MEDHU VADAI RECIPE – ULUNDU VADAI / மெது வடை / உளுந்து வடை

Written by Mullai

Modest, friendly and hardworking.  "Virgoans Rule"..


  1. Lakshmi

    Hi Mullai
    This is tip for crispy vadais.
    After grinding the dough and added whatever favors you want (cumin seeds/peppercorns/onion/green chilies)when you are ready to fry the vadais add 4 tablespoons of rice flour to the batter. This will give the crispness to the vadais.4 tablespoons rice flour is for 2 cup can adjust according the daal quantity.Hope this will help everyone.Take care.

    1. Mullai

      Zehra, it can be refrigerated but it will become little watery and it would be hard to shape the vadai also they will drink up oil while frying. I would recommend that you partially fry the vada, cool it completely and then keep it in the fridge for few days. You can always fry those whenever you want. I have followed this method and it works. Thanks

  2. Senthil

    Hi Mullai – I tried the recipe, it came out well, except that I was not able to make flat vadas. Instead I made bondas. Is it because the batter was too watery. Can you please let me know the exact mesaurement of dhal and water for this recipe. I used wet grinder for making the batter.

    1. Mullai

      Senthil, thanks for trying. Looks like you have added more water. You only need very little, I would say less than 1/4 cup which I’ve mentioned in the recipe. Don’t add all at once, just sprinkle little by little. Once the batter becomes smooth, drop a pinch of batter in water and see if it floats and that’s the consistency we want. Also after you add salt try finishing the batter quickly. If kept longer the batter turns to a thin consistency. I will definitely update my recipe with the exact measure soon. Hope this helps, thanks!

  3. Ironman

    Hi there, I have been following your recipes blindly and was doing good. Somehow vadai I am totally lost. I never know I can cook such a hard rocks :-). Here is what I did, Soaked ulundu overnight, drained for about an hour and used mixie (not wet grinder) without water (not even a drop). Added other ingredients just before making vadai. They look so cool and definitely useful for showing on cookery shows 🙂 but are real granite rocks. Can you please let me know where the problem is? Appreciate your help

    1. Mullai

      Hi Ironman, recipe includes about 1/4 cup water and did u include that? Everything looks ok with your steps except for the water issue, you definitely need some water to run the mixie orelse the dal will be like chapati dough. That too with blenders its really hard to pulse without water and you should include make sure you add little by little. The above water measure is approximate and should be good enough for wet grinders but for blenders it will either more or less depending on the type. Things to fix
      1. Definitely include water while grinding but just to run the mixie too much will make the vadais soak up oil while frying.
      2. Preferably use whole skinned urad dal which gives good consistency.
      3. Vadas turn perfect with wet grinders try getting one in future.
      Good luck next time and I’m sure you will master it. Thanks.

  4. suja

    Hi Mullai, I made the vada batter with little poha like one of the readers mentioned. The vadas were soft on the inside and tasted very good. But I had one problem.. As soon as I dropped the vadas in the oil, they dropped and stuck to the bottom of the kadai. After they cooked for a little while, I had to scrape them and turn them. Do you know why this is happening.. Is it because of the poha or some other reason? Thanks -Suja

    1. Mullai

      Suja, couple of things to be noted.. 1. 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. 2. Enough oil should be used..see that atleast there’s 2inch depth from the bottom of the pan. Oil temperature should be perfect.., if its not hot enough then the batter will go the bottom. 3. Size of pan and number of vadais in each batch will also matter. Do not crowd them. I haven’t tried the poha version yet so no clue on that. BTW, thanks for letting us know about the search. Do not hesitate to write your feedbacks, we never take anything as a complaint. There are so many things which are yet to fixed in this site and any input will be useful. Thanks.

  5. arulsurendran

    I am new to this site.We had tried to make vadas earlier,but it never came out well.Today followed ur recipe and it came out good.Thanx for the recipe and keep up the good work.saji surendran.

