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Crispy Medu Vada (Ulundu Vadai)

 Published 2009-Jan-15   Updated 2020-Jul-27

- Submitted by Dahlia

(Medhu Vadai, Medu Vadai, Urad Dal Vada, Black Gram Vada, Crispy Ulunthu Vadai, மெது வடை, Uzhunnu Vada, Uddina Vada)

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Medhu vada or ulundu vada or urad dal vada is the third item in the trinity of idly, dosa and vada which has been popular in our country. It is the star of south Indian menu. Medhu (in Tamil meaning soft) vada is a fritter, resembling doughnuts, is crispier outside and soft inside. Vada is an absolutely necessary part of a Tamil lunch menu in weddings, festivals, puja days and many occasions. Medu Vada can be served as an evening snack along with a cup of hot tea or coffer. It can be also served as a side for south Indian breakfast dishes like idli, pongal, dosa, etc. along with chutney or sambar. This is a delicacy from the South Indian kitchen.

Recipe for Medu Vadai

Preparation time: 40 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves : 4


  • Split Black Gram (Urad dal) - 1 cup
  • Ginger - 1" piece (grated)
  • Green Chilies / Dry red chillies - 3-4 (finely chopped)
  • Crushed Black Pepper - 1/2 tsp
  • Asafoetida - a pinch
  • Curry leaves - 1-2 strands (leaves finely chopped)
  • Oil - for deep frying
  • Salt - to taste
  • Water - very little for grinding (app. 1/2 cup)

Optional Ingredients

  • Onion - 1/2 (chopped)
  • Cilantro - handful chopped
  • Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Any Vegetables - 1/2 cup
  • Coconut pieces


  1. Soak the urad dal overnight or a minimum of 1/2 an hour.
  2. Drain the water and grind the dal in grinder / blender / mixie using as little water as possible.

    Making Medu Vada at home Making Medu Vada at home

  3. Take this urad dal batter in a bowl and add required salt, grated ginger, green/red chillies, crushed pepper, asafoetida and chopped curry leaves.

    Making Medu Vada at home Making Medu Vada at home Making Medu Vada at home

  4. Optional:You could add in the optional ingredients too if you prefer. Mix the batter nicely.

    Making Medu Vada at home

  5. In the meantime, heat the oil for frying the vadas.
  6. To shape the vadas, wet your hand, take a small portion of batter on the palm your hand. Instead of hand you can also use a polythene paper
  7. Using the finger of your other hand or the thumb of the same hand, make a small hole in the center of the batter.

    Making Medu Vada at home Making Medu Vada at home

  8. Gently slide the batter into the hot oil. The hole helps in even cooking of the vadas inside and out. The vadas should be fried in medium heat.

    Making Medu Vada at home

  9. Once the vadas get golden brown on one side, flip it and cook the other side.
  10. Once the vada fully turns golden brown, remove it and let it rest on paper towels to remove excess oil.


  • The key aspect in the vada making is the grinding of the batter. Water should be added in drops in between. In case the batter becomes watery, add rice flour to the batter to get the right consistency.
  • Vadas need to be fried immediately after grinding, as keeping it out for long time would result in fermentation of the batter and make it watery.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve the hot medhu vadai with coconut chutney or sambar as an evening snack.
  • You can also server this vada with any south Indian breakfast items like idli, pongal etc.

Traditional Grand Tamilnadu Breakfast

Traditional grand Tamilnadu breakfast prepared and served during special occasions. Idli, dosa, pongee and medu vada with sambar and chutney.

Tamilnad Breakfast


  • You could sneak in any veggies to get different vadas like cabbage vadai, spinach (keera) vadai, carrot vadai, broccoli vadai etc.
  • With the left over vadas you can make other delicacies like curd vada, sambhar vada, rasam vada etc.
  • Diet watchers can do shallow frying in Kuzhipaniyaram pans. The ulundu Kuzhipaniyaram tastes the same like deep fried vada but with large reduction in oils.
  • MYSORE BONDA: This is yet another famous snack dish having its descendant from Karnataka. It is extremely easy to make. Add some fresh coconut bits in the vada batter and make small bondas and deep fry in oil. This is easy as we need not toil for the traditional vada shape and tastes as yummy as the vadas.

More Appetizer Recipes

Masala Vada Masala Vadai Vazhaipoo Vada Vazhaipoo Vadai Sambhar Vada Sambhar Vadai Dahi Balle Dahi Balle (Thayir Vadai)
See more ⟩⟩

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Comments (6)

Person   ()
Dear Dahlia, I tried this recipe last night for my husband (he is Indian, I am French) and it came out delicious!! I use a food processor to grind the batter with very little water and it was light and crispy. Thank you for your recipes ;-)
Person   ()
Awesome Cecilia. Good to hear that the vadas came out good for you. Even many Indians are reluctant to try it. Try out other recipes and share your comments.
Person   ()
I tried the recipe but the vada became harder to chew😁 so hw to correct it
Person   ()
Be very careful while preparing the batter. It needs to be light and fluffy. The best results come while grinding in a stone grinder. If you use a mixie or blender, be careful that the jar doesn't get very hot. Only then the vadas come out soft and crispy.
Person   ()
Can we bake this too just like corn vadai ???
Person   ()
Unfortunately no.. The batter is little more liquidy than the corn vadai batter.. so i haven't tried baking.. i have a fried who shallow fries them in kizhipaniyaram plate..

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 Published by on and last updated on 2020-07-27.