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Ulundu vadai

south Indian crispy fritters
5 from 1 vote
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  • 3/4 cup Urad dal
  • Water enough to soak


  • Ice cold water as required around 3 tablespoon + as needed


  • Curry leaves few
  • 1/8 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ginger powder or grated ginger
  • 2 green Chilli deseeded
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup Onion
  • Asafoetida generous portion


  • oil to fry


Soaking the dal

  • Wash the dal well and soak for 4- 5 hours until the dal splits well if pressed
  • Transfer the soaked dal to a colander and drain the water

Grind the Ulundu Vadai Batter

  • Sprinkle cold water little by little and ground fluffy smooth batter
  • Mixie or grinder always mix well in between grinding. Wipe the urad dal that sticks to the grinder/ mixie
  • The batter should be fluffy, half white, and smooth

Check the Batter Consistency

  • Take a small amount of ground batter and drop it into the bowl/ glass of water
  • The batter should maintain its shape and float on top. It should not spread out or dissolve
  • The batter should be non-sticky to your hands
  • If the batter is the right consistency transfer and mixes well with your hand in a clockwise direction for 30 to 40 seconds. This makes the batter more fluffy and aerated
  • Rest the batter - for easy shaping
  • Cover and refrigerate the batter for just half an hour for easy shaping

Flavoring the batter

  • Add all the additional ingredients except onions and salt and mix well

Heat oil

  • Add enough oil to a heavy-bottomed pan and heat
  • If you drop a small piece of the batter it will raise immediately without browning then the oil is hot enough to fry
  • Once the oil turns hot, adjust the flame and fry the vadai in medium heat

Final seasoning

  • Just before frying add salt and onions to the batter and mix well

Shaping medu vada

  • Take water in a small bowl
  • Gently grease both hands with little water
  • In one hand take a small portion of the batter and roll. Make sure water is not dripping from the hand
  • Press it on the other hand and make a hole in the center, carefully add it to the hot oil
  • Alternatively, you can grease parchment paper / plastic sheet with little water and take a small portion of the batter, roll, and press, make a hole, carefully add it to the hot oil
  • You can also take a small ball-shaped batter in your right-hand fingers. Roll and make a hole in the center using your right-hand thumb finger .carefully Invert your hand over oil and drop the vada by slightly tilting your finger or slide the vada using your thumb finger

Frying vadai

  • After carefully dropping the vadai in oil
  • Vadai raises
  • Fry Vadai on both sides until they turn golden brown
  • Carefully flip and cook till ulundu vadai turns golden brown on both sides. Serve hot with coconut chutney, sambar


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  1. Always use whole Urad dal for vadai
  2. If you can’t grind the dal after soaked for 5 hours(soft press stage), refrigerate till you grind else Vadai will drink oil
  3. Always keep cold water handy. Instead of pouring water, sprinkle water little by little mix and grind into a smooth batter
  4. The amount of water depends on the Urad dal you might need around 3 tablespoon of water
  5. Avoid excess grinding as batter might turn hot and batter texture will also turn into a paste
  6. If you are grinding the batter in a wet grinder it approximately takes around 15 minutes. For mixie grinding, give intervals in between the grinding
  7. Grinder batter quantity is more compared to the mixie batter
  8. If you are planning to grind the batter in mixie you can add 1 teaspoon of toor dal /rice along with Urad dal for easy grinding
  9. Refrigerating vadai better is optional but it helps for easy shaping. Always cover and refrigerate
  10. If the batter becomes slightly thin you can add a little rice flour/ Rava/ poha/ maida while frying but you need to consume the Vadai soon as it will become hard over time
  11. always deep Fry urad dal vadai in medium flame. avoid low /high flame
  12. Before making every batch always grease your hands with water to easily shape Vadai. Avoid dripping water as oil might spill
  13. Carefully drop the vadai in oil. Make sure you don't add excess water to shaping as high chance of oil to spill when you add to batter with water
  14. Always add salt and onion only before frying as they might ooze put watery
  15. For proper cooking, always check the heat of the oil by dropping a bit of batter. If it rises immediately without browning, oil is at the correct temperature
  16. Always add enough oil else the batter might stick to the pan
  17. Deep fry in medium-low flame for crispy Vadai. If you are preparing onion Medu Vadai, remove it when the Vadai turns golden brown. For Milagu ulundhu Vadai remove when the sound ceases and Vadai turns golden brown
  18. For shaping the Vadai if you are a beginner you can use parchment paper or a plastic sheet
  19. If vadai is not turning crisp add a pinch of baking soda to the batter
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