Ulunthu Vadai (medhu vada)

When making vadas, I like to make them to be non oily.  To make this way it’s best not to use too much water when grinding the urad dhal.  Also soaking too long also makes the vadas oily when fried.  But when you make vadas this way, vadas will be a little bit harder compared to vadas made with urud dhal ground with more water or urad dhal soaked for too long.  Also I prefer using canola oil for frying since it does not have any smell.


  • 1 cup urud dhal (black gram dhal skin removed)
  • Water to soak the urad dhal
  • ½ red onion chopped finely
  • 1 – 2  green chili chopped finely
  • 1 strand curry leaves
  • 1 – 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • Salt to taste
  • Canola oil for frying


  • Wash urad dhal and add enough water to cover it completely and leave for about 3 – 3  ½  hours
  • Drain the water from urad dhal
  • Take about 2 tablespoons of urad dhal and set aside in a bowl
  • Grind the rest of the urad dhal in a food processor (you don’t have to grind it into a smooth paste.  It can be a bit coarse and also you don’t need to add extra water since the water which comes from soaking is enough for grinding)
  • Add the ground dhal to the bowl which has urad dhal and add salt and mix well
  • Add chopped onion, green chilies, curry leaves, cumin seeds and mix well
  • Heat oil in a wok/kadai/irumbu chatti
  • To make the vada, wet your hand and take little bit vada mix and make into a ball (the reason to wet hands is to prevent the vada mix sticking to your palm)
  • Put in your palm and flatten a little bit and make a hole in the middle
  • Deep fry them in oil until golden brown
  • Serve hot with chutney

To make milahu vadai (black pepper vada), omit onion, green chili, cumin, curry leaves.  Add about 1 – 2 teaspoons whole black pepper depending on taste to the vada mix and make them as above.

Yields: about 12 small vadas (see picture for size)


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