Ulli Vada recipe with step by step pics. Ulli Vada are crisp and crunchy onion fritters which are popular as a street food snack in Kerala. Since all the ingredients used in this simple, homely preparation are plant-based, this recipe is vegan too. This one is also a nice South Indian twist to the usual North Indian Onion Pakora or the Maharashtrian Kanda Bhaji. Try it, you’ll definitely love it.
During our visit to Kerala in one of the hotels we stayed, Ulli Vada used to be one of their regular evening snacks with tea.
Onion fritters are a popular tea time snack all over India and they are made in various ways. I have also shared another South Indian variation of Vengaya Bhaji recipe, in which the onions are cut in rings, batter coated and deep fried.
The taste and texture of Ulli Vada is different from the regular classic Onion Pakoda. What makes this Ulli Vada special is the fact that these are crispier than their North Indian counterpart, because of the use of rice flour in them.
The ingredients that go in this Ulli Vada are quite minimal and the basic ones, for which you will not have to run store to store to source the ingredients. In addition to the onions and gram flour (besan), other ingredients of this recipe are rice flour, asafoetida, red chili powder and curry leaves.
Ulli Vada can be served with coconut chutney or green chutney or tomato ketchup or mint chutney or any green chutney of your choice. The recipe can be easily scaled as per your needs.
How to make Ulli Vada Recipe
1. Peel, rinse and then thinly slice 1 large onion. You will need 1.25 cups of thinly sliced onions. Take the sliced onions in a mixing bowl.
2. Add ½ cup besan (gram flour) and 2 tablespoons rice flour.
3. Now add 2 pinches of asafoetida (hing) and ¼ teaspoon red chilli powder.
4. Next add 10 to 12 curry leaves (chopped) and salt as required.
5. Mix very well and keep aside for 15 to 20 minutes.
6. The onions will leaves their juices by this time and the vada mixture will be soft. Mix again. If the batter mixture looks dry, then add a few teaspoons of water and mix well.
Frying Ulli Vada
7. Heat oil for deep frying in a kadai or pan. When the oil becomes hot, keep the heat to medium and drop spoonfuls of the batter carefully into the oil.
8. Begin to fry onion vada on a medium heat.
9. When one side is light golden, then turn over using a slotted spoon and fry the other side.
10. Continue to fry till the ulli vada turn crisp and golden.
11. Turn over as required while frying.
12. Once the ulli vada are crisp and golden, remove with a slotted spoon draining the extra oil.
13. Place the fried onion vada on kitchen paper towels for extra oil to be absorbed. In a similar way fry the remaining batches of ulli vada.
14. Serve Ulli Vada hot with any chutney of your choice like coconut chutney or pudina chutney or mint coriander chutney.
More Tasty Pakora Recipes
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Ulli Vada | Onion Vada
- 1.25 cups thinly sliced onions or 1 large onion – thinly sliced
- ½ cup besan (gram flour)
- 2 tablespoons Rice Flour (chawal ka atta)
- 2 pinches asafoetida (hing)
- ¼ teaspoon red chilli powder (lal mirch powder)
- 10 to 12 curry leaves, chopped (kadi patta)
- salt as required
- oil for deep frying
making ulli vada batter
- Peel, rinse and then thinly slice 1 large onion. You will need 1.25 cups thinly sliced onions. Take the sliced onions in a mixing bowl.
- Add ½ cup besan (gram flour) and 2 tablespoons rice flour.
- Now add 2 pinches of asafoetida (hing) and ¼ teaspoon red chilli powder.
- Next add 10 to 12 curry leaves (chopped) and salt as required.
- Mix very well and keep aside for 15 to 20 minutes.
- The onions will leaves their juices by this time and the vada mixture will be soft. Mix again. If the batter mixture looks dry then add a few teaspoons of water and mix well.
frying ulli vada
- Heat oil for deep frying in a pan. When the oil becomes hot, keep the flame to medium and drop spoonfuls of batter in the oil.
- Begin to fry ulli vada on a medium flame.
- When one side is light golden, then turn over and fry the other side.
- Continue to fry till the vada turn crisp and golden.
- Turn over as required while frying.
- Once the ulli vada are crisp and golden, remove with a slotted spoon.
- Place the fried onion vada on kitchen paper towels for extra oil to be absorbed. In a similar way fry the remaining batches of ulli vada.
- Serve kerala style ulli vada hot with any chutney of your choice.
- You can add a bit of carom seeds (ajwain) if you want.
- Green chilies can also be added.
- Some finely chopped ginger can also be added in the batter.
- The recipe can be halved or doubled.
- No need to add water while making ulli vada batter. Add water only if the batter mixture looks dry.
- You can use any neutral flavored oil for frying.
Nutrition Info (Approximate Values)
This Ulli Vada post from the archives, originally published in July 2017 has been updated and republished on January 2023.
These vadas turned out so crispy, crunchy and so tasty…Also made the mint coriander chutney to go with it..Both awesome recipes..Everybody loved it
awesome and thank you winnie.
Simple, well explained and came out delicious!
Great . your recipes are astonishing.
keep posting variety of recipes for us ti try.
Thanks John for your positive feedback.
I love your web site. It is the first place I look for recipes and with brilliant results!
Welcome Terry. Glad to know this.