Sunday, June 7, 2015


Ahh, it's quite difficult to name a traditional dish relating to an International cuisine :-).  I have quite a few nonIndian friends who gives private comments to my every post asking about Indian cuisine.  I am equally excited and thrilled to narrate about the ingredients and methodology about Indian cooking and I would love to do that.  Vadai is a deep fried donut-shaped snack prepared from a soaked and ground white lentil (ural dhal).   They are crispier on outside and soft on inside.  This can be used as a snack or as a side dish for the main course.  

I hail from a traditional South Indian Brahmin family and thayir vadai is one of the mandatory item served in the plate on any ceremony among my household.   There are zillion different methods to make these vadas but I am going to share the authentic way of preparing thayir vadai which is followed among my family household.

Urad dhal (white lentil) - 1.5 cup
Green chillies - 3
Curd (plain yogurt) - 2 cups
Salt - To taste

To grind:
Coconut - 4 tsp
Ginger - 1/2 inch piece
Green chillies - 2 or 3

To temper:
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Curry leaves -few
Asafoetida powder - 1/4 tsp

To garnish:
Bhoondi - As needed 
Coriander leaves 

1.  Soak urad dhal for 1 hour and grind smoothly with green chillies and salt in the food processor.  This is the careful step in getting softer vadas.  The batter should be in the texture of butter.  If you grind the batter in grinder, you would get a butter-like texture and large volume.  For elaborate steps on making soft vadas, refer the following link - medhu-vada


2.  Keep a bowl of water in a vessel.  Wet your hands and take the medium ball sized batter and place it on a plastic sheet.  Pat the batter slightly and make a hole in the center.

3. In a heavy bottomed pan, heat oil.  Once the oil is hot, drop the vada carefully and keep the flame in medium.  Add 2-3 more vadas to the oil.

4. Flip it over after 2-3 minutes and fry it until golden brown.  Do it for the rest of the remaining batter.


5. Meanwhile, grind coconut, green chillies, ginger together. 

6. Whisk the curd/plain yogurt in a hand beater and add salt and ground mixture to it.  Temper it with mustard seeds, curry leaves, and asofoetida.

7.  Immerse the fried vadas to the curd mixture.  

8. Garnish with boondi (I used Haldiram boondi mixture which I got from store) and coriander leaves.  You can also add grated carrots but as the guests were waiting at the dining table, I didn't do it.


The softness of the vadas entirely depends on how well the batter is ground.  So it is important to give attention during grinding the batter to a butter like texture. 

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