Medu Vada | Uddina Vada | Savoury Donut

What's the most famous South Indian breakfast? Dosa or Idli? I'm on Team Idli. Now what's idli without the crisp vada and a steaming cup of strong filter coffee, right? I'm drooling over my keyboard right now. Slurp! Slurp! For the uninitiated, Medu vada or Uddina vada is a savoury fried fritter with a hole in the center, exactly like a donut. Only, unlike a donut, this is made of ground soaked black gram. It is confusing to call it black gram, cause what we really need here is de-skinned black gram, which is white in colour :)

I've been fighting a losing battle with weight loss for a long time now. Although I rarely order a vada in a restaurant (I try very hard to avoid deep fried foods), I don't mind swooping into hubby dearest's plate and having  a bite or two or may be half the vada *sheepish smile*  I like to think if it isn't in my plate, it isn't my calories :P (could be the reason for my loss).

This week, out of the blue, hubby dearest made a breakfast request, "Can you make medu vada for breakfast on the weekend?". He's generally ok with anything (as far as he isn't asked to cook), so a request is treated with great respect. I brought out all my tools aka, my mixer/blender, the phone and of course, the internet :) I've made vadas before and struggled to get the hole in the center. My mom told me a simple trick that made vada making extremely easy. Keep a bowl of water close by. Dip your hands in the water and then pick up a little dough in your hand, flatten it and make a hole using your thumb or fingers of your other hand and then gently slide it into the oil.

You can eat these vadas soaked in sambar or with a side of chutney, and for fussy kids, a side of tomato ketchup should be just fine. The below recipe made around 8 small vadas.

Medu Vada | Uddina Vada | Savoury Donut

Medu Vada is an Indian deep fried savory donut made from lentils. A popular South Indian breakfast along with Idli.

Recipe Type:  Snacks / Breakfast
Cuisine:          South Indian
Prep Time:     3 Hours (Including lentil soaking time)
Cook time:     30 minutes
Yield:              8


3/4 cup Urad dal / Deskinned Black Gram
8-10 Black pepper corns (Optional)
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds (Optional)
8-10 Curry leaves (Optional)
1 Tbsp chopped Coriander leaves (Optional)
A pinch of Baking soda
Oil for deep frying


Soak the dal in water for around 2-4 hours. You can leave it overnight too if your place isn't very hot.
Drain the dal and grind into a fine batter. Use as less water as possible. The dough should be slightly on the thicker side. I used around 1-2 tbsp of water only.
Add the salt, cooking soda and all/ any of the other optional ingredients
Heat oil in a thick bottomed pan for deep frying.
Now keep a bowl of water near you. Soak your hands in the water. Pick up a small lump of batter and place it on your fingers.
Make a hole in the center using either your thumb or fingers of your other hand.
You can use a oiled banana leaf or even an oiled flat spoon to place the batter instead of your fingers.
Now gently slide this batter into the oil.  Cook until golden brown on both sides.
Remove with a slotted spoon and drain excess oil on paper towels.
Serve it nice and hot with chutney/sambar or as I said with tomato ketchup for the kids.


  1. I want to eat these ! They look so yum, keep some for me the next time you make them...

  2. I wish I could ave one of them. Very mouth watering.