ulundu vadai recipe | urad dal vada | how to make medhu vadai

ulundu vadai or urad dal vada recipe with step by step photos – this crisp and tasty medhu vadai recipe made without onions is a special south indian snack which is made for bhagwan ganesha as naivedyam or bhog during the ganesh chaturthi festival.

this vada recipe is a no onion no garlic version. similar versions of medhu vadai is made during navratri festival in south india and served with coconut chutney and sambar. both the sambar and coconut chutney are made without adding onions or garlic.

ulundu vadai

these deep fried fritters are popularly known as vada or medhu vadai, but also called as urad dal vada or ulundu vadai.  i have only used urad dal (black gram) in making this vadai. when i make medhu vadai, i always soak the lentils overnight. they give the best results and become porous, soft and spongy when deep fried.

tips for making ulundu vadai

  • for grinding the batter, i do suggest to add a little water as this helps in making the vadas soft. if the batter is too thick the vadas become dense when fried. a slightly thin batter absorbs a lot of oil. so have a middle ground here. the batter should have the consistency where shaping them is easy and yet they become soft when fried. this only comes through experience and once you get the knack, you will be able to make excellent medhu vadai.
  • i have ground the soaked and drained lentils in a mixer-grinder and added 2 tbsp water. the spices used are black pepper, cumin and a green chili because we like the taste of a slightly salty and hot green chili bits in a vadai. you can even add fresh chopped coconut pieces, chopped ginger and curry leaves to the batter.

whenever i make vadas, i always add the batter with a spoon and fry them. i am not so good in making the donut shaped vadas. i always try and give up every time. this time i persisted and managed to make decent dough nut shaped vadas.

you may not get the perfect round donut shape of the vadas as you get in the restaurants. also if you cannot manage to shape them then just fry them like pakoras. just because you are not able to get perfect shape of vadas, that should not deter you from making this delicious medu vadas and enjoying eating them.

i served medhu vadai with the simplest no onion no garlic coconut chutney made with only three ingredients.

medhu vadai always have to be served hot as they are crisp when hot. don’t serve them when they become cold as the crispness is lost by then. serve urad dal vadas hot with coconut chutney and sambar.

few more snacks recipes for you!

STEP BY STEP PHOTOS ABOVEmany of my recipes have step by step photos and useful tips to help you make it easily and perfectly.

ulundu vadai

4.8 from 5 votes
medhu vadai recipe - crisp and tasty fried black grams donuts shaped fritters. a popular south indian snack.
ulundu vadai recipe, medhu vadai recipe, urad dal vada recipe
Author:Dassana Amit
Prep Time:5 hrs
Cook Time:30 mins
Total Time:9 hrs 30 mins
Cuisine:south indian
Servings (change the number to scale):8 to 10 vada
(1 CUP = 250 ML)


  • 1 cup urad dal (black gram)
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed black pepper (kali mirch powder)
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 1 green chili, chopped (hari mirch)
  • 1 pinch asafoetida (hing)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoon water or strained water of the soaked urad dal
  • salt as required
  • oil for deep frying


soaking urad dal

  • rinse the urad dal in water for a couple of times.
  • soak them in enough water overnight or for atleast 4-5 hours.

making ulundu vadai batter

  • drain well and take all the lentils in the grinder jar.
  • first add 1 tbsp water and grind the lentils for a few minutes.
  • switch off the grinder and scrape the sides of the jar with a spatula and add the unground lentils which stick to the sides of the jar inside the jar.
  • add 1 tbsp water and stir with the spatula.
  • grind again in intervals scraping and stirring the batter a few times.
  • if you find difficulty in grinding the batter, you can add 1/2 or 1 tbsp water more.
  • when the batter has become smooth, fluffy and soft, stop grinding.
  • there should be no grainy texture in the batter. it should feel very smooth on your fingers.
  • add the crushed black pepper, cumin, green chilies, asafoetida and salt to the ground batter.
  • mix well and keep aside.

frying ulundu vadai

  • heat oil in a kadai or pan for deep frying the vadas.
  • shape the ulundu vadai as explained in the step by step pic below.
  • fry them in medium hot oil till golden and crisp.
  • drain vadas on paper napkins and serve the ulundu vadai hot with coconut chutney and sambar.
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how to make ulundu vadai or urad dal vada

1. soak the black gram or urad dal overnight or atleast for 4-5 hours. drain the water completely and take all the lentils in a grinder jar.

soaked lentils for medu vada

2. add 3 tablespoons water and grind to a smooth fluffy batter.

medu vada batter

3. add the black pepper powder, cumin, asafoetida, salt and green chilies to the batter and mix well.

add spices to medu vada batter

frying ulundu vadai

4. wet your palms with water and take some batter in your right palm. with the help of the left hand, shape the batter first and then make a hole in the center with a thumb and gently slid the doughnut shaped vadai into medium hot oil.

making the donut shape in the batter

5. make other vadas this way and then add them to the kadai. you can fry the number of vadas depending on the size of your kadai. fry the vadas till golden and crisp.

fry the medu vadas in kadai

6. drain the medhu vadai on kitchen paper tissues to remove excess oil.

medu vada

7. serve urad dal vadas hot with coconut chutney and sambar.

vada or medu vada recipe

Dassana Amit

Dassana Amitnamaste and welcome to vegrecipesofindia.com which i started in feb 2009 and is a pure vegetarian blog. i have been passionate about cooking from childhood and began to cook from the age of 10. later having enrolled in a home science degree greatly enhanced my cooking & baking skills and took it to a different level which i now share as foolproof recipes. i was formally trained both in mainstream indian as well as international cuisines.

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21 comments/reviews

  1. hi, i make this all d time. 4 hrs for soaking. grinding another 30min max . making 30 min. I don’t know why u have mentioned 9 hrs.

  2. Great recipe. I made this a few times but every time when I made, the vadas are absorbing too much oil. I used paper towels to drain the excess oil. Even after doing this I can still feel they are a bit oily. What am I doing wrong? I believe the oil temperature is medium to hot. How to make these vadas really dry? Please let me know.

    Btw, vadas are a must item to be made on the day after Sankranti (pongal) (January 15th) in Andhra. I believe it is also the same case in Tamil Nadu, may be even in Karnataka. Further, these vadas are one of the compulsory items along with many other items that are offered to the priests on the day of the death anniversary of the ancestors. I thought you might like to know.

    Anyway, keep up the fantastic work you are doing in this blog.5 stars

    • Thanks Rom for sharing this info. I was not aware about it. Thanks for sharing this info on makar sankranti. it helps to know such facts. The batter has to be on the thicker side. if the batter is of medium consistency or thin then the vadas will absorb a lot of oil. you are right they have to be fried on medium to hot oil. There should not be lot of water in the batter. If there is more water then more oil the vada will absorb.

  3. I made medu vada..ur receipe was superb…!!tasty tooo…!this blog is very helpful for a beginner like me…..I tried ur other receipes tooo.its awesome….thank u soooo much….bt meduvada was a bit hard..can u suggest a way to make it soft…??5 stars

    • after you are done making the batter. then take a spoon and vigorously stir the batter for a few minutes. also if you soak overnight, the texture will be better.

  4. Hi, one small suggestion, along with black pepper, green chillies, grated ginger and finely choped coconut also can be added to the batter. I skip cumin seeds and if you cannot make doughnut shaped vadas you can add bread crumbs to the batter little by little and can make well shaped vadas. Thank you