Prep Time : 4 hrs
Cook Time : 40 mins
Total Time : 4 hrs 40 mins
- 1 cup urad dal (husked and split or whole black gram) – 200 grams
- 2.5 to 3 cups water – for soaking
- 3 to 4 tablespoons water – for grinding or blending lentils
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- ½ teaspoon black peppercorns whole or crushed
- 1 tablespoon chopped curry leaves or 7 to 8 curry leaves
- ⅓ cup finely chopped onions – optional
- 1 teaspoon chopped green chilies or 1 to 2 green chilies
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
- 1 pinch asafoetida (hing) – optional
- ¼ cup chopped coconut pieces – optional
- 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves – optional
- ½ teaspoon salt or as required
- oil for deep frying, as required
Making Vada Batter
Rinse urad dal a couple of times in fresh water. Then soak the lentils for 4 hours or overnight.
Grind or blend the soaked lentils to a smooth batter with water.
If the batter becomes watery, then the instant relief would be to add some semolina or urad dal flour or rice flour to it.
Add all the spices, herbs and salt. Mix well.
Take a bowl of water. Apply some water from the bowl on both your palms. Take some batter in your right hand from the bowl. Give it a round shape by moving it around.
With your thumb make a hole in the center. You can also use banana leaves or zip lock bags to give the medu vada its doughnut shape.
Frying Medu Vada
In a kadai (wok) or pan heat oil for deep frying. Keep the heat to medium.
Once the oil becomes hot, slid the vada gently and carefully into the hot oil.
Shape the batter this way and gently slid them in the oil. Don’t overcrowd the kadai or pan with the vada.
Once the vada is slightly golden then gently turn over with a slotted spoon and continue to fry.
Fry them till crisp and golden. The oil should be not very hot, but medium hot. You want the vadas to be cooked from inside. Very hot oil will quickly brown the vadas from outside but they will remain uncooked from inside. Less hot oil will make the medu vada to absorb too much oil. Even if the batter is thin then also the medu vadas will absorb too much oil.
Fry all the medu vada this way till they become evenly browned and crisp.
Drain them on kitchen tissue to remove excess oil.
Serve the medhu vadai, hot or warm with sambar and coconut chutney. It can also be served with other dips like mint chutney, coriander chutney, tomato sauce or onion chutney, tomato chutney etc.
One of the best combination is sambar vada where these medu vadai are dunked in piping hot sambar and served with a side of coconut chutney. This vada sambar meal is finished with steaming hot filter coffee.