Medu vada, which literally means soft vada in Kannada, is a south Indian snack. Although the medu vada recipe originated in the southern part of the country, today, it is a popular breakfast item across India. Made using urad dal batter, the medu vada recipe was popularised nation-wide by Udupi restaurateurs. In the medu vada recipe, the batter is flavoured with a number of ingredients such as curry leaves, ginger, cumin seeds, black pepper and chillies. While most of us know it as medu vada, this lentil-based snack is also known as urad vada, medhu vadai, ulundu vadai, garelu and uzhunnu vada in different parts of south India.
While there is no clarity on which part of south India can be credited for the invention of medu vada, according to food columnist Vir Sanghvi, it can be traced with “some certainty” to the Maddur town in Karnataka.
Medu Vada Recipe
Learn how to make this easy-to-make, light lentil fritter and serve it with a yummy coconut chutney and a bowl of sambar. It makes for a delicious and filling breakfast item.
Ingredients for Medu Vada Recipe
2 cup urad dal, soaked in water overnight or at least for 4 hours
2 onions, finely chopped
2 tsp ginger
4 to 5 medium-sized green chillies, deseeded
½ cup curry leaves
Salt, as per preference
Oil for deep frying
Method for Medu Vada Recipe
1. Drain and rinse the urad dal. Now, blend it in a food processer with green chillies, ginger, curry leaves and salt to make a smooth paste. You can add some water to the mixture to make it smooth, however, make sure the paste doesn’t get too flowy. Batter for the medu vada recipe needs to be smooth yet firm so it can be shaped well.
2. Add the chopped onions to the mixture and mix well.
3. Once the mixture is ready, apply some oil on your palm and take a small portion of the medu vada batter and flatten it with your hands. Then, make a small hole in the centre and carefully drop the vada in hot oil to fry. Let it fry until golden brown.
4. Place the medu vada on a paper towel to soak the excess oil and voila! Your medu vada is ready to serve. Traditionally, it is served with coconut chutney and a piping hot bowl of sambar.
Sambar, a hearty lentil broth, makes for the perfect accompaniment for medu vada. Some like it as a side dish while others love their medu vadas dipped in sambar. Here’s a step-by-step sambar recipe video in Hindi to help you make the perfect bowl of this lentil broth at home.
You can even try your hands at making this from scratch, by acing this sambar masala recipe. Check out its step-by-step recipe here.
More South Indian Recipes
These are south Indian-style pancakes, thicker than the dosa, which can be eaten at any time of the day – breakfast, lunch, or dinner. You can learn to make this vegetarian uttapam at home with this step-by-step recipe.
Masala Dosa Recipe
Another hearty breakfast/lunch/dinner item from south India is the humble masala dosa. Just like the uttapam, it is made using a flowy batter of ground rice and lentils poured on a tawa. The masala dosa recipe is finished off with a well-spiced mashed potato filling. Read the step-by-step recipe here.
Wait, the masala dosa filling experience doesn’t end here. You may be surprised to know, but there are so many quirky filling ideas out there to experiment with. Click here to explore and experiment.
Also read: Yummy Snacks from South India You Must Eat At Least Once
Udupi Cuisine Beyond Idli, Dosa and Medu Vada
While most associate Udupi cuisine to dosa, idlis and medu vadas alone, during the shoot of our show Utsav: Thalis of India, we discovered there’s more to Udupi cuisine than these few items. Read all about the dishes, vegetables, and traditions unique to this influential town of Karnataka here.
Best Udupi Cafes in Mumbai
For Mumbaikars and people visiting the city, who love binge-eating Udupi delicacies such as masala dosa, uttapamand medu vada, the Matunga area in the city is arguably the mecca of this cuisine. Here’s a list of 11 of the best Udupi cafes in the vicinity and a little background on the same.
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