September 24, 2010


Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem

We try not to eat a lot of fried foods in our house, but every now and then, a little something flies under the radar. In this case we can console ourselves by the fact that these little snacks are made from lentils and have no added sugar or fat. I think its safe to say this is probably the healthiest deep-fried food around!

Lentils are a staple of Indian cooking and a variety are used in the day to day cooking. South Indian cuisine, from which the snack originates, is made up of a colorful array of lentils. Vada are made from the white lentil, known as mash ki daal or urid daal.

These are so easy that you're probably going to be turned off by the simplicity of ingredients and steps. But trust me on this, the final product is so complex in flavors and textures that you'll never look at a lentil the same way again.

These are best served with a spicy chutney , or you can do as we did during all our childhood visits to India and dunk them in some ketchup. Make to sure to eat these warm while they're still crispy. The batter can be made ahead of time and kept in the fridge for at least several days. Also, a big thanks to my mom for reminding me that some of the most delicious food can also be some of the simplest. Love ya, Mommy!


2 cups maash ki daal (white lentils)
1 tsp garlic and ginger paste
1/2 an onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
3 - 4 chopped green chilis (more if you like it spicy)
salt to taste
pinch of baking powder

1. Soak your daal over night, or at least 4 hours.

2. Drain and place in food processor and process until pasty. Add onions, cilantro, peppers and spices and combine well. Allow to sit for 15 minutes or so.

3. Drop rounded tablespoons into medium high oil; you want it hot enough to get a crispy exterior but not so hot that the inside stays raw. Drain on paper towels afterwards.

a note about the shape: you can just plop in the spoonfuls and allow them to puff up and spread out a little on their own. But the vade of my childhood were donut shaped and I just had to replicate those. My mom advised shaping into little patties and poking a hole in the middle with wet hands but it just didn't work for me. I opted for a much more technically advanced method and stuck the end of a chopstick into the frying vada ;)


  1. Yummy, I think I'll love them mashallah ..Thanks for the recipe sister

  2. assalamu alaykum

    I've tried those once in my life.. but didn't look so yummi as yours ;)

  3. Assalaamu alaikum,

    They look great masha'allah! Does it *have* to be white lentils?

  4. You have great talents! The photographie are so good as well.

  5. UmmIbrahim: yay, you're back! And can you please get your food blog back up too?? I miss your food!! Ok, back to the vada....I'm pretty sure only the white lentils will blend up this smoothly and traditionally its the only ones used for these kinds of snacks, so I'm sure there's a reason for that. That being said, you never really know until you try!

    Aludra: thanks so much!!

  6. OK thanks! I can't say I have actually heard of white lentils so I'll need to have a good look in the supermarket. This looks like something I'd love to try.

  7. YUMMY this is making me HUNGRY!

    Do you know how to make mash ki dals dahi vade?

  8. UmmD: now i'm hungry too, lol. Maybe I'll make this again, think I have some daal left over somewhere. I don't know how to make dahi vade :( Need my mom (or you!) to teach me!

  9. Assalamu alaykum,

    O these are so tasty. I love them.

  10. Wadas are so simple but its amazing how tasty the daal is! Cant wait to try your recipe now that its ramadan. I like your end of the chopstick idea way better, I cant make those holes before frying either!


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