Ping your (male) friends and ask if they like Idly-Vada in a platter more than they like Pizza. It’s unbelievable how my dad, husband & my male friends order the same Idly Vada everytime they enter a South Indian restaurant. So much for the craze that I ground up the Vada Batter a few days before our festival this week… every bit of it to be enjoyed by the Fam, lol!
If you’ve made up your mind to prepare this from scratch over the weekend, get the prep started atleast a couple hours in advance. Medu Vada pairs great with Tiffen Sambar and coconut chutney.
How to Make Crispy and Round Medhu Vada?
- Soak 2 cups of urad dal for minimum 2 hours before grinding it in the mixer grinder
- While grinding add a little water every 2-3 spins & keep wiping the sides of grinder with a spatula. The batter has to be soft to touch but shouldn’t be very diluted. If the batter turns watery, then don’t fret – just add Semolina, rice flour or Urad Dal flour to the batter. You can also prepare this batter using a Mixie
- Don’t add salt while grinding. You should add the salt just before frying the vada
- Make sure that vada batter is in such a consistency that you can hold it- because if the batter is watery, vada will absorb more oil
- Here’s the tip to make your vada super crispy – take the help of rice flour or semolina flour (rava)!
- Now add to the batter, 1tsp of cumin seeds, 1tsp of black peppercorns, 1tsp of shredded coconut (optional), 2-3 generous pinches of Hing/Asafoetida, a sprig of curry leaves and half an onion chopped into small pieces (optional based on occasion) and 11/2 inch finely chopped/crushed ginger
- To check the vada formation just drop a small spoonful batter in a bowl of water. It should float to some extent
- For beginners, shaping the vadas on the oil-greased banana leaf or greased plastic cover work the best!
- make a hole through the center- the hole will help with the even cooking of the insides of the vada
- Turn your stove to a medium flame. Oil shouldn’t be very hot. If the heat is on a higher side, the outsides of the vada will turn crisp leaving the insides partially cooked or uncooked
- Let the vadas turn golden brown evenly before you drain the oil and serve hot with Sambar and coconut chutney!
My Top Recipe Recommendations
My Improv & Notes
- Water Addition – 1/4 cup is the minimum quantity of water needed to grind the batter, otherwise it would be difficult to grind. After adding 1/3 cup , add water in tsps and check the batter every now & then. Let it not turn watery
- Batter Consistency -Watery batter absorbs more oil in the vada. Add some amount of Rava/rice flour if the batter turns watery, they’ll help with the binding and help make crispy vadas
- Use Grinder – If you have a grinder at home, please make use of it. For the same quantity of urad dal, you’ll get twice as many vadas from the batter ground using a grinder (say 25 vadas) as opposed to 12-15 vadas ground using a mixie
- Heat of the Oil -Vada will absorb more oil if u deep fry in low heat oil.. At the same time, oil should not be smoky hot. If u deep fry when the oil is too hot , vada will brown quickly but the insides will not be cooked. For proper cooking , always check the heat of oil by dropping a bit of batter. If it rises immediately , oil is in the correct temperature..For onion vada, remove the vada when the onions turn golden brown. For pepper vada , remove it when the sound ceases & turns golden brown
- Fry right after grinding – Vadas need to be fried immediately after grinding, as keeping it out for long time would result in fermentation of the batter and make it watery
- You can get creative – You can also add other veggies like grated carrot, finely chopped cabbage, finely chopped spinach, etc. to the batter