Cabbage Vada (Cabbage Vadai)

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The Indian food scene is blessed with a variety of snacks, of which deep-fried ones are everyone’s favorite. It’s very difficult to find an Indian who would not want to indulge in them! Cabbage Vada, more popularly known as Cabbage Dal Vadai in South India is one such yummy deep-fried snack. The main ingredients in this are ground lentils and cabbage, of course. This is my take on the Cabbage Vada recipe.

cabbage vada with a two leaf sprig of curry leaves served on a white plate with tomato chutney in white bowl in the background

More on this Cabbage Vada

Vada are a category of deep fried savory snacks made with lentil batter and flours, vegetables and sago or sometimes a combination of these. Some vada versions include Dal Vada | Masala Vada, Batata Vada, Medu Vada, Sabudana Vada, Maddur Vada, this Cabbage Vada and more.

This Cabbage Vada recipe is my version, which is inspired from the famous South Indian snack of dal vada. While the dal vada is made with hulled and split brown chickpeas/Bengal gram or chana dal, the Cabbage Vadai is made with a mixture of both ground black gram (urad dal) and chana dal along with fresh cabbage.  

The chana dal makes the Cabbage Vada crisp and the urad dal contributes to the soft texture. I make these vadas with both purple as well as green cabbage. After preparing these vadas, if you have some leftover cabbage, you can also prepare these Cabbage Pakoda.

The best vadas are prepared by soaking the lentils or dals overnight. By doing so, the vadas will be soft and have a porous texture to them. Addition of ginger and green chili adds the essential spice factor to this Cabbage Dal Vadai.

Though this Cabbage Vada recipe is a no onion, no garlic one, you can also make it with onions. Even chopped carrots can be added to the vada mixture.

Serve these with a lovely green chutney, coconut chutney, tomato sauce, sambar or rasam by the side. A cup of tea also pairs great with Cabbage Vadai.

Step-by-Step Guide

How to make Cabbage Vada

Preparation

1. Rinse and soak ½ cup urad dal and ½ cup chana dal in enough water overnight or at least for 4 to 5 hours. Then drain the lentils.

soaking urad dal and chana dal in water

2. Add the lentils in the grinder jar along with ½ teaspoon black pepper, ½ teaspoon fennel seeds, ½ teaspoon cumin seeds and 1 pinch asafoetida. You can also add these spices whole to the batter, instead of grinding them.

adding black pepper, fennel seeds, cumin seeds and asafoetida to lentils in grinder jar

3. Add very less water (I added about 4 tablespoons water) and grind to a smooth, fine and fluffy batter. Set aside.

grinding the lentils and spices with some water

4. Chop cabbage, 1 inch ginger, 1 or 2 green chilies and coriander leaves. I have added purple cabbage, you can also use green cabbage.

chopping cabbage, ginger, green chilies and coriander leaves

5. Add the chopped cabbage, coriander leaves, ginger, green chilies, 2 teaspoons chopped curry leaves (optional) and salt as required to the vada batter.

adding chopped vegetables, chopped curry leaves and salt to vada batter

6. Mix everything very well and keep aside.

mixing the vada batter

Fry Cabbage Vada

7. Heat sufficient oil in a kadai. Drop spoonfuls of the batter in medium hot oil. If you have ground the lentils to a thick batter, you can flatten them and shape into round patties like the traditional Dal Vadai.

frying cabbage vadas in hot oil

8. When one side is partly cooked and pale golden, turn over and continue frying.

frying cabbage vadas in hot oil

9. Fry till golden brown and crisp.

frying cabbage vadas in hot oil

10. Drain the vadas on paper towel to remove excess oil.

draining fried vadas on kitchen towel

11. Serve Cabbage Vada hot or warm with mint chutney, coconut chutney or sambar and rasam.

cabbage vada with a two leaf sprig of curry leaves served on a white plate

Expert Tips

  1. Soaking: It is best to soak the dal/lentils overnight as this makes the vadas soft and gives a porous texture to them.
  2. Ingredients: Use lentils that are within their shelf life and fresh. Do not use aged lentils as they might spoil the taste. Whole spices can be added to the batter, instead of ground ones. Feel free to reduce or omit the spices according to your preferences. But do not omit ginger and cumin seeds as they help in digestion.
  3. Gluten-free option: To make a gluten-free version, skip the asafoetida or add gluten-free asafoetida.
  4. Variations: You can add onions or chopped carrots to the vada mixture. While preparing these without onions during festivals, you can add a generous pinch of asafoetida to mimic the onion flavor. The Cabbage Vada can also be made with only urad dal or chana dal.

