Masala Vada is a spicy, crispy tea time snack made from chana dal and spices. As the name suggests it literally means ” Spicy savory fritter”.
These vadas are usually served with evening tea, if you are not a tea drinker then you can have these vadas with either green chutney or ketchup like me.
It requires a little planning ahead but makes for a perfect, delightful snack and making it is not so difficult which is all the more reason to make it.
More reasons to make this tasty masala vada are as follows
Let’s take a look at the health benefits of chana dal
- Provides Energy
- Excellent Source of vegetarian protein
- Rich in antioxidants and a good source of folic acid
- Diabetic Friendly – The glycemic index of raw chana dal(Bengal gram) is extremely low around 8 which makes it a superfood for diabetic people.
- Rich in magnesium and improves insulin response
- High Fiber
- Good for skin, eyes, teeth, and bones.
- Maintains PH levels
How will you know when you’ve made the perfect masala vada?
When the vada is crispy on the outside, soft on the inside and you just can’t stop after the first bite. That is when you will know you have made the perfect masala vada.
Let’s see how to make the masala vada
- 3/4 cup Chana dal(Bengal gram) – soaked for 3-4 hours
- 2 Green chilies
- 1 small Onion – diced
- 2 tbsp Coriander leaves – chopped
- 1 Sprig Curry leaves – chopped
- 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
- 2 tsp Red Chili powder
- 1/4 tsp Turmeric
- 1/8 tsp Cinnamon, Cardamom, Cloves spice mix powder(Optional)
- Salt to taste
- 1/8 tsp baking soda
- Rinse chana dal(Bengal gram) in water until the water runs clear.
- Soak chana dal for 3-4 hours.
- Drain the water after soaking for 3-4 hours, just before grinding.
- Now grind chana dal and 2 green chilies coarsely. DO NOT ADD WATER while grinding. This ground mixture should have some uncrushed chana dal. (You can keep a handful(2 tbsp) of chana dal grains separately and mix it in later with the ground chana dal).
- Take this ground mixture into a bowl.
- To the ground mixture add 1 diced onion, Chopped coriander leaves, chopped curry leaves, a tsp of ginger-garlic paste, 2 tsp chili powder, 1/4th tsp turmeric, 1/8th tsp cinnamon, cardamom, clove powder, 1/8th tsp baking soda and salt to taste.
- Mix everything well.
Shaping and making the masala vada:
- Heat oil on a medium flame in a kadhai or skillet or pan.
- Take a small portion of the mixture into your hand and make it into a ball and then take the ball into the left hand and flatten with your right hand. (NOTE: At any point, if you feel like the shaped vadas are sticking to your hand then grease your palms with oil or dip your hand in the water before making the vada.)
- You can either make all vadas, keep them in a plate and fry them or you can make vadas as you fry.
- The oil shouldn’t be very hot, test it by dropping a small portion of the mixture into the oil. The mixture should rise in oil without browning quickly.
- Once the oil is moderately hot carefully slide the vadas one by one into the oil.
- Do not overcrowd the kadhai.
- Do not try to turn them or disturb them as soon as you put them oil, let them fry for a bit before turning them. If you disturb them immediately they will break.
- On a medium flame deep fry the masala vadas until golden and crisp on both sides.
- After they are done, transfer the vadas into a plate lined with a kitchen tissue paper.
- Fry the rest of them in batches following the same procedure.
- Serve them hot with green chutney or tomato ketchup.
- Grinding the chana dal to a coarse and thick consistency is very important for the vadas to turn out crispy on the outside.
- Do not add water while grinding. I did not add any water while grinding. If you add water they will lose their crispiness and it will be difficult to shape the vadas. Just add 1-2 tbsp of water if you are not able to grind at all.
- The shape of the vadas should be flat and slightly on the thinner side. If they are thick they may not get cooked completely and the inside maybe a little raw.
- If you soaked the chana dal for too long or if the mixture looks moist and soggy then add a tbsp or 2 of rice flour.
Before you go…
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