Menu Vada: South Indian Breakfast Recipe

Medu Vada is South Indian Fluffy cuisine for breakfast. This item is ideal for people who like to avoid a sweet breakfast. Medu Vada is crispy and delicious, made from black gram lentils with aromatic spices in the shape of doughnuts. Conventionally it is taken with the Sambar and Coconut Chutney to make it more comforting and satisfying during breakfast. Before knowing the Medu Vada Recipe, let’s get known about vada.

What is Vada?

The term Vada refers to the fritters. It is made of deep-frying lentil batter or a vegetable mashed stuffing encased into the lentil batter. Vada is very common in Indian cuisine. There are lots of Vada that are used in various kinds of recipes with different methods of preparation. The lentils are soaked at first and then grounded to make a batter. Like I said there are variations of Vada, and the batter can be made from dry gram flour.

But the term Vada is often used interchangeably with the Medu Vada. It is noted that the Medu Vada is known as part of the Vada family. Medu Vada is different but a part of vada. Like the Dal Vada, the Batata Vada recipe is made of spice, chana dal batter.

What is Medu Vada?

Medu Vada is basically savoury doughnuts made of black gram, coconut, spices and herbs. The word medu vada is the Kannada language that means soft fritters. This specific type of fritter is also known as:

  • Medhu Vadai, Ulundu Vadai in Tamil
  • Urad Dal Vada in Hindi
  • Gareau in Telugu
  • Uzhunnu Vada in Malayalam
  • Uddina Vada in Kannada

The main component of medu vada is a skinned black gram or urad dal, and the herbs and spices add an extra flavour that is very addictive. The savory and spice quality of the fritters take it to another level. In restaurants and hotels, medu vada also included of onions that add a bit of sweetness to it.

Medu vada is conventionally crispy and fluffy which dunked into the hot Sambar with chutney. This meal is also known as the sambar vada all over the India is served with coconut chutney. If you are making it for the kids, then you can consider adding extra veggies to it. Shredded cabbage, grated beetroot or grated carrots could be great options to add extra nutrition.

Medu vada is better with the Sambar but it is the extra length that you have to cross every time. You can add only the coconut chutney which will also give you a joyful taste. Any variety of Sambar could be taken with it. If your time is short, then it could be just tomato ketchup or coriander chutney. Adding savoury and spices will enhance the taste but the fritter alone can meet your hunger with delicious taste.

Mastering making medu vada needs some time and experience, as making the doughnut shape from the batter is the most difficult part. Now we will provide an absolute medu vada recipe with spongy texture inside and crispy outside.

How to Make Medu Vada

Soaking The Lentils

  1. Rinse 1 cup urad dal that is husked and split. You can pick the whole black gram instead. After rinsing a few times in water, soak the lentils into 2.5 to 3 cups of water. Put it for at least 4 to 5 hours or a whole night.
  2. In the morning drain and discard the water and add the soaked urad dal into a grinder jar. Add 3 to 4 tablespoons freshwater or as needed to make sure that the batter should not be too thin! Careful of adding too much water while grinding. The batter must be soft moist dough with a light and fluffy appearance.

Make Batter Urad Dal

  1. Grind or blend the urad dal to make a smooth batter. The batter must be fluffy and thick at the same time. You can grind in two batches according to the capacity and size of your mixer-grinder.
  2. Continue to grind with intervals and scrap the sides with a spatula. If your grinder becomes hot, then give it a break for a few minutes to cool it down.
  3. Continue grinding until you get a smooth, fluffy batter. Remember there must be no fine grits or chunks of urad dal in the batter.
  4. Take the batter into a big bowl. Now briskly whip it with a spatula, spoon or a wired whisk. Whip it for 2 to 3 minutes. This will help the batter to have a light, fluffy texture.
  5. Now you will be the vada batter that has been aerated. The continuous whisking for a few minutes makes the vada nicely aerated.
  6. The batter must float and remain flawless so if it floats and does not get dissolved, then you have got the right consistency. But if it sinks, that means your battery is not fluffy enough. Clearly it has not have enough air bubbles trapped into it or it is too thin. If your batter is too thin, then add some semolina.

Adding Herbs and Spices To Vada Batter


  • 1 tablespoon chopped curry leaves
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped green chillies
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
  • 1 pinch asafoetida
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon lightly crushed black pepper – can use whole peppercorns as well. The addition of black pepper gives a good taste but is optional.
  • ½ teaspoon salt or as required
  1. Mix the batter well with the herbs, salt and spice. Do not ferment the batter and check the taste. Add some salt if needed.

Shape the Batter

  1. Apply some water on both your palms and take some batter in your right palm. Give it a round shape by circular moving it with your right hand.
  2. Make a hole in the centre with your thumb. Try to give it a doughnut shape.

Fry the Medu Vada

  1. Heat oil into a Kadai over medium heat. When the oil becomes hot, slide the medu vada gently into the kadai. Try not to overcrowd the pan.
  2. When the vada become golden and the batter gets firmed, gently turn them with a slotted spoon to drain the extra oil.
  3. Serve the medu vada hot with sambar and coconut chutney.

Finally, enjoy your medu vada.