Medu Vada / Uzhunnu Vada – Spicy Black Gram Dumplings



My Mom makes the best uzhunnu vadas I’ve eaten. Unfortunately I’ve never get to watch her make them since very rarely can we stand each other in the same room let alone a kitchen. Very often as I am gulping down some of her tasty delights, there occurs brief lapses in my senses and in the bliss of ecstasy I find my self proclaiming the usual foot-in- the-mouth/call-it-on-yourself declarations like: I’ve got to learn this from you !! And then of course I find her smirking and hear her insinuating, PRETEND under the breath remark(loud enough for the next door neighbor to hear): Oh that will need your butt to forsake the couch. Of course that sends me eating more than my stomach can handle and I walk away making sure my eyes reveal what my tongue so desperately wants to lash out, but dare not say: My ass will never leave the couch Ma and you forever will end up cooking for me ‘cause I’m going to make sure you outlive me and manipulated by me, your motherly instincts will continue to feed my greed whether you like it or not. Long story short, this IS my mothers recipe but I learnt it from my sister who, God bless her- has all the patience in the world to bear my mothers taunts.

The two main points to remember in order for the vadas to be crisp on the outside and soft on the inside is: 1> Use as little water as possible for grinding. 2> Aerate the batter thoroughly using a fork after grinding.


IMG_93142 cups urad dal/ black gram
1 tsp crushed pepper 
1 tsp grated and crushed ginger 
2-3 green chilies finely chopped
2- 3 tbsp chopped cilantro 
10-12 torn curry leaves
1 tbsp diced coconut (optional. I don’t add this my mother does) 
1/2 cup chopped onions   
salt to taste 
refined oil for deep frying



  • IMG_9296Soak urad dal in water for 5 –6 hours.
  • Grind it to a smooth batter without adding too much water.
  • Use a fork or a mixer and aerate the batter thoroughly.
  • Now add all the other ingredients except oil and mix well into the batter.
  • Heat oil in a deep pan.
  • Immerse the front of your palm in water and scoop a hand full of batter and shape it into a ball.
  • IMG_9305Use your thumb to make a hole at the center of the ball like a doughnut.
  • Flip your palm back side up on top of the hot oil and let the doughnut slump down smoothly on its own into the hot oil.
  • Fry each side for about a minute until deep golden brown and crispy on the outside.
  • Serve hot with sambar and coconut chutney.





    6 Responses to “Medu Vada / Uzhunnu Vada – Spicy Black Gram Dumplings”

    1. Rashmi says:


      I tried your Medu vada recipe for Diwali breakfast. They were not as round and pretty as yours, but they turned out crisp on the outside and soft on the inside just as you promised 🙂 and very yummy!

      Love the site. Am eyeing the Gongura dal recipe to try out next.

    2. Sushma says:

      Love these uddin vada Julie!! I am assuming Sophie is ur patient sister 🙂 I add some Kadipatta and Ajwain to mine. Try it. It gives it a totally different taste. I know people add asafoetida powder to this also.

    3. Sophie says:

      Alright, alright I lose……….they look yummy. Add some coriander leaves too…they add to the flavour and will enhance the beauty of the vada too :).

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