Medu vada is a great and yummy starter. A perfect match to steamed idli at breakfast. Every one loves this crispy vada. It is a very popular in all the Southern Indian states. Kannadigas call it as uddina vade. Tamils call it as ulundu vadai. While Telugus call it as garelu, Malayalis call it uzhunnu vada. You can have it with sambar and rasam which are both lentil stews or just have medu vada chutney for breakfast. You can have it dry too with some coconut or ginger chutney. Idli vada sambar is one of the most popular breakfasts whether you travel by air or train nowadays.
I must sincerely thank all Udupi restaurants which made them so popular. Most restaurants are run by Shetty and people from Mangalore Udupi region across India. Hence, this cuisine has now spread far and wide. Nowadays, they are available across India and the world. Most foreigners also love it thanks to Veganism on the rise. Idli vada sambar recipe fills your tummy with nutrients and heart with pride.
How is vada made?
Medu means soft and as the name suggests it has a soft interior. It has a crispy fritter texture on the outside. It is a simple recipe involving frying soaked and fermented black split lentils or urad dal. Medu vada batter consistency should not too watery. It looks like a donut once done. You can make it without a medu vada maker. You may or may not make a hole in the middle. However, having a hole in middle, ensures the interior cooks perfectly.
This is both vegan and gluten-free.
Is urad dal vada good for health?
Yes, full of protein and helps strengthen bones especially after illness or pregnancy. It is also used to make dosa & papad. However, you cannot have it daily as it is still fried.
How can we reduce oil in Vada?
Batter should not be very thin. If your batter is too runny, it will absorb more oil.
How do I fix watery Vada batter?
In case, your batter is very runny or watery, you can still fix it. Simply, add some rice flour to it. If you do not have rice flour at home. just grind some rice in a coffee grinder.
Old memories of Medu Vada
This snack has always been a part of Indian travel culture and temple food cuisine. You can always find it being served on train platforms. Many vendors choose to sell it as it is very popular. You will find it as a common snack at canteens for breakfast and rail ahar. In the olden days, railways did not serve fresh hot meals all the day. Neither you could find apps which could bring the food to your berth. Most people who would travel long distances either brought food along or relied on the vendors. At major stations in South India, you could find stalls with hot piping coffee and tea and yummy idli, vada.
We usually serve 2 idli or rice dumplings along with 1 medu vada and chutney for breakfast. This is available in all canteens, mess and even in temples. Most devotees travel long distances to reach the temple. Snacks and sweet shops serve it all day long cater to devotees. Hence, they go back with both nourished belly and soul.
Read the medu vada recipe below:
- 1 cup urad dal split black lentils,soaked for 4 hours/overnight
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- Few sprigs of coriander leaf ,finely chopped
- 8-10 black peppers crushed
- 1 green chilli optional ,finely chopped
- Salt as per taste
- 1 tbsp rice flour optional
- Oil for frying
- Grind the urad dal in a blender with minimal water.
- Pulse it with minimal water to form a smooth batter.
- Add all ingredients and mix well.
- In case, batter is too watery,add rice flour to it.
- Heat oil in a kadai/saucepan.
- Take a small portion of dough and lower them slowly in hot oil with/without hole.
- On a medium flame, fry them until golden brown.
- Serve hot with coconut chutney.
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