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Sunday, December 02, 2012

Madras Donuts ( Medu vada)

Hello everyone !!! This will be my second challenge in SNC  and am super excited .. As you all know there is an event going on  Divya pramils space YOU TOO CAN COOK .. The event is all abt two teams north and south team ..A member from north team and a member south team respectively  will challenge  the opposite team members with a recipe from their respective zone  and opposite teams have to post the same recipe on their Blog .. this takes place every month .. The idea of this event is that we learn so many different recipes from different zones .. Hats off to divya for this great idea .. click here to partcipate

An update on whats going on till now

Challenge 1- october month's challenge

North team Host shruti dhingra from " shruti's rasoi"- Bhel puri
South team Host divya from "Divya's culinary journey "- Mysore pak


Challenge 2- November month's challenge

North team host Pallavi from "cook -eat- burrp" - Gulab jamun
South team host Yashodha from "yashodha's kitchen" - Adhirasam

 yet to be announced- fingers crossed :P Its like waiting for exam results ....uffff 

and now 

Challenge 3- December months challenge

North team Host Meena from " Random rambling " - Misal pav  click here
South team Host Sherin from " Kuk's kitchen" - Medu vada click here

Last challenge we made Adhirasam which was really tasty sweet.. It was tricky but tasty too :) good thing is that this time we have a " stater"  challenge  n not a sweet again ...cheers north team !!! :)

As am from north team i had to prepare medu vada which is one of my favorite . Thanks to sherin for such an awesome recipe ..I loved to have sambhar idli and sambhar vada back in chennai , but didn't think aboutt trying them on my own from scratch.. This is the first time i tried medu vada at home and wowwy zowwy it was much better than we get in restuarent .. i enjoyed while making this medu vada ... especially when i shaped them .. it was so much fun for me and a big thanks to my hubby for waiting patiently till i took my pics :)..

Medu vada is a traditional favorite of south india that features not just in everyday cuisine but is also an indispensable part of the menu on festivals and puja days. Let look for the ingredients and method to prepare this delicious  stater ...


1 cup urad dal (split black lentils)
5 to 6 black peppercorns (crushed)
8 to 10 curry leaves (kadi patta)
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp roughly chopped ginger
1 tsp finely chopped green chillies
1 tbsp Rice ( optinal - if u like your medu vada a little crispier then do add )
Asafoetida  a pinch
salt to taste
oil for deep-frying (I used olive oil )

For Serving
coconut chutney


  Soak urad dal and rice for 2 hour at least . Drain water and keep aside (I drained the water completely and then sprinkle little by little while grinding in a blender , doing so you can be sure of the quantity of water).Now grind it to a fluffy textured batter sprinkling water now and then. Don't add much water as the batter will become runny.NOTE:Grind the batter with just enough water to make a soft but not watery dough – as it is the consistency of the batter that determines how soft and shapely the vadas turn out, and of course how many compliments you reap! after all, ‘medu’ means soft, and the wadas must live up to the name..

Once the batter is ready, add chopped onions, jeera, pepper, curry leaves, chillies,asafoetida and required salt to the batter, mix well and keep aside. NOTE- don't add salt will grinding  as your batter will go runny ...

 The batter should be thick.Heat oil in a kadai. Take a aluminium foil or cling rap or banana leaf slightly greased with a drop of oil. Wet your right hand, then make a small ball out of the batter and pat it on the banana leaf . Now make a hole in the middle and carefully transfer it to the kadai -This needs a lot of practice .. I felt using hand is  more comfortable than using a banana leaf or foil .. so used my hands to make the shape..

You can also make use of Donut maker which is  available in the market for perfect shape

Making vada Shapes using donut maker:

Fill the donut maker with batter. Hold it over the hot oil . Now with your thumb push down the lever/knob and the hole at the bottom of the donut maker opens to let the batter out. Keep your thumb pressed down for as long as you need - this depends on how big you want your vadas. The longer you hold the lever down, more batter comes out and vada becomes bigger. Hold the lever down for a short time to make smaller vada's.
Pic Courtesy : Google

Fry the vadai in medium flame, turn over to other side once it becomes firm. Take out and drain it in a tissue once it becomes golden brown on both sides.