FAQs

Can I bake these Cabbage Vadas?

Yes, you can. Bake at 180 degree Celsius till crisp and brown. Baking the vadas will give them a unique texture and taste.

Why am I getting oily vadas inspite of draining them on the kitchen towel?

Make sure to fry the vadas on medium to hot oil. Also, make sure that the batter does not have a lot of water in it. If there is more water in the batter, the vada will absorb more oil.

Can I add coconut pieces in this Cabbage Vada?

Yes, you can definitely add coconut pieces.

More Indian Snacks To Try!

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cabbage vada with a two leaf sprig of curry leaves served on a white plate

Cabbage Vada

Cabbage Dal Vadai is a crispy deep fried snack made with finely chopped cabbage, herbs, spices and ground lentils.
4.75 from 4 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Soaking Time For Lentils 5 hrs
Total Time 5 hrs 35 mins
Cuisine South Indian, Tamil Nadu
Course Snacks
Diet Vegan
Difficulty Level Moderate
Servings 3
Units

Ingredients

  • ½ cup chana dal (spilt and husked bengal gram)
  • ½ cup urad dal (spilt and husked black gram)
  • 4 tablespoons water or as needed to grind or blend the batter
  • 2 cups finely chopped cabbage (purple or green)
  • 1 or 2 green chili – chopped or ½ to 1 teaspoon chopped green chillies
  • 1 inch ginger – finely chopped or grated
  • 1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves – optional
  • 1 tablespoon chopped curry leaves – optional
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds (saunf)
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 pinch asafoetida (hing)
  • salt as required
  • oil for deep frying, as required

Instructions
 

Preparation

  • Rinse and soak the urad dal and chana dal in enough water overnight or at least for 4 to 5 hours. Drain the lentils.
  • Then add the lentils in the grinder jar together with black peppercorns, fennel seeds, cumin seeds and asafoetida. 
  • You can also add these spices whole to the vada batter, instead of grinding them or lightly crush them.
  • Grind to a smooth and fine batter using very less water. I added about 4 tablespoons of water.
  • Add the chopped cabbage, coriander leaves, curry leaves, ginger and salt to the batter.
  • Mix very well and set the batter aside.

Making cabbage vada

  • Heat sufficient oil in a kadai till its medium hot.
  • Drop spoonfuls of the batter in the medium-hot oil.
  • When one side is partly cooked and pale golden, turn over and continue frying.
  • Flip as needed and fry the vada until golden brown and crisp.
  • Drain them on paper towel to remove excess oil. Fry the remaining batch of batter in the same way.
  • Serve Cabbage Vada hot or warm with green chutney, coconut chutney or sambar and rasam.

Notes

  • Choose either purple cabbage or the regular green cabbage to make these vadai. Both work well. 
  • Finely chop the cabbage and do not chop them into larger pieces. 
  • Adjust the spices as needed.

Nutrition Info (Approximate values)

Nutrition Facts
Cabbage Vada
Amount Per Serving
Calories 320 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Fat 11g17%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 8g
Sodium 549mg24%
Potassium 113mg3%
Carbohydrates 43g14%
Fiber 17g71%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 14g28%
Vitamin A 439IU9%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 1mg67%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 1mg59%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 114mg570%
Vitamin B6 1mg50%
Vitamin C 221mg268%
Vitamin E 4mg27%
Vitamin K 38µg36%
Calcium 146mg15%
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 1179µg295%
Iron 4mg22%
Magnesium 13mg3%
Phosphorus 21mg2%
Zinc 1mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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This Cabbage Vada post from the archives first published in December 2013 has been republished and updated on 2 May 2022.

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Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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24 Comments

  1. Adding of purple cabbage to the vada gives a colorful element to the vada.Love these vadas anytime..

  2. dear dassana , we can put onions & chopped coriander leaves instead of cabbage then they become more crisp.we can can change the proportion of the dal as 3/4 cup channa dal & 1/4 cup of urad dal. this is my recpie.it also turns out be very good. ur all the recipes are awesome.keep it up .5 stars

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