medu vada recipe, how to make medu vada recipe | step by step

medu vada: medu vada recipe, south indian medu vada recipe

medu vada recipe with step by step photos – medu vada is one of my favorite snack. medu vada is one snack i loved as a kid and still do. i especially like it dunked in hot sambar with coconut chutney by the side.

whenever we would go to any udipi or kerala restaurants in mumbai, i would order either vada sambar or masala dosa. these two were always on my top list of south indian snacks.

i love all south indian snacks and back with mom and dad, i am having a good time to have my favorite south indian breakfast tiffin snacks like dosa, rava dosa, appams and of course my top favorite medu vada.

mom made this for brunch and i happily captured the pics. we had medu vada with the kerala sambar and coconut chutney.

i did not take the pics of her soaking the lentils and grinding it, as i was sleeping when she did all that. i am not an early morning person and sometimes can get up very very late in the day. so all i have is the cooking pics and not the preparation pics. i have taken plain simple shots of the recipe without any styling or anything.

vada sambar

medu vada is one of the easiest snack to make. if you have left over sambar and don’t know what to do… just make the medu vadas… dip into the sambar and enjoy…

if there is no sambar, then too you can have the medu vadas with coconut chutney or even with mint coriander chutney or tomato sauce. you could use any dip of your choice… may be even a tahini dip or any cheesy dip will be great…

lets begin step by step medu vada recipe:

1. soak the urad dal /skinned black gram for 4 -5 hours. you could also soak these overnight. drain and grind the urad dal to a smooth batter. avoid adding any water while grinding. in the food processor its easy to grind without water, but in the grinder jar, you will have to add some water. then add very little water. the batter should be fluffy, thick and not liquidy. a quick tip is to add a few drops of batter in a bowl of water. the batter drops should float. if they float and do not get dissolved, then thats the right consistency.

add these herbs and spices to the batter – cumin seeds, black peppercorns, chopped curry leaves, chopped coriander leaves, chopped coconut pieces, chopped green chili, chopped ginger and chopped onions. you can add all of these or a combination of these spices and herbs. add salt to the batter. mix the batter with the herbs, spices and salt. you do not have to ferment the batter. you can use it right away. my mom kept it simple and just added cumin seeds.

medu vada batter

2. mom added some semolina to half of the batter and that you can easily make out from the final medu vada pics.

heat oil for deep frying the medu vadas. take a bowl of water. apply some water from the bowl on both your hands. take some batter in your right hand from the bowl. give it a round shape. with your thumb make a hole in the center. you can also use banana leaves or zip loc bags to give the vada its shape.

shaping medu vada

3. slid the vada into the hot oil. make vadas like these and slid into the oil. as i have mentioned above, you can also use banana leaf to make the vadas. but not everyone has access to a banana leaf or banana plant growing in their garden. so you can use the above technique. if you really do not care about appearance of the donut shape of the medu vada, then just drop spoonfuls of the batter directly in the oil.

frying medu vada

4. fry the medu vadas till crisp and golden browned.

frying medu vada

5. remove with a slotted spoon and drain medu vadas on kitchen tissues to remove excess oil.

ready medu vada

6. fry all the medu vadas this way.  serve medu vada hot or warm with sambar and coconut chutney. enjoy.

medu vada recipe

if you are looking for more south indian snacks then do check vada recipemysore bondasweet paniyaram, soft idlisappam recipe without yeast and upma recipe.

medu vada recipe below:

4.6 from 10 reviews
medu vada recipe
medu vada - crisp and fried dough nuts made from black grams.
RECIPE TYPE: breakfast, snacks
CUISINE: south indian
SERVES: 10-12 medu vadas
INGREDIENTS (measuring cup used, 1 cup = 250 ml)
  • 2 cups urad dal/skinned split black gram
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns, whole or crushed (optional)
  • 1 or 2 sprig curry leaves, chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 or 2 green chili, chopped
  • 1 tbsp chopped ginger
  • ½ cup chopped coconut pieces (optional)
  • few sprigs of coriander leaves, chopped (optional)
  • salt to taste
  • oil for deep frying
  • some water if needed to make the batter
  1. soak the urad dal for 4 hours or overnight.
  2. grind the soaked dal to a smooth batter with little water if required.
  3. if the batter becomes watery, then the instant relief would be to add some semolina or urad dal flour to it. otherwise also you could add some semolina to the batter.
  4. add the spices, herbs, onions and salt.
  5. heat oil.
  6. make the vadas as described above.
  7. gently slid the vadas in to the oil.
  8. the oil should be not very hot, but mediumly hot.
  9. you want the vadas to be cooked from inside.
  10. very hot oil will quickly brown the vadas from outside but they will remain uncooked from inside... so slow and steady wins the race here :-)
  11. fry all the medu vadas this way till they become evenly browned and crisp.
  12. drain medu vadas on kitchen tissue to remove excess oil.
  13. serve the medu vadas, hot or warm with sambar and coconut chutney.
when making medu vada for fasting, then don't add onions.

