Chana Dal Masala Vada South Indian style Recipe

Chana Dal Masala Vada South Indian style Recipe

This is a recipe of chana dal masala vada or deep fried lentil cakes that is super delicious and pretty easy to conjure. This recipe belongs to my mother-in-law’s younger sister who is considered the chef in the family. She is very methodical in her cooking and readily shares both her yummy food and recipes. This masala vada is made on festivals and special occasions or when relatives or friends visit. It is a favourite of all of us in the family so it was imperative that I learned the recipe and cooked it at home.

So here you go:

chana dal masala vada

Makes 25 good-sized vadas


Chana dal (Split Bengal gram) 500 gm. (Soak in water for a couple of hours)

1 large onion finely chopped

2-3 green chillies finely chopped (optional)

2 tbsp. finely chopped dill leaves

1 tbsp. finely chopped coriander leaves (optional)

a sprig of curry leaves finely chopped

1 tbsp. finely chopped ginger

1 tbsp. finely chopped garlic

3-4 cloves (optional)

1 inch stick cinnmon (optional)

salt to taste

Oil for deep frying


Drain water from soaked dal and make sure it is relatively dry. Then blend the dal in the mixer using no water. Leave it slightly coarse. You definitely do not want a paste. So just give a couple of quick blending motions. If some of the lentils remain whole, don’t fret. As a matter of fact that is desirable.

Now take out this coarse semi-paste in a container. Add all the finely chopped ingredients to the lentil batter. Do coarsely pound the cloves and cinnamon before adding. Add everything together and mix with your hand so that it is uniformly distributed. Now make small flat balls using your hands.

Use a little oil if the mix sticks though it generally doesn’t. Now heat the oil to high heat. I use mustard oil because I love its taste but you can use any vegetable oil you like. Deep fry till golden brown ensuring that you reduce the heat to medium high else the outside will be brown too soon while the inside stays uncooked.

Now drain them out and serve hot with any chutney or ketchup. This is very filling and incredibly delicious. Enjoy.

Tip: Add salt at the end. You can make the batter and store in the fridge for later use. Just don’t add salt. Add salt just before frying because you don’t want the batter to become soggy.

The vada mix should not be runny or watery.

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16 thoughts on “Chana Dal Masala Vada South Indian style Recipe

  1. Hey, Rachna, your posts on this blog leave me feeling hungry always! Now I just WANT to eat these wadas, with steaming hot sambhar (they taste awesome with sambhar!) or chutney, but I don’t want to go make it, I just want it all ready made…that’s how famished I feel right now! 😛
    I am going to make these and let you know how it turned out. Just the other day I ate these at the local idli wala and I drooled over the plateful of these wadas he handed me. 😛

    1. Awww You are so adorable. I wish I could have sent some over to you. Some day we will have them over a cup or chai or coffee.

  2. I just love this vada, Rachna. So healthy! By the way, let me share something funny. When Vidur was here for a break, FreshMenu had a falafel dish which he was curious about and wanted to try out. When we ordered it, we were shocked to find 5 tiny masala vadas on top of a rather sad salad. Very disappointing and overpriced.

    You know we call this “aamai vadai” and I don’t know why, because aamai means tortoise 🙂
    I am going to make this tomorrow! ♥

  3. ohh I love these. You give me any kind of vada and I’ll be happy. Your post actually reminded me of pusto vada that mom makes. Now I have a craving for some channa dal and pusto vada. 😀

  4. Hey Rachna, thanks for sharing this simple & healthy vada recipe. My daughter is fond of vadas. I’ll make this for my little one. I haven’t tried making it at home, but now I’ll do it, hope I’ll make it perfectly.

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