Posted in Breakfast, Recipes

Medu Vadai – Of Sagars of Bengaluru and Lazy Weekends!

There are weekends when you don’t want to wake up. Or wake up late and just walk down to the nearest Sagar/Udipi place and have a multi-course breakfast at leisure. Polish off a Wada Sambar or a Masala Dosa ( or a two), demolish a couple of Idlis and savour everything with a steaming Davara of Filter Kaapi. And if you have a sweet tooth like me, finish off the meal with a Kesari Bath. And as you can see, I am purist. So, if you try a Paneer Dosa or a Baby Corn Dosa on a lovely morning which is supposed to kickstart your awesome weekend, I WILL judge you.

And then, there are days, when you have already made up your mind to venture into unknown territories of your cooking skills. So, even before your alarm rings you are skipping with joy, with the anticipation of how things will turn out. Thats exactly what happened the day I decided to make Medu Vadai!

Before I start ranting about the recipe, for the folks not so familiar with Medu Vadai, here is a brief background. Vadai is a term for fritters usually made of lentil batter. Medu Vadai where medu means ‘soft’ in Tamil, is a doughnut shaped fritter made of a light fluffy batter of ground skinned black lentils, into which bits of coconut, cumin and green chillies and then deep fried. Usually eaten with a moderately spiced lentil soup called Sambar, it is a calorie-bomb, no doubt about that. But it is heart warming for sure. If you are visiting Southern India, do not miss this which isn’t very difficult to get since it sold at almost all South Indian eateries, from a small roadside eateries to swanky restaurants.

So then, off to how I made it!

Ingredients: (makes about 6-7 Vadais depending on size)

  • Urad Daal, split and skinned black lentils –  1/2 cup
  • Green Chilly – 1 chopped (optional)
  • Peppercorns – whole, 3 or 4 (optional)
  • Fresh Coconut – chopped into small bits, 2 tbsp
  • Curry Leaves – 8 to 10, roughly torn or chopped
  • Semolina – 1 tbsp
  • Rice Flour – 2 tbsp
  • Salt – about 1 tsp, or to taste


  1. Soak Urad Daal for 4 hours or more. I usually soak it overnight and grind it the next morning for breakfast.
  2. Grind the dal in a wet stone grinder if you have one, or use a mixer/grinder/food processor jar meant for wet grinding. It has to been done quite patiently by adding very small quantities of water at a time. Keep scrapping the sides of the jar in between.
  3. Finally when the batter is thick, smooth and fluffy, transfer it to a bowl. Quick Test:  To check if the batter is of correct consistency, drop a small amount in bowl of water. The batter should float to the top.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
  5. Heat oil in a deep pan.
  6. Take a small bowl of water.  Dip your fingers into the bowl and wet them properly. Take some batter onto your finger, roughly size of a large lemon. Make a hole in the centre with your thumb. You can also do this step on a sheet of plastic, like a cut open ziploc bag.
  7. Please be very careful with this step, since you are handling hot oil. Invert the shaped batter from your fingers into the pan of hot oil.
  8. Turn the flame to medium and fry till the exteriors are crisp and golden brown.
  9. Remove from oil with a slotted spoon on a plate lined with absorbent paper.
  10. Repeat with the remaining batter.
  11. Serve hot dunked into Sambar accompanied by Coconut Chutney.

Note: I will update the recipes for Sambar and Coconut Chutney in the upcoming posts.


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