Ulundu Vadai | Urad Dal Vada

Ulunda Vadai or Medu Vadai or Urad dal Vada is a deep fried savory recipe prepared with Urad dal / black lentils, spiced up with green chillies. These vadas are very common in the evening snack menu of many restaurants and also it is a popular combo tiffin item especially Pongal – Vada and Idly – Vada. Along with Masala vadai you can find these delicacies too, pretty much in all the tea stalls in TN. Also these vadas are prepared on festival days too. I usually skip onions, if I am preparing it during festival days.

UluthamVadai2

Ulunda Vada is unique and interesting because of its shape. It’s the Indian savory donut with the hole in the center. Getting that perfect shape took me couple of years. . Kiddo loves this vadai and I prepare a small batch whenever I soak rice and urad dal for idly/dosa. I grind urad dal first and set aside some for vadai. When I started to prepare them initially, I never got that shape. My vadai will look like bondas. I slowly learnt the consistency and that’s when I stumbled upon a YouTube video. I went with my own measurements but her tip of keeping the batter in fridge for some time works like a charm. And also I learnt the vadai shaping process from that video. If the batter consistency is perfect, preparing the perfect shaped vadas is also easy.

CloserLook_Vadai

I wanted to try a video of the vada shaping process but M who was helping me through the process got a call during that step and we couldn’t do capture a video and I was so busy shaping and frying the vadas and I couldn’t do step by step pics either. I will update the pics and video soon. Hope I have explained the steps clearly. As I have mentioned the reasons and alternatives in the step wise procedure, I didn’t add a separate notes section.

UlunduVadai

Here is the recipe for U. (I can’t believe we are in the last week of this blogging marathon. Only 5 more to go)

Ingredients:

  • Urad dal – 1 cup
  • Green chili – 1 (I used a big serrano chilli. Adjust according to the chilli and your taste preference)
  • Salt – 2 tsps
  • Chopped Onion – 1/4 cup (Optional, If I am preparing for poojas I avoid these)
  • Cilantro – a handful
  • Oil for frying
  • Chopped Ginger and Peppercorns can be added. I didn’t add in this recipe.

Preparing the Batter:

  • Wash the urad dal and soak it for about 3 to 4 hrs.
  • Drain the water and grind it along with the green chilli. As I used serrano chilli, I went with one. Please adjust the number of chillies as per your taste preference.

VadaiIngredient1

  • Grind it by just drizzling water, not more than ¼ cup of water. I grinded it using my wet grinder.

UluthamMaavu

Checking the Batter Consistency:

  • Take a bowl of water or glass of water.
  • Take a small amount from the batter and drop it the glass of water.
  • It should not spread out or dissolve and mix with water. It should maintain its shape and should float on top like below. That’s the right consistency.

UluthamMaavuConsistency3UluthammaavuConsistency1UluthamMaavuConsistency2

Adding Other Ingredients:

  • Keep this ground batter in the fridge for half an hour.
  • Now take the batter out and add the chopped cilantro, onions and salt. Salt should be added just before frying. Salt has the tendency of ooze out water and it will make the batter watery.

VadaiIngredients1

  • Mix this well and let it sit till the oil gets heated.

VadaiIngredients2

 

Shaping the Vadai and Frying:

  • Heat the oil required for frying in wide kadai. Once the oil is hot bring it to medium and let it stay in medium heat for few minutes. Frying in hot oil, might brown the vadai and also inside might not be cooked well. For soft and crispier vadai, frying it in medium heat is the best.
  • While the oil is getting hot, keep the batter and wide bowl with water.

VadaiStep

  • Wet your palm and shake off the excess water. Take a lemon sized batter and slowly toss it in your palm to make a ball.
  • Now bring this ball to the top of your palm and keep your thumb finger free. Basically the batter should be in your forefinger, middle finger, ring finger and pinky. Now with the thumb finger make a nice big hole in the center and slowly drop in the oil.
  • After 30 seconds flip the vadai and let it cook on the other side.
  • Deep fry until it turns light golden brown and by that time the oil bubble sound will also cease.
  • Repeat this process for the remaining vadai. In one batch I fried 3 vadas.

UlundaVadai

That’s it. Yummy vada is ready. I served this with chutney.  But sambar is also a best bet. :-)

UradDalVadai

VadaicloserLookUluthamVadai1

 

Ulundu Vadai | Urad Dal Vada
Yields 10
Ulunda Vadai or Urad dal Vada is a deep fried savory recipe prepared with Urad dal / black lentils, spiced up with green chillies. These vadas are very common in the evening snack menu of many restaurants and also it is a popular combo tiffin item especially Pongal – Vada and Idly – Vada.
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Prep Time
4 hr
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
4 hr 30 min
Prep Time
4 hr
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
4 hr 30 min
Ingredients
  1. Urad dal - 1 cup
  2. Green chili – 1 (I used a big serrano chilli. Adjust according to the chilli and your taste preference)
  3. Salt - 2 tsps
  4. Chopped Onion - 1/4 cup
  5. Cilantro - a handful
  6. Oil for frying
Preparing the Batter
  1. Wash the urad dal and soak it for about 3 to 4 hrs.
  2. Drain the water and grind it along with the green chilli. As I used serrano chilli, I went with one. Please adjust the number of chillies as per your taste preference.
  3. Grind it by just drizzling water, not more than ¼ cup of water. I grinded it using my wet grinder.
Checking the Batter Consistency
  1. Take a bowl of water or glass of water.
  2. Take a small amount from the batter and drop it the glass of water.
  3. It should not spread out or dissolve and mix with water. It should maintain its shape and should float on top like below. That’s the right consistency.
Adding Other Ingredients
  1. Keep this ground batter in the fridge for half an hour.
  2. Now take the batter out and add the chopped cilantro, onions and salt. Salt should be added just before frying. Salt has the tendency of ooze out water and it will make the batter watery.
  3. Mix this well and let it sit till the oil gets heated.
Shaping the Vadai and Frying
  1. Heat the oil required for frying in wide kadai. Once the oil is hot bring it to medium and let it stay in medium heat for few minutes. Frying in hot oil, might brown the vadai and also inside might not be cooked well. For soft and crispier vadai, frying it in medium heat is the best.
  2. While the oil is getting hot, keep the batter and wide bowl with water.
  3. Wet your palm and shake off the excess water. Take a lemon sized batter and slowly toss it in your palm to make a ball.
  4. Now bring this ball to the top of your palm and keep your thumb finger free. Basically the batter should be in your forefinger, middle finger, ring finger and pinky. Now with the thumb finger make a nice big hole in the center and slowly drop in the oil.
  5. After 30 seconds flip the vadai and let it cook on the other side.
  6. Deep fry until it turns light golden brown and by that time the oil bubble sound will also cease.
  7. Repeat this process for the remaining vadai. In one batch I fried 3 vadas.
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