{ 76 Responses }

  1. Pratibha Singh says

    Hello…thnk u soo much fr ol d lovely receipi …u explain everything vry nicely. .n especially ur explanation with step by step images make everything easy..well m in graduation bt only bczz of ur site. .I ll able to make each n everything. .thnqqqqqqq sooo much:-):-)

  2. Rohit says

    Well, this is getting predictable. Oh yes, yet another brilliant success story. 😀 The recipe is food Luddite proof given the water floating test. It was great fun adding a few drops and grinding until finally, at last, the floating happened. If only there was such a test for the fermented batters….I could graduate the idli, dosa and appam classes with honours instantly without so much homework. Vadas are sooooooo easy, especially when you have Dassana teaching you from her virtual kitchen. With her help I now have my PhD in Vada management – after only one class!
    So were they any good? Well let’s see if the empirical evidence stands up in court. “So Dr Vada, did you or did you not serve your wife Vadas with coriander chutney? Also with yoghurt and Imli?” Yes your honour she had Dahi Vada, I drowned it in yoghurt and drenched it in imli sauce. She then proceeded straight away to drown another in coriander chutney.” “Hmmm and did you bring any Vadas for me to taste?” “No your honour they were all gone, I turned around and all 10 were missing.” Hmmm, unacceptable, I sentence you to cook 30 Vadas a month for your wife.” 😨

    • says

      thank you rohit as always. the way you write is really good and brings a smile every time i read your comment. the water floating test is the true test to check the consistency of the batter. for the fermented batters, there is no such test. its just practice and experience that is needed for the fermented batters.

  3. srikanth says

    What is the oil used to make .which one makes less absorb .is it groundnut or sunflower oil

  4. Gauri Usgaonker says

    Hello, I recently started cooking and most of my learning has come from your site as that’s the first one which pops up when I type any recipe name in Google. So thanks for your guidance.
    Anyway I made medu wadas today following your exact recipe, but they turned out hard, I had soaked whole skinned urad dal for about 11 hours, what could have gone wrong?

  5. Gary Kulkarni says

    Hello Dassana and Amit.
    First of all. let me congratulate you both on your excellent website and the pleasure, and knowledge, it has given to millions. 😉
    Next, … I am so old, that when I first came across your name …. the first thing I could think of was ….. ‘thats more than half a rupee – Dus anna is more than 8 annas !’ . Old joke.
    Today, is March 14, 2015. Saturday. …. in the US known as ‘Pi’ day. Because Pi = 3.14 15 926 53 hence under the US convention – 3/14 – the 14th of March, (20)15, at 9.26 am, and 53 seconds past.
    Anyway, at 4 am this morning I decided I wanted to make Medu Vada. I have not made it in 4 years because my wife hates oily fried food, with a passion. But I had dreamt of it, last night, so I woke up surreptiously, like a cat, and went downstairs to use a Gits mixture for the vadai. The Gits packet was outdated, by 3 years, so useless, and I decided to make it ‘from scratch’. My wife wakes up at 4 am everyday, to go to work – but today, being a Saturday, she was still asleep snoring like a cat in catnip heaven. Since it is -8oC outside, I warmed a bowl of water and soaked 2 cups of split urad dal, and waited for an hour. Meanwhile I made some sambar with 3 pounds of exotic indian vegetables like ridged gourd (luffa – turai, turiya )and shallots and tendli (ivy gourd) and made a good sambar. Then I read and followed your recipe , ground the urid, added hing, ginger and green chillies, and fried in hot oil. And it came out great.
    Then I rushed upstairs, and woke the wife, and gave her the steaming dish. Then I asked her.’Honey, how does it taste?’….. she ignored my question and asked one of her own,’How much peeth (dough) did you make?’. That line is worth a paragraph …..
    It means – I really dont care about how good the food is —- but I KNOW you probably made a tonne of it and we’ll be eating medu vadas, out of our nose, for the next 6 weeks, ….. until we are sick to death, and I will have to make a garland of vadas and wind it around your wretched neck, and hang you upside down ….. After 35 years of married life, my wife has superlative ESP…
    Enjoy the rest of the day, and the coming week. ;-D)

    • says

      thanks gary ji for this sweet as well as humorous comment. i must say you are a good writer for someone who likes to read in leisure with a cup of tea. your comment reminded me of my grand father who use to tell that there use to be 16 annas in one rupee… and from 1 rupee or few annas how much ‘mun’ (unit for measurement) of flour or rice could be bought in good old days. women are always practical as far as household things are concerned. wishing both of you a nice day.

