Crispy Masala Vada

This past Thanks Giving weekend we got a much needed break of 4 days from the usual grind. With the temperatures continually dropping down it was a welcome break of not having to wake up during the wee hours of morning. We did not have any plans of going out of town, so we pretty much stayed at home and relaxed.

(Click on the picture to see enarged view)

One of those days, we also took up the arduous task of cleaning up the closet, sorting out old papers, putting some things to recycle and throwing away of junk things. We had not cleaned it for years and decided not to procrastinate any more.


As a bonus I promised my husband that I would make “Masala Vaadas” after we were done with the cleaning. In fact the cleaning was not as bad as we had anticipated. We put some good music, divided the chores and even assigned some tasks to our 3 year old to keep him busy. While cleaning we found some old pictures, greeting cards weird paraphernalia that brought back old memories and all those nostalgic times that we had together.


After a long day of cleaning, I made these “Masala Vadas” to go with our evening tea.

These are deep fried crisp lentil dumplings made of Bengal Gram and are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Since they are made of lentils they are filling too.


Also don’t forget to take a look at this low fat version of Masala Vadas.


  • 1 ½ cup Bengal gram/ chana daal
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 3-4 garlic pods
  • 1 inch of ginger
  • 4-5 green chillies
  • 5-6 cloves
  • Cinnamon pieces
  • Cumin seeds
  • Curry leaves
  • Handful of cleaned coriander leaves
  • Handful of fine sooji/rava
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for deep frying


  • Soak the chana daal in enough water for about 5-6 hours. 
  • Grind together green chillies, cumin seeds, curry leaves, garlic, ginger, coriander leaves cloves and cinnamon. Make a coarse paste. Do not add any water. 
  • Drain the water completely from soaked chana daal. Keep a handful of chana daal aside. 
  • Take the remaining chana daal, add salt and grind it coarsely along with the garlic, ginger paste coarsely. Do not add any water. 
  • Mix thoroughly and check for taste. Add the chopped onions, or seasonings if necessary. 
  • Finally add the rava, whole chana daal just before deep frying and mix well.


  • Heat oil in a thick bottomed pan sufficient enough to deep fry.
  • Check to make sure that the oil has reached the correct temperature, by putting in small amount of batter. If there is a sound of a sizzle that means the oil is ready.
  • Take about lemon size ball of the batter from the tips of your hands, turn it into a round or flat shapre and put it in the deep fryer. Add about 4-5 depending on the size of the pan at the same time.
  • Remove from oil, when done and transfer them onto clean paper napkins. This will absorb some of the oil found on the outer side.
  • Continue the above for the remaining batter as well.

This can be eaten as is or with ketchup, chutney and forms a wonderful accompaniment with tea or coffee.


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  1. indosungod says:

    the sight of those crispy vadas reminds me of home. Perfect reward for a day of hard work 🙂

    I am not sure how I missed the previous post, Gulya Ambat, that is a keeper and looks super.

  2. Happy Cook says:

    Wow these vadas look super delicious. I would hepl you cleaning up your home if you promise me few of these.
    I too have kept all the letter , cards etc…. which we used to send each other before we fot married.
    I have not looked inside that box for ages.

  3. redchillies says:

    Tahnk you ISG and HC. That was quick. Nothing like the masala vadas isn’t it? That along with good music, just chases away the blues. 🙂

  4. RedChillies says:

    So true Laavanya. Even I could do anything for these. Maybe even workout 🙂

    Arundati, I know. Our favorite used to be the one that was sold on the street closeby to our house.

    Madhu, grind the cloves and cinnamon along with ginger and garlic. You get an unexpected punch in taste 🙂
    Do try it out!

  5. Usha says:

    Masala vadas look fantastic,loved the idea of adding a little rava to it, will give that a try the next time I make these 🙂

  6. mahimaa says:

    looks like u had a nice relaxing fun filled thanksgiving.. that’s good. masal vadas look so good and lovely picture RC. I can have them anytime.. be it winter or summer.

  7. Soma says:

    Oh man! They look so good. Of the few dishes that used to be cooked from the south, i remember loving these. my grandma would make them, grinding the dal in the stone. she had learnt this from one of our family friends who hailed from trivandrum. i wish i could have these.

    i could not access ur page for the past few days. even if i got in, it showed me weird scripts.

  8. Alka says:

    hmm so the next time u plan to clean ur closet or if sorting old stuff,call me in.I can help u out if u promise to make these crispy wadas Then 😉

  9. Ujwal says:

    Wow.. we call these Chattambado(Chatte + Ambado).. though we dont add cinnamon and garlic.. looks delicious.. Got to try it… Its been ages since I had it last…

  10. Madhuram says:

    I was not aware of your low fat revolution using the appam pan, until I saw Bee’s post on Masala Vadai. After that I tried masala vadai in the appam pan for my very very health conscious husband and he ate only 2 of those too. I really really wish that I can be so controlled like him, without yielding to temptation.

  11. Uma says:

    ooh, ooh, I want to have those yummy masala vadas right now! Will you share with me if I help you with some chores? He He! 🙂

  12. RedChillies says:

    Thank you, thank you all so much. Vadas do make great difference to our moods too isn’t it? You all are sure welcome to our house, we have closetful of stuff more to clean 🙂 🙂

  13. Priya says:

    Am drooling over them, crispy vadas makes me hunger RC…love the idea of adding cinnamon spices, never tried as though, else the other ingredients r same..

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