  6. jyothijyothi


    i tried yesterday making maddu vadai and grinded it using as less waer as i can, it was good tight dought, as soon as i put salt, chilly and jeera to it and mixed well, it started becoming bit watery then before

    Is salt makes batter bit thin?

    1. Mullai

      Did you use a blender??? Of course salt will make it thin but not the moment you add. It loosens after 20 to 30 minutes and its always advisable to finish the batter as soon as you add salt and make the vadais within that time frame. For your other question relating to idli batter check forum for tips. Thanks.

    1. Mullai

      Ofcourse you can for a couple of days without adding salt. Before use, bring it room temperature as it will be very chill to handle. Check this forum topic for storing vadais, we at home half cook the vadai and store for upto a week, deep fry as and when needed. Very handy and will taste good too.

      Hope this helps.

  7. priyasudha

    I wish to share a small tips for shaping medu vada…add some rice powder if the vada mix is somewat diluted..these will easily make the shape…u can keep the vada maavu in fridge without adding case if u would have prepared morning..u can keep in fridge without adding salt n make vadas in the evening..dont forget to add the salt before frying…

  8. kaminishankar

    Hi Mullai
    The recipe was amazing and had all the essential instructions even for a novice !! I generally cook a lot but didnt try the Madhu vadas yet since I was always scared of going wrong. When i saw your recipe i decided to try it out. And guess what ??!! It came out just perfect !!!
    I just love your website and i think your doing a great job. Keep up the good work … Thnx 🙂
    ~ Kamini 🙂

    1. Mullai

      Kamini, glad your vadais turned out perfect. Ofcourse.. everyone will have first few flop attempt.. but once you eye ball every detail, then its fun. Thanks for stopping by.

  9. jlakshmi


    Your tips were the best. My Vadai’s always come perfectly. ( Of course not as good as Saravana Bhavan / Any restaurant Vada) This sunday I a going to try with half ulundu with its cover. I also add 1 ginger piece and 1 green chillie whilegrinding so that kids won’t take them out after frying. They hate the pepper corns stuck to the Vada.

    Jaya Lakshmi

  10. Salai Varumpadham

    Hi Mullai ,

    If you soak 2 Table spoon thin Aval ( Poha ) for 1 Cup Urad Dal , you will get the top layer of vadai very crispy and the inside of the vada will be soft .

    Regards ,


  11. ramyakalyankrishnan

    I made these vadais on Pongal…taste romba nalla irunthuthu…shape thaan varala…matha comments paathen…understood that using grinder would be more beneficial…Thanks a lot for posting this recipe and thanks for providing lots of tips…

    1. Mullai

      Mixie would also work provided you something like mixer mate attachment. Anyway you will figure it out soon. Next India tripku make a big list. Thanks!!

  12. Vijitha

    Hi Mullai. Tried the methu vada. Taste is very good. specially nice crispy also. But i'm not getting the shapes. I'm just making it as bonda. I grind the dal using Mixie.Finally add a 2 tbsp of rava to it. Can you please tell me where i went wrong? VIJI

    1. Mullai

      Viji, it happens when you use a mixie. You might have added more water to keep the mixie running and that would have made the consitency thin. Grinder would be perfect and guess you don't have on. Next time, use less water while grinding.

      1. Vijitha

        Hi Mullai, Thanks for your reply. Very lazy to clean the grinder after using it. Anyway next time i'll try with that and let you know how it turned out.VIJI

  13. jeyalakshmi

    This was awesome, crispy, Mullai. we loved it. Thanks! shape dhaan easy’a varalai. and kadai’la podarathukula shape poyidthu. taste was super.


  14. chamun

    Hi, Mullai your dish was very superb and fantastic.My family just loved it.The Medhu Vadai was simply superb with the ven pongal u made.Thank u very much we all loved it.

  15. nithyak

    How do u fry vadas? What should be the consistency of the batter ? I tried making and I found removing the batter with hole, to remove from my hand and tranfer it to the kadai was the most difficult part. I even got hurt n the oil twice 🙁 SO please tell the intricacies, and techniques to properly put it in the kadai in the same shapa mainly without hurting oneself. Also the vada goes and sits in the bottom of the kadai.. and sticks to the kadai..i am finding it difficult to remove from the kadai/oil…can i add some sodakaram?

