Medu Vada is a famous dish that originated in South India. Vada is a crunchy fried fritter snack that is typically eaten with masala tea. Vada is known as the best selling snack in Indian restaurants. The dish is offered to Hindu gods with a cup of curd rice and sweet Pongal. Vada is sold 4 x vada for 20 rupees (2p) in India, and in England, a takeaway restaurant will sell the dish for about £4.95.
Vada is not spicy and is a great evening snack. Vada is usually served with Idli, Chutney, Dosa, Lemon rice, or Palau. According to Vir Sanghvi, the origin of medu vada is referred to as the Maddur town in present-day Karnataka. Dahi Vada is a dish that can be seen in Indian restaurants in England. A typical description of the dish is like this: A Urad dal dumpling fritter dunked in yoghurt and topped with a sweet and spicy chutney.
Meda vada has many alternative names such as Uddina vade, Medhu vada, Uddi vada, Minapa garelu, Uzhunnu vada, Udid Vada, Ulundu vadai, Urad vada, Ulundu wade, Urdi bara, Batuk.Vada is known for the hole in the centre that allows the oil to have more surface area and results in less depth than the heat has to penetrate to cook the content throughout. Vada is like freshly baked doughnuts, but it has spicy ingredients in it.
- Urad Dal (1 cup)
- Salt (1/3 tsp)
- Ice Cold Water
- Black peppercorn (1/4 tsp)
- Green Chilies (2 to 3 chopped)
- Onion (4 tbsp)
- Curry leaves (1 sprig diced)
- Cumin Seeds (1/2 tsp)
- Freshly grated ginger ( 1 tbsp)
Soak the urad dal in a cup for 4 hours or overnight, then grind the soaked dal to a smooth in texture batter with little water on if required. If the batter becomes watery in texture, the instant relief would be to add some semolina or urad flour. Otherwise, we can also add some semolina to the batter. Let's add the spices, herbs, onions and salt and mix it well.
Take a bowl of water, apply some of the water from the bowl on both of your hands, then take some batter in your right hand from the bowl, give it a round shape with your thumb, then make a small hole in the centre of the bowl batter. Then you can also use banana leaves or zip lock bags to give the medu vada its doughnut shape.
Let's lit the Kadai powering some oil make it heat to medium flame. Once the oil becomes hot, slide the Vada onto the hot oil. Let the Vada slightly turn onto golden brown on each side and turn it with a spatula until its continue to fry; fry it until it turns crisp and golden in texture.
The oil should not be boiling but medium-hot, so the Vada is cooked from the inside. If the oil is too hot the vadas will quickly cook on the outside, but will remain uncooked on the inside. If the oil is not hot enough, it will make the medu vada absorb too much fat; even if the batter is thin, the medu vadas will absorb too much oil. Fry all the medu vada until they become crispy and are brown in colour. After frying drain them on kitchen paper to remove the oil. Serve the medu vada hot or warm with sambhar and coconut chutney.
Dhal vada recipe
Dhal vada is a variation of medu vada and is also a traditional Indian snack. Even though these are easy to make, we never see these in Indian restaurants for some reason. This recipe makes about eight lentil rissoles.
- Urad dhal (200g)
- Chopped green chilli (1 tsp)
- Vegetable oil for deep frying
- Cumin seeds (1/2 tsp)
- Black pepper (1/2 tsp)
Grind the dry dhal into flour using a coffee grinder; you can do it in small quantities at a time. After that, add the chilli, spices and salt. Add a little water to turn the mixture into a dough, then allow it to stand for 15 minutes.
Roll the dough into ping pong-sized balls, flatten slightly, heat the oil, and deep fry each one for about 10 minutes or until golden brown. You can serve these hot or cold.