Medu Vada is a South Indian fritter made from urad dal (split skinned black gram). It is a doughnut shaped fritter with a crispy exterior and a fluffy-soft interior. Medu means soft and vada means round fritter. People mostly enjoy Medu vada with Sambhar and Coconut Chutney; and some enjoy with Idli or Masala Dosa as well. But I love these delicious Medu vadas on their own, or sometimes with coconut chutney and coffee!
I was always hesitant in trying these doughtnut shaped Medu vadas as I was not sure how to give them the perfect shape and the texture. So whenever we craved for these crispy, soft Medu vada, we went to a South Indian restaurant.
The person who made me overcome my fear is Piriya, my daughter’s dance teacher. She happened to share with me some of her homemade delicacies including Medu vada. All of them yummy but her Medu vada just won my heart! I asked her how she made those sumptuous Medu vadas, she said it is very easy and gave me the recipe. She also encouraged me and assured me that I can do it.
After Piriya’s encouragement, I pushed myself and tried Medu vada for the first time. Honestly speaking, I was over the moon- it was just perfect in taste and in texture! Although getting the doughnut shape was a bit tricky, I got it after frying 3-4 vadas.
Medu vada’s recipe is very simple but the consistency of the batter is the key part. If your batter consistency is not right then your medu vada would not be soft inside. And don’t worry about the shape, you will get it after trying a few vadas.
So let’s start making our Medu vadas 🙂
The ingredients for making Medu vada are:
- Urad dal (split, skinned black gram): 2 cups
- Onion: 1 big
- Green Chilli: 2
- Ginger: 1/2 tsp
- Black pepper: 1/2 tsp
- Cumin seeds: 1 tsp
- Curry leaves: 10-12
- Salt: as per taste
Wash the urad dal 4-5 times and soak it overnight.
Then drain all the water out and grind the urad dal without water or with 1-2 Tbsp of water in the grinder. The batter should be thick in consistency, so be careful while adding water to it.
Now take this ground dal into a big bowl and beat it continuously for two minutes.
Now check the consistency of the batter whether it is correct or not. The batter should be well aerated and thick.
Consistency test: Do this test to check the consistency of your batter. Take water in a bowl/glass, put a drop of batter into the water; if it floats it means your batter is perfect to make Medu vada. If the batter sinks in the water it means your batter is not ready, you need to beat the batter for some more time and make it more aerated.
Now chop the onions, green chilli and ginger and add it in to the dal batter. Then add black peppers, cumin seeds, curry leaves, salt and mix it well.
Heat oil in a wok. Then wet your hands, take a small dollop of the batter on your hands/fingers; make it round from another hand and make a hole in the centre as well. And then put this directly in the hot oil by shaking your fingers gently.
Fry these on a medium flame and flip it in between till it becomes golden brown in colour.
Your soft and crisy Medu Vada is ready to be devoured!!
Insider Tips / Finer Points:
- Be careful while adding water to grind the dal as we need a thick consistency batter.
- If your batter becomes thin or watery then add rice flour/urad dal powder/poha or suji (semolina) to make it thick.
- Always do the consistency test before starting to fry the medu vadas.
- Fry these medu vadas on medium flame only to get the crispy exterior and soft interior in your vadas.
- To give the proper shape, you can use a flat small steel bowl as well. Wet the bowl’s base with water, keep it upside down, put the batter on the base of the bowl and make the round shape, and then make a hole in the middle with your wet finger. Then slide that shaped batter into the hot oil, and keep making the round shape medu vada.
- You can also use your stainless steel sieve to give doughnut shape to your Medu Vada. Wet the sieve base in the water, turn it upside up, put the batter on that and make the shape; and then slide the shaped batter into the oil.
- If you want you can omit onions, the taste would be the same.
- To make it more spicy, feel free to add more green chilli/black pepper into the batter.