Medu Vada is a very popular snack especially in Southern India. At my place the vadas are always made during festivals & special occasions. I am particularly fond of the ones which are really crispy on the outside & have lots of spices on the inside. The smell of the vadas being fried in the hot oil it self is mouth watering. The difficult part for me while making the vadas was to get the perfect shape. A little wonky during my earlier attempts, but I am getting the hand of it now. My mom uses a leaf or a sheet of polythene to shape the vadas. I have also seen chefs & experts scope up the batter & shape the vada in one hand by using the thumb to make the hole & dunk them in hot oil.
Medu vada needs a thick batter made of skinned split black gram that has been soaked in water & ground to a paste. Pepper, green chilies, curry leaves and onions are added to bring in some punch & flavor to the vadas. Scoops of the batter are shaped and deep fried. Medu Vada goes very well with coconut chutney and also sambar. Dunk them is sambar & you have sambar-vada. Medu vada is also served with other dishes like Pongal as part of a combo-meal.
Medu Vada Recipe
- Urad Dal/ Split skinned black gram: 2 Cups
- Pepper cones: 1 tsp
- Cumin Seeds: 1 tsp
- Green Chilies: 2-3
- Onion: 1 (optional)
- Curry Leaves: 10-12
- Coriander leaves
- Coconut pieces: 4 tbsp (optional)
- Oil for deep frying
- Soak the dal overnight or at least for four hours. Drain the water and grind to get a smooth batter.
- Crush the pepper cones
- Finely chop the green chilies, curry leaves & onion
- Take the batter in a bowl
- Add the spices, chopped onions & salt. Mix well
- Heat oil in a wok for deep frying. The oil has to be medium hot for frying the vadas. Too hot & the vadas burn on the outside while the batter is not cooked inside
- Shape the batter mix into vadas and slip them into the hot oil
- Turn the vadas in the oil & fry them until they turn golden brown & crisp.
- Keep the heat at a medium level & let the vadas cook evenly
- Once the vadas are done remove them & drain the excess oil on an absorbent paper
- Serve hot with chutney or sambar or sauce
- The little pieces of pepper after being crushed give an extra punch. Pepper powder can also be used as an alternative
- The oil for the vadas have to be heated to a medium heat. If the oil is too hot the vadas will burn on the outside while the batter inside remains under-cooked.
- If you find that shaping the vadas are difficult or too tedious the the batter can be dropped into the oil as small ball-shaped vadas.