masala vada
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4.19 from 11 votes

paruppu vadai

masala vada also known as paruppu vadai or masala vadai is a popular south indian snack made with chana dal.
Prep Time2 hrs 15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time2 hrs 35 mins
Course: snacks
Cuisine: south indian
Servings: 7 to 8 vadas
Author: Dassana Amit


to be ground

  • ½ cup chana dal (husked and split bengal gram)
  • 1 dry red chili (sookhi lal mirch) - deseeded and halved
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds (saunf)
  • ½ teaspoon coriander seeds (sabut dhania)
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper (sabut kali mirch)

to be added to the ground lentils later

  • 1 small onion, chopped or ¼ cup chopped onion
  • 1 green chili chopped or 1 teaspoon chopped green chilies (hari mirch)
  • ½ inch ginger (adrak) finely chopped or 1 teaspoon chopped ginger
  • 9 to 10 curry leaves (kadi patta) - finely chopped
  • 2 to 3 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves (dhania patta)
  • 1 pinch asafoetida (hing)
  • salt as required

other ingredients

  • oil for frying
  • water for soaking chana dal, as required


preparation for masala vada

  • rinse the chana dal for a couple of times in water. 
  • then soak in enough water for 2 hours. for a quicker option, you can heat water and the soak the chana dal for an hour.
  • later, in a grinder, add the following whole spices - 1 dry red chili, deseeded and halved, 1 tsp fennel seeds, 1/2 tsp coriander seeds and 1/4 tsp black pepper. grind the spices coarsely.
  • drain the soaked chana dal very well. then add the chana dal to the grinder jar in which the spices are already there. no need to remove the spices.
  • grind the dal coarsely. some whole chana dal should be there. 
  • no need to add water while grinding. i did not add any water. if you add water, then it becomes difficult to shape the vadais. if you are not able to grind at all, then add 1 to 2 tbsp water and grind.
  • scrape and remove the ground dal in a mixing bowl.
  • add 1/4 cup chopped onion, 1 tsp chopped green chilies, 1 tsp chopped ginger, 8 to 10 curry leaves, finely chopped, 2 to 3 tbsp chopped coriander leaves and a pinch of asafoetida and salt as per taste.
  • mix very well.

shaping and making masala vada

  • shape to medium sized vadas. make medium sized balls and then flatten them. if not able to shape vadai, then add 1 or 2 tbsp of rice flour.
  • heat oil for deep frying in a kadai or pan.
  • on a medium flame heat the oil. 
  • check the oil temperature by dropping a small portion of the batter in the oil. if the small vada comes up steadily, the oil is hot enough for frying.
  • now carefully slid the masala vada in the hot oil.
  • fry them for a couple of minutes and then turn over with a slotted spoon and fry the other side.
  • fry till the vada become golden and crisp. drain the masala vada on kitchen paper towels to remove excess oil.
  • serve the masala vadai hot tomato ketchup or with coconut chutney.


the recipe can be doubled too.
to make the vadas gluten free, skip the asafoetida.