. Mix well.


  7. The mixture should come together, and you should be able to shape them.


  8. Take small portions and shape them.

    dal vadadal vada
  9. Heat oil in a pan. On medium heat, fry the vadas.

    dal vadadal vada
  10. Remove them when golden brown and serve them with chutney or tomato ketchup.

    Dal vada

Tip: If at step 7, you see that the mixture is not coming together and is a bit crumbly, add a small amount of chickpea flour, mix and try shaping it. If it still doesn’t come together, add some more flour till you get the right consistency, i.e. add flour till you are able to shape the vadas easily.

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