Mendu Vada

Medu vada (ulundu vadai) is a traditional dish from South Indian cuisine served with coconut chutney and Sambhar as a popular breakfast in most of the Indian restaurants. This crispy deep fried snack is made from urad dal (black gram lentils) and a few basic spices like cumin seeds, black peppercorns, curry leaves and green chillies. The process of making hotel style vadas at home is not difficult once you know the trick to get the perfect consistency of batter.

Before making vadas, don’t forget to read the recipe with detailed tips section to make them perfect.

In the Indian cuisine, we have myriad types of vada. They all have different recipes and methods of preparation. The lentils are soaked and then ground to make a batter. In some variations like batata vada the batter is made from dry gram flour rather than whole lentils.

Medu vada is one of my favorite snacks of all time. I loved them as a kid, and they clearly withstand the test of time because they are still one of my most beloved dishes. I love most South Indian snacks because they remind me of my growing up days.

The hero ingredient here is urad dal (skinned black gram), but the herbs and spices also add a savory and spicy quality to these fritters that is absolutely addictive. The hotel-style medu vada also includes onions, which lend a lovely sweetness.

NOTE: If you are making these for kids, you can consider adding extra veggies like grated carrots, shredded cabbage, or grated beetroot to sneak in a little extra nutrition. Hidden vegetables are still vegetables!

I especially like serving the crispy, fluffy medu vada the traditional way: dunked in hot sambar with coconut chutney by the side. This popular, satisfying meal that is also called sambar vada with coconut chutney is very famous all over India. It tastes awesome, so is loved by many.

Whenever I make medu vada, I go the extra length to make sambar. While you’re free to serve them with only coconut chutney, vada sambar is one of those joyful foods that bring up many wonderful memories.


– 2 cups urad dal

– curry leaves

– 2 tbsp of rice flour 

– cumin seeds 

– salt as per taste

– chopped chilies 

– oil for frying


1. Take 2 cups of urad dal. Wash it well and rinse it and soak it for 4 hours. After 4 hours drain all the water from urad dal. 

2. Transfer the drained dal into blender. Add chopped chilies, ginger and curry leaves. You can add curry leave after grind it. 

3. Grind the urad dal and do not add water. Add water only if needed. Grind the dal nice and smooth. When it’s done transfer the batter into bowl.

4. Add salt into this. Cumin seeds and 2 tbsp of rice flour. Now whisk the batter for 2 to 5 minutes until you see the batter gets light. 

5. Prep oil for deep frying. Now wet your palm, take small medium batter and carefully make a whole in it and slowly put into hot oil. Now deep fry on medium flame. Deep fry until you see golden crispy vadas.

6. Serve these delicious Vadas with Sambhar and Chutney.

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