Masala Vadai

This month being Purataasi, it’s been raining vadai, pongal and payasam every Saturday. Masala vadai is an all-time favourite and a classic Tamil dish (I have done no research into this, I just feel it in my bones. If it’s not, don’t sue me). Have you seen these masala vadais stacked high at tea stalls? Those vadais are usually much bigger and thicker. The ones we make at home are thinner which means they’re crisper and tastier. I enjoy the vadai-patting and frying routine. It’s a very comforting, typical Tamil-woman exercise (remember the Paati-vadai-Crow story).

masala vada,masala vadai

Masala vadais are much quicker and easier than the medhu vadais. The dal needs to soak just for a couple of hours, so you needn’t kick yourself you didn’t do the soaking the previous night. These masala vadais are much easier to shape too. Just remember not to add water to the vadai mixture at any point during grinding or at any other time. This is a firm vadai mixture. These vadais make great snacks along with a hot cup of coffee or tea. I am sending these masala vadais to Srivalli’s Blogging Marathon #33 for the theme Kid’s Delight.

masala vada,masala vadai

Prep time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 15 mins
Makes: 20 vadais


Channa dal /Kadalai paruppu – 1-1/2 cups rinsed and soaked in water for 2 hours
Onions – 2 chopped fine
Green chillies – 3 chopped fine
Garlic – 5 pods with peel
Fennel seeds/Sombu/Saunf – 2 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying


1.      Rinse channa dal in 2-3 changes of water till the water runs clear. Soak in water for 2 hours. Then drain the water and retain the dal. Pulse the dal in a mixer grinder to a coarse mixture. Don’t add water. Make sure not to grind it too smooth. It has to be a little uneven and a few dals may still be whole. This is how we want it. Remove onto a bowl.

2.      Add the garlic and fennel seeds to the small jar of the mixer grinder and pulse till it is crushed roughly but is not a smooth paste. Again do not add water.

3.      Throw in the chopped onions, crushed garlic mixture and the chopped green chillies. Season with salt. Mix well with your hands so it is properly incorporated.

4.      Heat oil in a kadai/skillet. Pinch a lime sized ball of the vadai mixture and pat into a round thinnish disc. When oil is hot, slide the vadai into the oil. Make 3-4 more vadais and slide into oil. Don’t crowd the skillet. Deep fry till golden on all sides. Remove on to absorbent paper. Serve hot.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#33


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