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Urad Vada (Uddina Vada/Thootu Vada/Medu Vada)

There are many names for this famous South Indian delicacy. These crispy vadas are loved by all. I remember while growing up, my brother used to pester aayi to make these often. She would serve it with coconut chutney. I have remained a fan over the years. I like to order these whenever we go to any Indian restaurant here or any restaurant in India. I love mine dipped in sambar.

Everyone likes to flavor their vadas differently. I add curry leaves, green chillies and/or pepper, coconut pieces to mine. One of the basic requirements to get these perfect is to grind with very less water. I use my ultra grinder to make the batter. Ever since I bought this, I am making the perfect, crispy vadas at home.

2 cups urad dal
2 tbl spns coconut pieces
5-6 curry leaves
1 tea spn black pepper or 4 green chillies cut into pieces

Soak urad dal in water for few hours.
Grind it to a smooth batter without adding too much water. Now add coconut, curry leaves and pepper(or green chillies), salt.
Apply some water to your palm. Take a small ball of the batter and give it a round shape. Make a hole (thootu) in the center. (Below I have used a parchment paper to help in taking picture. But palm of your hand works best in my opinion).
Heat oil and slide these vadas very carefully. Fry till they are crispy.
Serve while they are still hot with sambar and/or chutney.

Serves : 2-3
Preparation time : 30mins


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{ 59 comments… add one }

  • Gauri Gharpure September 5, 2010, 11:44 pm

    am sure these turned out great, but the rasam looks so delicious!!

  • RR September 5, 2010, 11:50 pm

    The Vadas look so crispy and yummmy in that sambar. Lovely!!

  • Manasi September 6, 2010, 1:30 am

    Oh wow! I too love Medu vada. The crunchy exterior dunked in spicy sambar! YUM!
    I will make these soon, I now have a sumeet mixie gifted to me by my Mom!

    How is ur little Prince? lotsa love to him :)

  • suman September 6, 2010, 1:32 am

    hi shilpa,
    Co-incidently,im making these vadas today at home.Thanks for the tips and the recipe.

  • Poornima September 6, 2010, 2:07 am

    Wow…Looks yummy. I always visit your site though this is the first time I am leaving a comment. I love vadas and I intend to make these tonight.

  • SinfullySpicy September 6, 2010, 2:32 am

    What a perfect vada!And that too hand made…I get all shapes but the circle :(

  • Mangala G Pai September 6, 2010, 4:17 am

    Hi shilpa, i was always willing to try this vada. But i want to know one thing. How thick the batter should be so it should be good enough to keep it in hands and make hole? I mean that it should be much thicker than the normal dosa batter or normal round udad ambode we make. please guide me little more in the case of this vada. i want to know clearly the consistency in the thickness of this batter.

    • Shilpa September 6, 2010, 8:56 pm

      Yes, much thicker than dosa/idli batter. Udad ambode batter should be good enough. Since ambode does not require round shape, it is okay to make it little thin, but if you can, make the batter thicker than that.

  • norma September 6, 2010, 7:39 am

    These look like dougnuts…must go to little India neighborhood in Manhattan to see if I can find them made and then try my luck at making them. I have accomplished making nan and plan to learn more as the time goes by. Thank you so much for putting out there you Aais recipes.

  • closeupsmile September 6, 2010, 8:47 am

    Hi Shilpa!!
    Could u please tell me how long it takes to grind the batter in an “Ultra grinder”.I think it takes more time when only a little water is added.Also does the grinder become hot?Your reply is highly appreciated.

    • Shilpa September 6, 2010, 8:54 pm

      Sorry, I do not know exact time. I just let it go till it is smooth. When I make it next time, I will update it

    • eli September 11, 2012, 10:16 pm

      i had the same prob ..mixer getting hot…i did try but crispy on the cover but inside was hard not soft …why so/??
      will adding 1/2 cup rice will soften and make it crispy …pls advise thnku..

  • Minu September 6, 2010, 10:39 am

    Hi Shilpa,

    I tried doing this vada some time back. The batter was bit more thicker than yours. However it became too sticky while taking a small portion and trying to flatten it in the palm. I applied oil and not water, but it didnt help. Is there any other tip which can help? I really love this dish and want to give another try :)

    • Shilpa September 6, 2010, 8:53 pm

      Try applying water to palm next time.

