Updated: Nov 25, 2021
Our very own savoury doughnut! The traditional South-Indian breakfast, meal or snack - Medu Vada or Urad Dal Vada.
This recipe of Medu Vada can be easily doubled / proportionately increased for larger quantities. You could fry a larger batch of Medu Vadas and store them in a refrigerator for a few days. Leave them on the counter for a couple of hours before serving allowing the Medu Vadas to reach ambient temperature and then dunk in hot sambar. Ofcourse, the Medu Vadas won't be as crisp as the freshly fried ones.
This recipe of Medu Vada also gives you delicious Dahi Vada or Dahi Bhalle. Fry smaller vadas and immediately steep in warm water for 10 minutes. Drain the vadas, press lightly to remove excess water without breaking the vada and dunk in chilled spiced yoghurt. Dahi Vada is ready! Or simply use leftover Medu Vada to make Dahi Vada.
I will make a separate, detailed post with the recipe of Dahi Bhalle.
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Makes 9 – 10 medu vadas
Soaking: 4-5 hours / overnight
Active preparation time: 45 minutes to 1 hour
Ingredients to make Medu Vada
1 cup urad dal
2 cups water – for soaking the dal
1 medium sized onion (finely chopped)
1/2 inch piece of ginger (very finely chopped)
2/3 green chillies (finely chopped)
2 inch piece of fresh coconut (very finely chopped)
Salt to taste
Cooking oil for deep frying
Method of making Medu Vada
Soak the urad dal and allow to ferment for at least 4 - 5 hours on warmer days or overnight in colder climates.
Drain water and fine-grind the fermented urad dal to a smooth texture. You need a thick batter. Add 1 - 2 teaspoons of chilled water / a couple of ice cubes, if necessary, to avoid overheating the batter while grinding.
Lightly beat the batter to incorporate air, for soft fluffy medu vadas. Add chopped onions, green chillies, ginger, coconut and salt. Mix well.
You could also add some freshly ground black pepper for added flavour.
Heat cooking oil to a medium hot temperature.
Moisten your hands and take a little batter on your palm, flatten it a bit. Make a hole in the centre of the urad dal vada batter.
Nowadays, various kitchen tools make life easier, like a Medu Vada dropper which is easily available in the market for approx. Rs 200.
Slowly and carefully drop the batter in medium hot oil. Deep fry on medium heat, till golden brown and cooked in the centre.
Frying at a higher temperature will brown the vada quickly and leave the medu vada undercooked in the middle.
Note: whenever you're frying anything, remember that it will continue to cook in the residual heat once it's removed from the frying pan, and will therefore, darken by a shade or two. So always remove your fried ingredients one shade lighter than you intend to serve them.
The traditional South-Indian breakfast / snack - medu vada / urad dal vada is ready to be served with sambar, coconut chutney or a condiment of your choice.
Aside from the usual trio of idli, medu vada and sambar, Udipi restaurants (in Pune) serve a combination of Medu Vada and Batata Vada with sambar and these two make a great pair for sure!
PS: the same recipe of Medu Vada or Urad Dal Vada could be used to make vadas / bhalle for dahi vada or dahi bhalle.
Do take a look at the other big plates & mains recipes / other recipes and simple Indian meal ideas.
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