      • Gary Kulkarni says

        Dear Dassana,
        Thank you for your reply and also for not deleting my post …lol. ;-D) I nearly deleted my own post, because it appeared to be so irrelevant and irreverent of your blog. ….. ^_^ ….. Despite of what I wrote yesterday, I am very appreciative and very much in love with my wife – and I think I am the luckiest man in the world, SOLELY because of her.

        I was born in independent India, and until a few years ago, when I started losing my eyesight (long story – ) – I was an avid collector of old Indian coins and currency notes. I have all the original coins that were issued pre-independence and post- indep and also a Bombay mint issue that was a commemorative of the actual independence (day – )of India – which says ‘Jai Hind’ , on the obverse and reverse sides, and was distributed free to all the schoolchildren, in the schools, on that day, 8/15/1947. I also have 10 and 20 Cash (Kasu) coins from Madras, of the East indian co. ( Yes, ‘cash’ was a tamilian east india co. coin – ) and also a ‘Chukram’ ( a coin from the esrtwhile Travancore state). One Travancore Rupee = 7 Fanams , 1 Fanam = 4 Chuckrams, 1 Chuckram = 16 Cash. Plus to make it more complicated, One British India Rupee = 28 Chakram 8 cash. (!!!) …. and One Travancore Rupee =15 annas and 6.83 pies of British India. (per Wikipedia – ).

        No wonder indians have to be so good in math and addition and subtraction. ;-D))

        Have a great week, and continued good wishes for your website and blog.

        • says

          welcome gary ji. i found your comment interesting. previous comment will be appreciated by many foodies so how can i delete it. the coins which u have collected is antique now. most of us have no idea about the old style currency and coins. i liked reading it. i hope someone from your generation pen down all this interesting info so that its not lost. i must say again, you have a good style of writing.

  6. Madhusudhan says

    What makes idli vada and sambar great is, idli must be grainer (use idli rice/rawa), Vada must be less dense and more crispy so that it can soak in sambar.
    There are many techniques to attain this for example, always grind urad dal using stone wet grinder, this ensures pluffy consistency of batter.
    Adding cooking soda or semolina gives crispness.
    Another technique is deep frying twice.

    • says

      thanks for these tips and suggestions madhusudhan. i have a stome wet grinder now and it does make a lot of difference to the idlis and dosa texture when grinding urad dal. the same fluffiness can be achieved in a mixer-grinder. for medu vada i use the regular mixer-grinder to grind urad dal, but for dosa and idli i use the stone grinder. agree on cooking soda and semolina. deep frying twice is new to me. never tried this way.

  7. mini pillai says

    Thee recipe sounds really good. but when I tried to make them fluffy the. vada turns out flat. do I have to add yeast to the batter..If so. then how much?

  8. shubhangi says

    Medu vada was very tasty and nice..thank u so much..i tried ur lauki ka halwa reciepe ws very yummy…

  9. Vaishali says

    Hi thanku for all ur recepies i am newly married and new to kitchen and ur blog always help me in all kind of recepies

  10. Shruthi says

    Hi Dasanna
    Messaging you just having a plateful of yummy vadas…turned out perfect. I tried makng the doughnut shaped vadas. But I guess, its not my forte. Hence, settled for the spoon version :)

  11. Supriya says

    Hi dassana, very nice receipe I tried at home.. It’s really tasty..
    Only issue is with the shape of the vadas which I couldn’t get as in the pics showed.
    If you could tell little bit any tricks on getting the proper shape would be really great.
    Anyways thank you so much for the receipe

    • says

      thanks supriya. what i do is i apply some water on my palms. then take a portion of the batter and using both the palms, i give it a round shape. then just press the thumb of the right hand in the center of the batter, which is in my right palm and slowly slid the vada in the oil. but this method is a bit complicated. so you can take a zip lock bag or a banana leaf cut out. smear some oil on either the zip lock bag or the banana leaf. place some batter on it and flatten & shape it round with your hands. apply some water on your hands when doing so. then make an a dent in center. then slid the uncooked medu vada in the oil. if you cannot do any of the above, then just take the batter with a spoon and fry them.

