Mung Dal Vada (Fried Indian Lentil Fritters)

Mung Dal Vada - North Indian Lentil Fritters

Clearly I have a sort of addiction to Indian savories and my introduction to vadas has done nothing to curb that. Popular in South India, vadas are fried savories made with dal and spices that are now popular in many parts of India and beyond. Often disc or doughnut shaped, this popular street food can be eaten for breakfast or as a snack with any variety of chutneys, and are a fine feature of any meal, often served up as an appetizer with some sambar or rasam. I adore them so much that they can easily serve as a main course for me, especially in the summer when my appetite is rather sporadic.

These ones combine the earthy sweet flavors of split mung and toor dal. They are rather easy to prepare too. Though I rarely deep fry foods, preferring baked version of classics, once in a while I do indulge. The vadas fry up quickly and are really not oily at all. Crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy inside, these are a treat that is pretty much impossible to find in Indian restaurants in the city I reside in because, for the most part, it is North Indian creations that are served and the menus of never seem to vary. No matter, as homemade is always better.

I served this delightful savories with a homemade fresh coconut chutney with tamarind and cilantro.

Mung fritters

Mung Dal Vada (Fried Indian Lentil Fritters)Mung Dal Vada (North Indian Lentil Fritters)
Recipe by
Cuisine: Indian
Published on June 26, 2015

Sweet and earthy split dals blended with spices and fried into light, crispy savory fritters

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  • 1/2 cup split mung dal, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup chana dal or toor dal, well rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 2 green chilies, seeded and minced
  • handful or fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1-inch piece ginger, minced
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon asafetida, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • peanut oil or other oil for frying
  • Soak the mung and chana or toor dal for 3 hours or longer. Drain, rinse, and transfer to a food processor or blender. Blend until coarsely ground, adding a few tablespoons of water if necessary.

  • Add the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, chilies, fresh cilantro, ginger, turmeric, baking soda, asafetida and salt. Process for another few minutes, until well blended. Transfer to a bowl and beat with a wire whisk for a few minutes, until bubbles being to form in the batter.

  • Heat 2 inches of oil in a medium saucepan. Drop a small bit of the batter into the pot. If it rises to the top, then the oil is hot enough to proceed. Drop tablespoon portions of the batter into the oil, taking care to gently stir now and again, and cook for about 5 minutes until the vadas are golden. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining batter.

  • Serve hot or warm with your favorite chutney.

Makes 12 to 16 vadas

Mung dal vada

This is my contribution to My Legume Love Affair, a long running event started by lovely Susan of The Well Seasoned Cook, now administered by me and kindly hosted this month by PJ.

Other Indian savories to whet your appetite:
Chana Vada (Chana Dal Peanut Patties) with a Tamarind Chili Sauce
Savory Chana Dal Fritters with Tomatoes and Spices
Spicy Baked Chickpea Koftas

On the top of the reading stack: Stalin's Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Stalina by Rosemary Sullivan


Padmajha said...

Lovely vadas and these are extremely addictive!Thanks for sending it across to MLLA :)

naomilovestom said...

Lisa, how much do you know about asafetida? What does this ingredient contribute to a recipe, and will it suffer from not using it?

Lisa Turner said...

I've been cooking with asafetida for years. It has a slightly bitter taste but very aromatic when fried or included in cooked dishes. The dried powder is used in small quantities in place of garlic and onion. You could leave it out if you can't find it, and the vadas would still be delightful. That said, if you can find it, available at Indian and Asian grocery stores, I would suggest picking some up. It really does have a unique and distinctive flavor.

Maui Girl Cooks said...

I love this type of dish, and these look wonderful! The chutney sounds great too. Your posts always make me want to eat what you have written about. Thanks for sharing!