  • Varsha September 6, 2010, 2:22 pm

    Amazing… I have tried this vada at home(using wada mix from MTR) but wasnt able to prepare it with a hole in the center. will try again over the weekend.. Thanks a ton for this. Its my personal favourite too…

  • Smitha Mascarenhas September 6, 2010, 3:55 pm

    Dear Shilpa,

    It seems your post is impossible to read since it is so tiny (font size). Please reload to readable size.

    Thank u in advance….

    • Shilpa September 6, 2010, 8:58 pm

      Not sure why it is looking very small to you. It is very much readable to me. Please let me know your browser version.

  • vasantha September 6, 2010, 6:46 pm

    They look delicious. I like to add dry chillies and a little ginger to the dough while grinding.

  • Aruna September 6, 2010, 10:43 pm

    Looks so delicious Shilpa…

  • padmaja ravindranath September 6, 2010, 11:31 pm

    thanks. if you add onion,coriander leaves chop.it will get more tasty.

  • nirupama September 6, 2010, 11:40 pm

    aha shilpa, what lovely vadas, my son loves vadas with a hole in the middle which not a practice in our family.For this krishna jayanthi, when we have to make urad vadas and dahivadas, i made them by using a littleoil in the appe pan. I took this tip from one of your previous recipes where you fried veg balls in appe kadai.This process turned out to be a real success.
    One person in your comment portion has asked how long should we grind, take a bit of batter and put it in a cup of water if it floats freely then ur vada batter is ready

  • Shoba Shrinivasan September 7, 2010, 8:25 am

    Hi Shilpa,

    I love urad vadas and I also use my ultra to make lovely big crisp vadas…the advantage being they are stone ground with as minimal water added as possible!!!


  • Preeti September 7, 2010, 10:24 pm

    Thanks for sharing.. I am planning to buy a wet grinder now:)

  • sakhi September 8, 2010, 2:05 am

    hi shipla,
    thanks to give this receipy with picture

  • sakhi September 8, 2010, 2:06 am

    give me recipes for sambar

  • Nagarjuna September 8, 2010, 8:30 am

    Thanks for the delicious receipe.

  • RV September 10, 2010, 8:58 pm

    Lovely. I just want to grab that bowl with Sambar right away.

  • Sathya September 11, 2010, 9:27 pm

    Looks delicious and I have tried in the past and have always failed so I make them as bonda. That is what I did this Ganesh Chaturthi as well.

    Please visit my blog. I am new blogger and needs encourangement and guidance.

    Thanks for putting up such a great blog.


  • vjbunny September 14, 2010, 4:06 am

    Hi ,
    Shilpa whenever I have tried this the vada doesnt get the bloated like your has neither crisp sand texture please guide me

    • Shilpa September 14, 2010, 7:36 am

      I am not sure why, but mine never worked well when I used mixer. Now I use stone grinder and they come out very crispy. But my aayi always makes the batter in mixer in India and it works very well. Try grinding it to a smooth dough

  • SWEETY September 23, 2010, 2:12 pm

    hi shilpa.
    u r from belgaum.or just i read ur recipes is too good.
    i want malvani fish fry recipe.pls reply me.

  • Preethi October 1, 2010, 1:10 pm

    Hi Shilpa, May I ask what oil you use to fry such goodies..I have tried using Canola but I don seem to like it…wat else can i use?

    • Shilpa October 3, 2010, 12:37 pm

      I use sunflower oil

  • Dels October 7, 2010, 2:04 am

    I tried this and it came out pretty good.

  • Deena January 6, 2011, 10:28 pm

    Hi Shilpa,

    I have tried this Vada with a ready to make packet of MTR, it turned out really good, I just want to ask u, instead of soaking urad dal in water and then grinding it, can I use dry urad dal flour and then soak the flour in water for sufficient time until it ferments?

    • Shilpa January 7, 2011, 8:37 am

      Sorry, no idea

  • praneetha January 20, 2011, 7:13 pm

    i tried making this but was not able to make hole in it and the batter sticks to my hand can u pls help me out…

    • Shilpa January 20, 2011, 7:16 pm

      apply some water to your palms and then try

  • praneetha January 20, 2011, 10:16 pm


    i did apply water in my hand, it still sticks :( , it even got stuck to some of my laddel.. pls help ..

