Medu Vada | Uzhunnu Vada | Sambar Vada


Medu vada is basically a spicy donut prepared from black gram, herbs, coconut and essential spices. The word ‘Medu’ means soft and ‘vada’ stands for fritters. Hot and crispy Medu Vada is often relished with coconut chutney and sambar in South Indian homes and restaurants. This is an authentic time tested traditional snack and there are lots of tips available for making the most delicious Vadas. It is believed that the term ‘Vada’ has been derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Vataka’. According to a popular food historian, Vada dates back to 500 BC with mention of pulses soaked, ground and fried in ghee. Medu Vadas make a complete, satisfying and filling dish requiring few ingredients. There are different variations of these vadas which are classified as fritters, cutlets or dumplings.

Black gram is the basic ingredient for Uzhunnu Vada. Care should be taken while grinding the soaked black gram dal. The batter should be ground smooth and not watery. Add very little water while grinding the mixture. Keep the ground batter aside for fermentation. Herbs and powders are added to fermented ground batter to make it more spicy and flavorful. Take some batter in your right palm. Give it a round shape by moving it in a circular position in the right hand. With your thumb make a hole in the center of the vada. Uzhunnu Vada is rich in protein and other vital nutrients required for your body. Hot and crispy Uzhunnu Vada is a delight for both the young and old alike. I love these soft Medu Vadas dunked in hot sambar. This is my favorite and its’ called Sambar Vada. There are Rasa Vadas too dunked in a spicy rasam which is yet another favorite of mine. You can explore a well detailed Medu Vada recipe here.

Medu Vada | Uzhunnu Vada | Sambar Vada

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Course Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine Indian


  • 2 cups Urad dal Wash and soaked for 2 hours
  • 3 tbsp Rice flour
  • Curry leaves Chopped
  • 1 small piece Ginger  Chopped
  • 2 nos. Green chilly Chopped
  • 1 tsp Sambar powder
  • 1/2 tsp Crushed pepper
  • Salt as reqd
  • Oil for frying


  • Begin to grind or blend the soaked urad dal to a smooth batter. The batter should be fluffy and thick. You can grind in two batches or one lot depending on the capacity and size of your blender or mixer-grinder. Scrape down the sides of the blender as you got to ensure all the lentils gets blended to a uniform consistency. Remove the batter into a big bowl or vessel. Then add 3 tbsp roasted rice flour and briskly whip with a spatula, spoon or a wired whisk for 2 to 3 minutes. Then the batter is kept to ferment overnight or for 5-6 hours.
  • Measure and keep all the ingredients ready for making the batter. To the batter, add the spices and herbs(curry leaves, pepper, sambar powder, onion and ginger). Add salt as required and mix it well.
  • Take a bowl of water. Apply some water from the bowl on both your palms. Take some batter in your right palm from the bowl. Give it a round shape by moving it in a circular position in the right hand. With your thumb make a hole in the center. You can also use banana leaves or zip lock bags to give the medu vada its doughnut shape.
  • In a kadai, heat oil over medium heat. Once the oil becomes hot, slide the medu vada gently into the hot oil. Fry the medhu vadai till crisp and golden. Once the medhu vadai is crisp and golden, then remove with a slotted spoon to drain the extra oil. Fry the rest of vadai in the same manner.
  • Serve Medu Vada or Uzhunnu Vada hot or warm with sambar and coconut chutney. Enjoy!
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