Medhu Vadai / Medu Vada/ Ulunthu Vadai/ Medu Wada / Uzhunnu Vada / மெது வடை is a traditional South Indian breakfast /tiffin item mostly enjoyed with Idli, Dosa and Ven Pongal along with sambar and chutney. It is popular all over India not just in everyday cuisine but also as an indispensable part of the menu on festivals and pooja days. During my childhood days I used to visit my grandma for summer vacation and spend the entire two months enjoying the most. Time flies with fun, laughter and good food. She makes these supper fluffy, crispy vadas almost every friday… I believe for pooja and we get to enjoy a complete breakfast with vada sambar.. chutney. She makes the best vadas and I always follow her tips to get best results every time. Usually the leftover vadas are used for making Sambar vadai/ curd vadai or rasa vadai…in our home which rarely happens as we either finish them all or store for later use. Please do check the notes for Storing and reheating tips- Everyone loves to have vada hot and crispy and this tip really comes in handy when you are entertaining a large crowd or have guests at home. Lets move on to the recipe……
Medhu Vadai / Medu Vada/ Ulunthu Vadai/ Medu Wada / Uzhunnu Vada / மெது வடை / உளுந்து வடை / How to make Medhu Vadai? / How to make Medu Wada? / Deep fried snack / Breakfast Side / Vadai Recipe / Ulundu Vadai Recipe / Urad Dal Vadai
|Skinned Urad / Ulundu – 1 cup|
|Raw rice- 1 teaspoon|
|Shallots/ Chinna Vengayam / Small onions- 10|
|Green Chili – 2|
|Ginger – 1 teaspoon (chopped)|
|Asafoetida powder – 1/4 teaspoon|
|Cumin seeds – 3/4 teaspoon|
|Curry leaves – 10 leaves (chopped)|
|Coriander leaves – 4 stalks (chopped)|
|Salt – 1 teaspoon (approx)|
|Water – 1/4 cup (approx- add few teaspoon extra if necessary)|
|Oil – 4 cups|
Rinse skinned whole urad and soak with rice for atleast an hour. I soaked mine for 3 hours. Drain all the water and keep this aside.
Using a wet grinder grind the urad dal along with cut green chillies using very little of the reserved water.
The above measure is approx, sprinkle or add little water while its grinding to keep the grinder running. Usually takes about 15 – 20 minutes.
Grind to yield smooth & fluffy batter. Just to test the consistency, drop a small portion of the batter in bowl filled with cold water. If the batter floats then thats when its done. Remove the batter from the grinder and collect the batter in a wide bowl/vessel.
Add chopped shallots, ginger, cumin seeds, asafoetida, curry leaves, coriander leaves and salt. Mix with your hands and fluff up the batter with the ingredients. Keep a small bowl with cold water on the side for dipping your hands.
First dip your hands in cold water and then take a small portion of batter, flatten with your fingers and make a hole in the center. If you are not comfortable doing this step, then place the batter on a ziplock plastic sheet or banana leaf and make a hole in center as shown.
Meanwhile heat oil in a wide kadai / wok and keep it ready. Use a bigger one with enough oil to fry orelse the vadai batter once dropped in oil will stick to the bottom of the kadai, making a mess. Atleast there should be 2 inch depth from the bottom of the pan. Gently slide that into the hot oil and deep fry.
Once you drop them in oil they will slide inside the oil and immediately will come up and float. Keep frying until they turn golden on both sides over medium flame.
Using a slotted spoon/ Jalli karandi , remove the fried vadas and place them on a paper towel to drain excess oil. Serve immediately with chutney /sambar or both. Usually they go well with Idli, dosa or pongal.
Yields about 20 medium size vadais.
Grinding the batter to fluffly texture will yield crispy vadas. The fried dough will be soft and airy on the inside with crispy outer covering. Wet grinder is a must for this recipe and will give you good results. Mixie can also be used but may not yield good vadas. The dough tends to be stiff if grinded with little water turnign the vadas little hard. If you grind with more water the batter will be runny and absorb more oil while frying.
Good quality of Urad dal also matters, use only whole skinned urad dal which gives good consistency.
Grinding the batter for long time will make the vadas rubbery so don not grind more than 15 minutes. Batter should be very light and fluffy, if its too thick and tight, then batter will sink and fried vadas will turn out very hard
Oil temperature should be perfect. Check the oil temperature by sampling with a drop of the batter, it should slide well and float to the top.
Size of pan and number of vadais in each batch will also matter. Do not crowd them.
Make vadai immediately after grinding. Once your add salt and onion to the batter it will start to release water slowly turning the batter watery, so try to fry them all immediately after grinding.
If for some reason if your batter is too thin because of too much water then add 1 teaspoon of rice flour or maida to bring it to a thick consistency.
Tips for Storing and Re-heating Vadas / Wadas
Storing – Once you grind the batter the raw batter can be refrigerated in closed container for a day. Make sure not to add any salt or onion.
Once the batter is ready we normally would fry the medhu vadas. But at home my grandma use to fry them half cooked – just frying over medium flame to cook the dough and not totally deep fry to golden. This way the vadai batter gets cooked inside but will be soft on the outside. We cool it completely and store in a ziplock or any clean container and refrigerate. Whenever you are ready to eat, heat up the oil and fry again over medium high flame to turn them crispy. This storing method is good for only couple of days.
Re-heating in Microwave – Typically reheating in microwave for few seconds only placed on a paper towel or microwave safe plate. This method will definitely ooze some oil and make the vada soft. You won’t have crispy vada re-heating in microwave.
Re-heating in Convection or OTG oven – Preheat the oven in lowest setting possible, arrange the fried vadas in a oven tray and place them and heat for 30 minutes. Then switch off the oven and let them rest there until ready to serve. This way they remain crispy for few hours. This comes very handy when you have guests at home or have abig party where you can fry the vadas ahead of time and keep them warm and crispy until ready to be served.