Paruppu vadai, masala vadai, ambode – call it what you want – is one of my most favorite snacks. It is healthy, nutritious, rich in protein and vitamins, delicious, and makes the perfect snack or side-dish with a meal or a cup of coffee or tea. And bonus, it is diabetes-friendly.
Best of all, it is easy to make. Both children and adults love masala vadas. This fabulous deep-fried lentils fritter is a popular street food.
I make it often at home and it can be ready in less than an hour.
Paruppu vadai or masala vada is rather similar to the Middle-eastern falafel.
What you need to make masala vada / paruppu vadai / ambode
Makes about 10 vadas. You can scale the ingredients to make more.
Gather your ingredients:
One cup is approximately 250 ml.
1 cup chana dal (split chickpeas/bengal gram)
1 dry red chilli
1 teaspoon saunf (Fennel seeds)
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/4 teaspoon black pepper corns
To add to the batter:
1 small onion, chopped
1 finely chopped green chilli (optional)
1/2 inch ginger finely chopped
9-10 curry leaves – chopped
2 tablespoons coriander finely chopped
1 pinch of hing (asafoetida)
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
Salt to taste.
Oil for frying
How to make paruppu vadai / masala vada / ambode
- Rinse and soak the chana dal for two hours with the dry red chilli.
- Drain water.
- Grind saunf, coriander seeds and black pepper in the mixer-grinder
- To this, add the soaked chana dal and red chilli and grind coarsely.
- Do not add water while grinding.
- Transfer the ground batter into a large bowl.
- Add the chopped onion, green chillies, ginger, curry leaves, coriander leaves and asafoetida (hing), turmeric and salt to taste.
- Mix well.
- Shape the batter into medium sized balls and flatten to make the vada.
- Can add a tablespoon of rice flour if difficult to shape.
- Heat oil in a pan.
- Test the temperature of the oil by frying a small bit of batter. If it rises to the surface, the oil is ready for frying.
- Carefully, fry the vadas.
- Flip them over gently to fry both sides.
- Fry until golden and crisp.
- Place in a sieved bowl to drain the oil, or place on paper towels.
- Serve hot with tomato ketchup or coconut chutney.
- Rub some oil on your hands-it makes it easy to shape the vadas.
- If the batter is too thick, the vadas turn out hard.
- If the batter is loose, the vadas disintegrate in the oil.
- While grinding, if the batter is too thick, add a spoon or two of water.
- It is important to grind the batter coarsely, for the perfect outcome. Although, if the batter ends up smooth, it will still taste good.
- You can skip the onion if you don’t eat onion.
- To halve the soaking time, soak the chana dal in hot water.
- You can make and refrigerate the vadas and heat before you eat.
- You can bake the vadas, but sigh, deep fried tastes better. If you have an air-fryer, you know what to do!
- I’ve tried storing the batter in the fridge and making it the next day, but it is not the same thing.
Questions? Please ask in the comments. ♥
These look delicious, we make falafel often, these will make a great change and so similar to make, our only problem is we do not have a deep fat fryer, We often use the frying pan with olive oil, will this be suitable for these? or would you recommend the oven? (please don’t tempt me in to buying a deep fat fryer!)