    1. Manoo

      Frying Vadai: I have practiced these tips for more than 10yrs (since very small gal) coz I always help mom. She used to make both ulundu & kadai paruppu vadai every other day. So hope these tips will help you

      Mam has given instructions clearly. Yet giving few tips.

      Important things to be remembered:

      1. Grind ulundu into FINE paste with very little water – The most important tip.
      2. Do not add onion and salt and keep the batter for long time.
      3. Make vadai immediately after grinding.
      4. Chop onions, chilli, curry leaves (a couple of garlic) finely.
      5. Apply oil to ur hand before making vadai. So keep oil it a small bowl and just touch it and make for each vadai or couple of vadai
      6. You can wash you hand also before making vadai. Keep water besides you in a big bowl and wash ur palm each & every time. But you cannot practice this if you are not good in vadai making.
      7. Vadai sticks in Silver Thachi/kadai. Use non stick or seena satti/kadai.
      8. Dun put vadai like throwing. Just drop is gently.
      9. If you are in tropical country, go for "Puvarasu" leaves. (Wash & dry the leaves first). Make vadai on it and just drop it with the leaf (like vadai floating on leaf). Vadai separates onces it gets cooking. Remove the leaf immediately when the vadai separates. You can use the leaf for a few times. No harm to use this leaves as grand mas using them still for thatta (vada).
      10. Dont add sodakaram for vadai. Even its not necessary for dosai or idli.
      11. Use plastic sheets to make vadai and drop the vadai from an inch above the oil. Aware of plastics get burn for heat.
      12. Keep medium flame for frying.
      13. Add some boiled potatoes for different taste specially for the white ulundu without cover.
      14. Personally I would say go for the half ulundu with its cover. It taste better than the white one. White one without cover is easy for cooking. But the taste differ.
      15. You can make big round vadai with perfect round shape if the batter is fine. Like 2 or 3 times bigger than the vadai here.
      1. nithyak

        Thanks Manoo,

        Those were really useful tips. I  missed the shape, but the taste came out good. Let me try ur tips for the shape too..Smile

  16. mercyusha

    Hi Mullai,

    Your recipes are simply superb. I tried this vada a week back. Though the shape didnt come well, taste was excellent. Again thanks for your recipe.


  17. sindhudharmaprakash

    hi mullai, wow u r doing an excellent job!!!!! am going to get married shortly n cooking is a new job for me. but i've tried ur receipies n they r extremely good. moreover itz simple to understand the receipies. how many people does this dish serves? actually if i need to prepare about 20 vadas how much the quantity should be? plz help!!

    1. Mullai

      Prakash, this quantity should yield about 15 small vadas (6 cm approx).  Hi, congrats !!! my best wishes for a happy married life.

  18. anila

    Hi Mullai,
    Good recipe. Just wanted to mention that I soak the urad dal only for 1 hour maximum, otherwise the batter absorbs excess oil while deep frying.
    I also add 1 tsp rice flour to the batter (i.e for the 1 cup measure). The vadas retail their crispness longer after frying.
    Thanks dear.

  19. Meenakshi

    Hey Mullai, My grand mom used to tell soak dal for
    only 25 mintz to avoid suck of excess oil in vada.N me too doing in same way, itz cum good yaar, While grinding u can also add green chillies at last and also add if ppl gets our traitional salt ( KALLU UPPU) (last 5 mints remains).Pls Let me get clarify in soaking Hours.

  20. Visitor

    hi there,

    i have been following ur site for quite some time and am very thankful to u for this site and all the efforts that u take.

    just wondering whether u have a recipe for son papdi…tried some but cudnt make it as good as it should be

    1. Mullai

      Hi Visitor,
      Thanks for your comments, right now… I don’t have a recipe to share with, but sure will work on it sometime. Please register and post all your recipe request there, anyone with the recipe might share with you. Thank you again for visiting my website.

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