  12. nalini says

    Hi. Thks for telng thz receip. I Staying in south india u hv tld a perfect receipe which v make. Bt i hv a doubt tht hw those vadas wil become crispy. Shal i mix anythg in tht plz suggest me

  13. MARIMUTHU says


    • says

      medu vada won’t stay crisp if you keep them for 3 hours. at the most you can just keep them in a foil or a in casserole. they will be soft but the crispness won’t be there.

  14. suhani says

    Hi I made medhu vadas today and they were awesome..I could get exactlythesame as urs..thanks for the clear instructions..

  15. Kashyap says

    If u can plz give this ans??
    We have to soak first urad daL or after grinding.?
    My usually do it after grinding?

  16. Laxmi says

    Hi Dassana,
    You explained this very clearly
    I loved ur photos as always
    Please clarify a doubt. I have to make a large batch early morning soon
    Can i make the batter the night previous and refrigerate it and just fry it in the morning
    I am concerned it may absorb too much oil

    Many thanks

    • says

      you can make the batter and refrigerate it. let the batter come to room temperature before frying. it won’t absorb too much oil.

  17. shifa says

    I am following your veg recipes , good job :)
    I tried Medu vada but it turned out very hard following your recipe . can you tell me where i must have gone worng ? thanks

    • says

      hi shifa, for how long did you soak the urad dal. the longer they are soaked the fluffier the batter gets while grinding and the medu vadas become soft. since its winter time, i would suggest to soak the dal for a few hours more. i have experience of cooking medu vadas often. when i soak them for 1 or 2 hours, the vadas don’t become soft. when i soak them for 4-5 hours, they are soft and they are too good when i soak them overnight.

  18. Smita says

    Hi Dassana,
    …. Could you let me know the secret to soft medu vadas… mine always turn hard after sometime

    • says

      there are few tips that i can share that will make the vadas soft:

      1: soak the urad dal for a good amount of time.
      2: overnight soaking is the best. i have seen that when i soak the urad dal overnight, the medu vadas turn out really soft, then when i soak them for 3-4 hours.
      3: if possible then avoid water if you can or add very less water just to aid the grinding process.
      4: while grinding, add water in batches in between the grinding process. this incorporates more air in the batter.
      5: also stir & scrape the batter from the sides in the grinder in between grinding.
      6: you can also keep the batter for 30 min or 45 min at room temperature to make them more soft.

      i hope these tips help.

  19. suhani says

    hi dassana…i couldnt make the wadas as ur pics depicts as i couldnt make a hole in between and drop the wadas in the oil right my wadas were in a very bad shape..although the taste was good..anyways i’ll try next time..

    • says

      even i cannot do it properly. my mom is an expert in making the vadas and i cannot even come close to the way she shapes and makes them. i usually just spoon the batter in the oil and fry them. anyways there is a always a next time :-)

  20. sunita sil says

    When is your recipe for sambar going to cpm i am waiting coz whenever i make it turns out miserably horrible.pls do give sambar post
    take care

  21. Anjum Monteiro says

    Gosh I have never seen such awesome pixs of the medu vadas and the receipe is also given so beautifully my fly and myself live in NZ and its so expensive to buy these from Indian shops hope I can make them for my fly. Thank you so much for them . Going to try out the idlis too as we just love south indian food and miss it so much.Just waiting to go home and make all this for this weekend.

    • says

      thanks anjum. i know even abroad a plate of samosa costs too much. here one plate of samosa is 10 or 15 Rs, if you buy from a sweet shop. but the same plate of samosa will cost around 50 Rs with taxes etc in cafe coffee day outlets.

      its always better to make snacks like these at home. do lemme know how the medu vadas turned out.

      • Vinutha says


        Thank you for the recipe. I had tried this recipe some time back and it had come out very well. . But this time I don’t know what happened, I slowly placed the batter in the oil and after couple of minutes the Vada started breaking and oil started spluttering all over. I turned off the stove and got scared so much that I gave up doing it. I had used wet grinder to grind it and started making it after keeping the batter for 30 minutes. The batter was super soft and fluff. Do you know what could have gone wrong with it?

        • says

          welcome vinutha. the batter has to be thick. it has become thin. thats why the vada was breaking in the oil. to correct the consistency of batter you could have added some rice flour or rava to it. after that you could have made the vadas. such things happen while cooking.