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Masala Vada (Channa Dal Vada)

 Published 2012-May-15   Updated 2018-Feb-27

- Submitted by Dahlia

(Paruppu Vadai, Parippu Vada, Masal Vada)

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We had been to my cousin’s house this weekend. I love the atmosphere. Snce both our parents are living far off, we often visited this nearby cousins house as a picnic spot.The campus is in the outskirts of the city. Our kids love to meet their cousins and play. On one such vivits, ss we were all having a chat, she got a bowl full of hot, crispy, aromatic Masala vadas. It was just amazing to have them with some hot Masala Chai. The chit chat and hotly served Masala vadas made the trip quite memorable.

Masala Vadas are made with a mixture of gram dal, spices and other ingredients. These are also called Kadalai Paruppu Vadai. Together these make the vadas crispy on the outside and tasty on the inside. I smelled all the secret ingredients in the vadas and I asked her for the recipe. Though Masala Vadas are fried, it is better than having the puffs with daldas and chips with preservatives. These were the country side evening snacks that grandmas used to make for the kids. It can be made for tea time or can be made as a side for rice. Different chopped vegetables can be added to add to the nutritious value. Overall it is a must try recipe.

Recipe For Masala Vada

Preparation Time : 2 hours (including soaking time)
Cooking Time : 30 minutes
Serves : 6-8


  • Bengal Gram (Channa Dal/ Kadala Paruppu) - 2 cups
  • Onion - 1 big (chopped - optional)
  • Garlic - 2-3 cloves (optional)
  • Ginger - a small piece
  • Dry Red Chillies - 3-4
  • Fennel Seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Curry Leaves - 2 springs
  • Asafoetida - 1/8 tsp
  • Salt - to taste
  • Oil - for deep frying


  1. Wash and soak the bengal gram in water for atleast half an hour. It is better if you are able to soak for an hour or 2.
  2. Drain the water completely. Take the soaked dal, garlic, ginger, dry red chillies, curry leaves, salt and fennel seeds in a blender/ mixie. 
  3. Pulse it a few times till the mixture is partially ground. We need some texture in the batter. Do not add any water. The dal must have absorbed enough water for grinding.
  4. Heat oil for deep frying in a frying pan/ kadai.
  5. Mix the chopped onions (if needed) with the vada batter.

    Masala Vada Step

  6. Take a small ball of the batter and flatten it between your palm. 
  7. Drop the flattened vada into the hot oil and fry till it becomes golden brown.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve these vadas with a hot cup of ginger cardamom tea for a satisfying snack on a cold or rainy evening.
  • You can also serve it as a side-dish with rice and some curry, pongal, idli etc.


  • If you prefer crispier vadas, make small sized vadas and fry for a little longer.
  • Some people add 1 or 2 spoons of green peas along with channa dal while soaking.
  • Leftover vadais can be used to make Vada Curry.
  • You can also add some veggies to the vada batter. Some of the common veggie vadais are spinach vada, corn vada, cabbage vada, beetroot vada, carrot vada and mixed vegetable vadai.

Mixed Vegetable Vadai

vegetable vadai

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Comments (6)

Person   ()
Can I bake them in the mini muffin tray?
Person   ()
yes you can. but the taste of fried and baked ones are very different.
Person   ()
for making rasam /sambar vadai more tastier, one uncle told me to follow this step.
Prepare rasam and keep it ready. make medu vadas and immediately after removing it from the frying pan, we must put in rasam/sambar. this tastes too good than the one we put it in sambar/rasan when the vadas becomes cold.

i tried this step and really the taste was different.
Person   ()
left over vadas can be put in moru kootan/sambar/rasam or

grated coconut, green chilli, mustard seeds, jeera, hing powder, salt grind together and add little curd in it. temper with mustard seeds and urid dal, curry leaves. soak the vada in this refrigerate serve chilled.
Person   ()
Great tips. I remember doing this during hostel days. We used to take vadas from evening snacks and enjoy it by soaking it in curd or rasam for dinner.
Person   ()
hi Dahlia

my neighbour aunty used to give me this whenever there is a function in her house. it is too yummy. i love this. but i have to control myself as the fried items are banned for myself and my hubby. but chori chori chupke chupke once in a month a piece of fried item goes inside the tummy. but we are health conscious.

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 Published by on and last updated on 2018-02-27.