Masala Vada (Vadai)

Masala Vada (Vadai)


Masala Vada is a South Indian favorite snack that is made with spiced chana dal. They are delicious crunchy on the outside and soft inside. Masala Vada is a popular street food in South India.  Try serving along with your afternoon tea.
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Course Appetizer
Cuisine Indian
Servings 6 people


  • 1 cup chana dal or also known Bengal gram
  • 1 tablespoons rice flour
  • 1 cup potatoes boiled peeled and mashed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds crushed
  • 1 teaspoon mango powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper crushed
  • 1/8 teaspoon asafetida
  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped green chilies
  • 1/4 cup cilantro finely chopped
  • Also need oil to fry


  • Wash and Soak chana dal in three cups of water for about 4 hours after soaking this will become about twice in volume.
  • Drain the water, keep 2 tablespoons soaked dal aside. Grind dal coarsely without adding any water. I like to use food processor.
  • Take out the dal in a mixing bowl, add all the ingredients, potatoes, rice flour, salt , fennel seeds, mango powder, black pepper, asafetida, ginger, green chili, cilantro and soaked chana dal. Mix it well.
  • Lightly wet your palms, this will make easy to roll the vadas. Take a lemon size ball of the mix, flatten it with your hands, making them to about half inch thick patties. This should make about 16 patties. I like to make few of patties before I start frying.
  • Heat the oil in a frying pan, (frying pan should have about 1” of oil) over medium heat. Oil should be moderately hot when you drop the vada, oil should sizzle and come to surface slowly. Gently drop the vadas in oil making sure they don’t overlap.
  • Fry the vadas both sides till golden brown and crisp, turning over two to three times. This should take 6-7 minutes. Repeat the same procedure for the rest of the mix.
  • Take them out over paper towel, this absorb the access oil.
  • Serve vadas as they are or with chutneys, I like them with coconut chutney.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Masala Vada Recipe: Delightful Snack


Masala Vada is a delightful Indian appetizer and street food snack that fits perfectly into the categories of gluten-free, vegan, and snacks. Made primarily from chickpea flour and an assortment of spices, Masala Vada is a savory fritter popular in South Indian cuisine. It’s typically crafted by blending soaked and coarsely ground chana dal (split chickpeas) with green chilies, ginger, curry leaves, and coriander leaves. 

Masala vada is a popular South Indian snack made from chana dal. It is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, making it a delightful treat for snack lovers. This masala vada recipe is easy to follow and yields delicious vadas that are perfect for serving with tea or as an appetizer.

Soaking the Chana Dal

To begin making the recipe of masala vada, start by soaking the chana dal in water for at least 3-4 hours. This helps to soften the dal and make it easier to grind later on.

Draining and Grinding

Once the dal is soaked, drain the water completely and transfer the dal to a blender or food processor. Grind it coarsely without adding any water. The texture should be coarse, with small pieces of dal still visible.

Mixing the Ingredients

Transfer the ground dal to a mixing bowl and add chopped green chilies, grated ginger, chopped cilantro, cumin seeds, and salt to taste. Mix everything together until well combined. This mixture forms the base of your masala vada.

Shaping the Vadas

Heat oil in a deep frying pan or kadhai over medium heat. While the oil is heating, take small portions of the dal mixture and shape them into small patties or vadas. You can flatten them slightly with your palms to ensure even cooking.

Frying the Vadas

Carefully slide the shaped vadas into the hot oil, making sure not to overcrowd the pan. Fry them in batches until they turn golden brown and crispy on both sides. Use a slotted spoon to remove the fried vadas from the oil and drain them on paper towels to remove excess oil.


Serve the dal vada hot with your favorite chutney or sauce. They can also be enjoyed on their own as a crunchy and flavorful snack.


  • To make the vadas even more flavorful, you can add curry leaves, or grated coconut to the dal mixture.
  • Make sure the oil is hot enough before frying the vadas to ensure they cook evenly and become crispy.
  • If you prefer a spicier version, you can increase the quantity of green chilies or add a pinch of red chili powder to the dal mixture.


  • Instead of chana dal, you can use a combination of different dals like moong dal, urad dal, or toor dal to make variations of masala vada.
  • For a healthier alternative, you can air-fry the vadas instead of deep-frying them. Simply preheat the air fryer, brush the vadas with a little oil, and air-fry them until crispy.


  • Masala vada is a good source of protein and fiber due to the presence of chana dal, making it a nutritious snack option.
  • The spices used in the vadas like ginger and cumin seeds have digestive properties and aid in digestion.
  • As these vadas are fried, they should be consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.


Can I make masala vada ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare the dal mixture in advance and store it in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, shape the vadas and fry them fresh for the best taste and texture.

Can I freeze masala vada?

While it’s best to consume masala vada fresh, you can freeze any leftover vadas for later consumption. Simply place them in an airtight container or ziplock bag and freeze for up to a month. Reheat them in an oven or air fryer before serving.

Can I use pre-cooked dal to make masala vada?

It’s recommended to use uncooked, soaked dal for this recipe as it gives the vadas the right texture and consistency. Using pre-cooked dal may result in vadas that are too soft and mushy.

For more delicious recipes, explore more Indian recipes, appetizers, beverages, and desserts, be sure to check out the following links on Manjula’s Kitchen. Here are some links to recipes on Manjula’s Kitchen official website: Paneer Tikka Masala Recipe, Chana Chaat (Spicy Chickpea Salad) Recipe, Pav Bhaji (Spicy Vegetable Hash with Buns) Recipe, Raj Kachori (Crunchy Chaat) Recipe, Vegetable Biryani Recip. These recipes should offer you a flavorful experience straight from Manjula’s Kitchen.

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27 thoughts on “Masala Vada (Vadai)

  1. Hello Manjula, thanks for sharing Chana dal vada recipe. Can you please tell me what brand food processor you have used in this video where you are able to grind dal without using water. I am desperately looking to buy one to grind the dal without using the water. Thanks. Shobha

  2. Very good, these are my favorite bean patties and are also without onion or garlic, which are heavy to digest especially if fried and which almost all bean patties include. I have made these many times. Could I substitute the mashed potatoes as a binder for gram flour, maybe roasted? It is quicker than boiling potatoes.

  3. This was exquisite! I didn’t have fennel seeds so I used cumin, crushed. Tasty! We were too hungry to wait on me to make coconut curry so we ate them with ketchup, which is after all, of Indian origin. Thank you for this delicious recipe.

  4. These were absolutely delicious! I made and we ate without the coconut chutney, even though I had bought all the ingredients. There were great by themselves…can’t wait to try with the chutney. I love watching your videos….made the cabbage/chana dal salad last week. That was great also. Thank you for posting these delicious and easy to follow recipes. You are a joy to watch and learn from.

  5. I made this last night and it turned out perfect. My boys loved it. Will double recipe and make it again tonight. Thank you for your simple and very tasty recipes. Enjoy your videos.

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