Vada or medu vada recipe. Garelu, uddina vade, ulundhu vadai are other South Indian names to these round disc shaped fritters made of lentils like urad dal or chana dal. These are one of the very popular South Indian food – especially served for breakfast or snack in street stalls and tiffin centers. The fritters made using urad dal are called medu vada or medhu vadai in Tamil and Garelu in Telugu. They are often served with tiffin sambar and fresh coconut chutney. The kind made using chana dal are called as masala vadai or chana dal vada. These are served with just tea or chutney.
Medu vada recipe I am sharing today can be used to make a basic version which are offered to goddess Lakshmi and Durga during festivals like varalakshmi vratam / puja, Gouri puja, Diwali and Durga navratri. These can also be made like hotel style lightly spiced vadai.
The ingredients that go towards making naivedhyam medu vada recipe or garelu are kept simple in our home and are made without onion, ginger, pepper or green chilies. Each family have their own custom whether to include or not to some of the above mentioned ingredients.
The hotel style vada are made using crushed pepper, green chilies, cumin, onions and a pinch of baking soda to increase the fluffy texture. They are made after grinding the batter in wet grinder which gives them the best texture fluffy from inside and crunchy texture from outside.
The batter for these garelu or medu vada recipe was made in the mixer grinder, it can be made even in the wet grinder. The pain of washing the wet grinder container always stop me from using it. So anytime I use only the mixer-grinder to make my garelu, unless we make in large quantity. We can make fluffy medu vada even without a wet grinder. Let us see how
If you intend to try these read all the notes mentioned at the end of this post to get them right.
You can find more vada recipes on the blog
Masala vada (chana dal vada)
Mixed dal vada
Medu vada recipe or garelu recipe below
- 1 cup urad dal
- Salt to taste
- Ice Cold Water as required
- Oil for deep frying
- ¼ tsp pepper corn crushed coarsely
- 2 to 3 green chilies
- 4 tbsp. chopped onions
- Wash dal several times and soak in lot of water for at least 4 to 5 hrs.
- Add it to a mixer grinder jar or wet grinder container, sprinkle very little water, salt and start grinding.
- Scrape off the sides and then grind again.
- Whenever needed sprinkle only as much as 1 ½ tsps. Ice cold Water evenly and grind to a coarse thick batter. Sprinkle water. Grind again till the batter looks fluffy and white.
- Add this to a bowl, aerate the batter by beating it with your hand in a clockwise direction for 30 seconds.
- Test the batter if it is aerated well by dropping a small ball in bowl full of water, the ball has to float meaning it is light. This is needed to get fluffy vadas.
- If the batter doesn't float well, means either the batter is runny or is not aerated well. Read the notes below to know what to do with runny batter. If the batter is in right consistency still it is not floating well, beat the batter once more. Add crushed pepper, green chilies and onions. Mix everything well.
- Heat oil in a deep heavy bottom kadai/ pan till hot enough. You can drop a small amount of batter to check if the oil is hot. The batter raises if the oil is hot enough.
- Dip your fingers in water, we need moist fingers. Take small portions of batter, shape to a ball, slightly flatten with thumb, dip the thumb in water, make a whole in the centre, and drop in the hot oil by gently shaking off the fingers.
- Or place the ball on a greased sheet. Flatten it slightly and make a whole in the centre.
- When the oil becomes hot, put on the flame to medium. Moisten your fingers again, Lift the corner part of the sheet and transfer these vadas on to your fingers and drop these just by shaking your fingers.
- Fry till they turn golden.
- Make them and fry them in batches till you use up all the batter. In between every batch, wait till the oil heats up, if not hot.
If the batter becomes slightly runny, you can mix 1 to 2 tbsps. Of rice flour (at room temperature) and then beat it well to get aerated. Other alternates are to use powdered poha / attukulu. Poha works great.
If the batter turns to be runny, I suggest you to make punugulu instead of vada. Punugulu are round shaped fritters that are made with urad dal and rice batter. Add rice flour to the runny batter and make punugulu as shown in this post.
If you are a beginner: suggested to make the vadai on the plastic sheet and then transfer to the hot oil.
Avoid runny batter: Adding salt later to the batter can thin it down, so make sure you add while grinding.
Use only very little ice cold water to grind the batter, using not more than 1½ tsp. at one time, which literally means you have to sprinkle the water evenly
Hard vadas : did not soak for at least 4 hours , did not grind the batter well. Did not use enough water while grinding or did not aerate the batter well
Vadas remain uncooked or over browned: Adding vadas to extremely hot smoky oil will not cook them well from inside, so put on the flame to medium when it is smoky hot
If your vadas turn out hard even after you follow all these tips, it means dal is very old stock. Yes vadas made from old stock dals dont turn out good.Old stocks look very pale yellow in color.
How to make medu vada recipe or garelu
1. Wash and soak dal for at least 4 to 5 hrs. Soaking them for at least 4 hours make the batter fluffy and increases the volume. But if you run short of time, you can soak for 2 hours and make.
2. Grind the dal with salt and very little ice cold water that has to be sprinkled to start off. As and when needed sprinkle evenly about only 1 ½ tsp. water each time. Whether you make in the wet grinder or mixer, the process is same.
3. Scrape off the sides and grind again. The batter will be coarse but must be thick. Sprinkle water.
4. Grind till the batter looks fluffy and white, like you see in the picture.
5. Transfer the batter to a bowl, beat the batter for about 30 seconds with your hand, clock wise to make the batter more fluffy and aerated. This is very important. You can skip this step if making the batter in wet grinder. You can also add a pinch of baking soda, crushed pepper, green chilies and chopped onions if you want like the ones made in hotels. Since i made these for the puja, i did not add any.
6. Take a small bowl filled with water, take little batter and form a ball, drop it in the water. If aerated well, the batter floats well. Repeat beating if the batter doesn’t float well. The batter will not float even if the consistency is very thin. Read the notes what to do if the batter becomes runny/thin.
7. Heat oil in a deep pan till hot enough. Dip your fingers in water (water should not be dripping from your fingers) Take small portions of this batter, make a ball, slightly flatten with your thumb, dip your thumb in water, make a whole in the centre, face your palm towards the oil, drop in the hot oil by shaking your fingers gently. Take care. Change in the color is due to the lighting.
or place the ball on a greased sheet. Flatten it slightly and make a whole in the centre. Once the oil is hot enough, reduce the flame to medium. Dip your fingers in water, Lift the corner part of the sheet and transfer these vadas on to your fingers and drop these just by shaking your fingers.
8. Fry on a medium flame till they turn golden. Drain them on a kitchen tissue. Make batches and finish frying till all the batter is used up.
Cool Completely and Offer them to the Goddess.
Serve with coconut chutney.