  • If using mixie  or blender for grinding the urad dal use the pulse option .
  • For more quantity always use grinder else the heat generated while grinding in the mixie will not make the vada's fluffy.
  • Always grind the batter smoothly into a fine paste, the batter should resemble like a butter cream icing, else the vada's will become hard and rubbery.Avoid adding excess water while grinding.
  • If by any chance the batter turns runny just add a tbsp of rice flour.
  • Check oil temperature before dropping the dumpling, sometimes if oil is too hot it might burn the vadai's.
  • Getting the perfect shape requires a little practice.. .But the basic trick is to wet the hands liberally and then hold the vadas to make the shape.
  • Always add the salt after grinding it will make your batter runny if added while grinding ..
  • Take care to make the vada's as soon as the batter is made, as they will absorb too much oil if left to ferment. Also, forget not the hole in the center for it is the defining feature of medu wadas..
  • Next important thing is fluffing up the batter. Beat the batter well with hand to incorporate air and make the batter fluffy. The fluffy batter gives softer vada. To test the fluffiness of batter, drop a portion of batter in a bowl of water and observe the batter. If the batter sinks then it is not fluffy enough and beat the batter for sometime and test it .

Things we can do with leftover vada's

Thayir vada or dahi vada

The hot deep fried vada's are first dipped in water and then transferred to thick beaten yogurt. For best results, the vada's have to be soaked for at least a couple of hours before serving. To add more flavor, it can be topped with coriander or mint leaves, chili powder, crushed black pepper, chaat masala, cumin, shredded coconut, green chilis or boondi. Sweeter curd is preferred for making this chaat .A combination of coriander and tamarind chutneys are often used for garnishing ..

Sambhar vadai

In a serving plate arrange a the medu vada's and top them with piping hot sambhar ... Garnish them with some chopped onion and ompodi.. You can make the vada soft by dipping in the water and then topping them with sambhar and then they are ready to go..

Rasam vadai

In a bowl same as sambhar vadai Immerse the vadai in piping hot rasam..

Payasam vadai

You can even dip them in payasam  and have sounds weird but it will taste good

Sweet medu vadai

Some people have these medu vada with banana, sugar and dizzle  ghee  on it..

Variation -Cabbage Medu Vada

I made this yummy  cabbage medu vada by just substituting cabbage instead of onion .. They really tasted good and for people who don't have onion  you can substitute these vada's with cabbage....

My hubby was delighted to have such an yummy medu vada :) Thanks SNC ( Divya pramil) for tis opportunity ..completing this months challenge successfully :) and now .Looking forward for more such yummy  recipes from south team  for next months challenge ... 


  1. 100 marks to you on behalf of meeeens :) yummy vadas n drooling pictures them

    1. hey thank u siris :) i hope meenu anuty likes this :)

  2. Manjula, Awesome presentation ! I love love love those pictures. And do they really work with that donut machine? Not that i will use it, but i could at least tell people about it. And a very nice compilation of all the dishes that you prepared with the vadai.

    1. yes sure sandhya they will work as the store bought or frozen vada's are made with this machine ..n thank u so much sandhya for your comments :)

  3. Wat a tempting fried beauties,makes me drool here.

  4. awesome vada's... now i am hungry seeing it..!! Perfectly presented... u are awesome as always..!! :)

  5. Perfectly done vadas with nice presentation, love the name Madras Donuts :-)

  6. wonderful explanations and vadas and my dear i didn not challenge vada i challengd misal pav. vada is sherin challenge for us

    i wrote everything in hurry and i write as if i talk to my readers
    didnt do explanations
    u can say i was in rush to post it thats why

    wonderful yummy vadas

  7. manju kalakringa.yummy and my fav dahi vada

  8. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  9. love the name madras doughnuts , i had posted about the sweet version , it was our kongu special.

  10. Hi dear... Here is one award is waiting for you on my blog please grab it

  11. Really superb Manju!!! Your explanation is awesome dear!!! Hats off to you Manju!!!

  12. wow your vadas are stunning :) i love the second click :) hats off to you for doing it so perfect

  13. Fabulous work. Love all the variations :)

  14. Yummy all the variations...

  15. your vadas looks so mouthwatering...

  16. Per perfect vadas dear and superb explanation of variations too.

  17. Hats off on ur effort in making all these variations. Well done dear

  18. Kudos to you for you effort Manjula, very new to your space. Excellent presentation dear.

  19. Wow Manjula ..............
    Great work !!! Lovely presentation :-)
    I want this donut maker but how to use it don't know !!

  20. First time here,happy to follow u.

    When u get time visit mine.


  21. Nice Manjula looks like u have lot of love for the medhu vada because u got the color and shape perfectly.Just by its shade itself I can say it must have been super tasty.

  22. Great Visiting Dear... Vada looks really tempting. Recipe elaboration is just awesome. Notes are very helpful... Thanks for all your vada combinations. Following you Dear...

  23. Very nice Presentation Manju! Vada looks great and perfect

  24. Love your blog, and really admired your talent of having multiple recipes in the same post...Great Work...Happy to follow you back..Majula

  25. That was one great post :) Loved how you made lots of different things from the same batter.

  26. all varities are good

  27. Loved the name - Madras Donuts :). You have done an awesome job here. Loved all your versions esp the dahi one.Very tempting Manjula....


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