    • Shilpa January 20, 2011, 10:42 pm

      Was the batter too watery? You should not touch the vadas with ladle till it is fried half way atleast

  • praneetha January 21, 2011, 11:26 am

    i guess the batter was watery, can u tell me what consistency should the batter be, how will i know its grinded properly and right …

    • Shilpa January 23, 2011, 8:51 pm

      This only comes by trial and error. You have to grind it as dry as possible. Also refer Nirupama’s comment above(I haven’t tried it yet, will try next time)

  • praneetha January 23, 2011, 9:44 pm

    Thanks, will be careful the next time i try it :)

  • Aarthi April 20, 2011, 7:58 am

    Hi Shilpa,
    Love ur site.. I tried these just now…they came out a bit too dense though were crispy enough…does it need some baking soda or does it have to rest for a while.. Thanks for the wonderful receipes..

  • jo June 30, 2011, 11:56 pm


    love your site. I tpo love vadas, before i was grinding in mixie and not got perfect vada nor idly, so this time i purchased grinder and i tried vada, then also it is not coming perfect vadas, like your bloated, crisp, sand texture. I grinded for about 45 mts then also my vada didn;t turn good, finally i added some soda and fried.

    What could have gone wrong i don;t knoe, i soaked it for 4 hrs and i grinded for 20 mts and tried one vada, didn’t come good and again i started grinding for another 30 mts then tried again no luck.

    how to know that the batter is ready for frying.

  • Huntress July 31, 2011, 1:26 am

    Hi Shilpa,

    Thanks for posting this recipe. The serving quantity you have mentioned which is 2-3, is it in number of pieces or number of people??

  • Divya August 30, 2011, 5:03 pm

    How on earth did you get the perfect shape with the hole in the middle of the vadai? I have tried like a gazillion times and I always ALWAYS end up with a bonda. Although they taste great. I’m sure I got the consistency right. If only I could learn to trick my hands into sliding the vadas into the frying pan as they are! Please please help.

    • Shilpa September 1, 2011, 4:33 pm

      That was just practice. You need a thick batter. Just dip your palm in water and then shape the vada. I have seen the vada maker at friend’s place. So if you make them frequently, I would suggest investing in one.

  • Shylaja November 21, 2011, 7:31 am

    How long do you soak the dal for? And is it ok to not add coconut?

    • Shilpa November 21, 2011, 10:11 am

      About 2-3hrs should be fine. Yes, you can leave out coconut

  • Prakash December 7, 2011, 2:12 pm

    Hi Shilpa, thanks for the recipee..

    Got medu vada right at the third/fourth attempt, trial and error rules…

    For those that use a mixer or a food processor
    The trick is to grind at slower setting, in smaller batches with minimal water usage and stop if it overheats . . I have ground it for first minute with the lid and later without it! The dough should grind evenly and whirlpool in the mixer
    The dough is good if it sticks to a spoon when u pull it out of the batter and takes like 5/7 seconds to fall back in.

    Once u remove the dough u have got to aerate it with ur hand, i saw the dosa guy do it, it goes shiny white. i think u can chk out vahchefs method on youtube. ur hand should be soaking wet when u handle dough if u intend to hand toss.

  • akash tiwari December 21, 2011, 8:51 am

    my vada after deep frying dosent becomes crunchy from outside

  • Shubha April 17, 2012, 9:08 pm

    I’m trying this recipe for the 1st time. I think my batter became too thin. Hoping they turn out right.:(
    The pictures look excellent.

  • Puja Bhatikar May 23, 2012, 12:37 am

    Hi Shilpa,
    After grinding the batter can i make wadas aft 3-4 hrs jst keeping the batter outside the fridge or should i make it as soon as poss aft grinding ?

    • Shilpa May 23, 2012, 10:14 am

      Yes, you can keep it outside if it is not very hot. Just make sure you bring it to room temperature before frying

  • vasanth sd September 14, 2012, 1:40 am

    super and dilicious lokking dishes ,i eat daily uddina vade from hotel nearby but nowonwards in my home i can eat ok bye take care gn

    • sarita June 15, 2014, 7:25 pm


      tried the mendu vada yesterday. did not use any water to grind the urid dal
      they were crispy outside by dense inside

      any tips. if fried on medium heat


    • Shilpa June 15, 2014, 10:03 pm

      Was it ground fine?

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