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  • Parippu Vada (Deep fried Lentil Fritters)

    Posted on | January 18, 2012 | 24 Comments |


    Parippu Vada

    When the weather outside is frightful, deep fried goodies can be delightful! :)

    It is always nice to have an excuse to eat unhealthy stuff, although I hardly ever need one. I don’t even think this is that unhealthy, it has lentils which are highly nutritional and were fried in fresh sunflower oil, which has a high smoke point and low Trans fats. I agree that consuming deep fried food from restaurants on a regular basis is not a good idea, mainly because restaurants are known to reuse frying oils, which means the oil gets heated repeatedly to really high temperatures beyond its smoke point, which can cause some hydrogenation and oxidation and such bad stuff. But making deep fried goodies at home once in a while is definitely not a crime.

    Parippu vada (or Masala vada as they call it in Tamil Naadu) is a favorite tea time delight in Kerala. I haven’t had these in a long time and now that we are stuck at home in a snowstorm it seemed like the perfect opportunity to give it a try. It is my first time making parippu vada, so I did screw up a bit. I like having a little more bite to my vada, so I kept aside 1/4th of the whole lentils to mix in with the ground lentils. I ground the lentils and mixed it with the whole lentils before I found out that the mixture wasn’t sticky enough to maintain the vada shape. A quick search on the internet told me that it happens when the lentils are too coarsely ground. So I took 3/4th of the mixture and ground it again till it was sticky enough to be shaped into balls. I ultimately ended up with a batter with much less whole lentils than I would’ve liked. So the lesson learned here is to check the consistency of the ground lentils before mixing in the whole lentils.



    • 1 cup Split Toor Daal (Pigeon peas) (Or use 1/2 cup toor daal + 1/2 cup chana daal)
    • 1/4 cup finely chopped onions
    • 6-8 green Thai chilies (depending on how spicy you want the vadas to be)
    • 1 tbsp finely chopped ginger
    • 2 sprigs of Curry leaves
    • 1/4 tsp asafoetida powder
    • Salt to taste
    • Sunflower oil/vegetable oil/Canola oil


    Wash and soak the daal for at least 2 hours


    Place 3/4th of the soaked daal in a food processor, add the onions, curry leaves, ginger, green chilies, asafoetida powder and salt. Process to a coarse paste.


    This was too coarse, when I tried to shape this into a vada, it kept falling apart.


    So it went back into the food processor, and this consistency was perfect. 20120116-ParippuVada-4

    Add the whole daal to the mixture and mix well. Shape these into small lime sized balls, press slightly to flatten them. 20120116-ParippuVada-5

    Heat enough oil to cover the vadas in a frying pan and when the oil is hot enough, but not smoking hot, place the prepared vadas one by one in the oil.  (To know when the oil is hot enough, drop a tiny piece of batter in the oil. If it immediately floats to the surface, the oil is ready. ) Don’t overcrowd the pan, the vadas shouldn’t be touching each other.


    If the vads are not fully immersed in oil, tilt the pan occasionally to get oil on top of the vadas to ensure even browning. After 3-4 minutes turn the vadas over and brown the other side for 2-3 minutes as well.


    Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.


    Serve hot with your hot beverage of choice – coffee/tea.

    BTW, Siri of Cooking with Siri has organized a fund drive to collect money for an Orphanage in India for little girls. Please head over to her blog to read a heart-touching account of her visit to the orphanage. There are some pretty cool raffle prizes already and more coming.

    Category: Appetizers and Snacks, India - Kerala, Lentils and Legumes, Vegetarian

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    24 Responses to “Parippu Vada (Deep fried Lentil Fritters)”

    1. Usha
      January 18th, 2012 @ 4:02 pm

      Vada look yummy.. I don’t make deep fried food that much but this weekend even I made some mirchi bajji.

      You finally decided to take step by step pictures, huh? You mentioned some where that you are afraid you might spoil the camera.

      • sig
        January 30th, 2012 @ 8:54 am

        Thanks Usha! I take step-by-step pics whenever I am in the mood and have the time to spare. More than spoiling the camera, it is a lot of work and doesn’t normally suit my laziness. :)

    2. Siri
      January 18th, 2012 @ 11:50 pm

      LOL for the opening quote and how you used “fresh” for sun flower oil. ;-) My mom is the deep-fried-goodies-ka-queen in our house.

      the vadas look super duper yummy Sig and their flavours double up esp when it is cold outside.

      Thanks for the mention of the Ashram post. :-)

      Hopefully the snow storm subsides soon,

      • sig
        January 30th, 2012 @ 8:54 am

        Thanks Siri!

    3. Miri
      January 19th, 2012 @ 1:25 am

      I love these even more than medu wadais and even made it for Pongal last week. Coincidentally, I posted the same a couple of months back…

      The vadais look great – I love the extra crunchiness too , am sure next time that will happen. Have you tried breaking these up and putting them into a masala kozhambu, tastes awesome!

      • sig
        January 30th, 2012 @ 8:55 am

        I have had the vada – kozhambu, but not a big fan. I like them straight! :)

    4. Happy Cook / Finla
      January 19th, 2012 @ 4:27 am

      My food processor is busted, vada’s look so so super delicious. I have never made them home :-(

      • sig
        January 30th, 2012 @ 8:56 am

        oh no, hope you got that fixed! I can’t function without mine.

    5. Deesha
      January 19th, 2012 @ 5:46 am

      Making deep fried goodies at home is definitely not a crime .. It’s much much better than eating out frequently .. We call these Ambode in Kannada .. Love em

      • sig
        January 30th, 2012 @ 8:56 am

        Thanks Deesha!

    6. Irene
      January 19th, 2012 @ 6:13 am

      That’s perfection :)

      • sig
        January 30th, 2012 @ 8:56 am

        :) anything deep fried normally is.

    7. nags
      January 19th, 2012 @ 6:15 pm

      so glad you are back in action here! :)

      • sig
        January 30th, 2012 @ 8:56 am

        Thanks Nags!

    8. Deeps @ Naughty Curry
      January 19th, 2012 @ 11:11 pm

      yum… perfect for these cold winter days, looks so delecious :)

      • sig
        January 30th, 2012 @ 8:56 am

        It sure was :)

    9. EN
      January 23rd, 2012 @ 1:07 am

      glad to see you active here! Interesting to note that you have used toor dhal for this vada – usually we use fully channa dhal or a combination of channa & a little toor dhal. Hot hot vadas and a steaming cup of tea/coffee definitely a great combo for a cold evening :)

      • sig
        January 30th, 2012 @ 8:57 am

        I wasn’t sure which ones to use and went with toor after looking up a bunch of recipes. After the post my mom told me that we also use chana dal at home. I will try that next time

    10. Saumya Gopi
      February 1st, 2012 @ 10:15 am

      Hey !

      Just what I wanted for this dreary weather..
      Somehow I don’t get your blog updates via fb anymore..Did some settings change ? Anyway, will try this out today :D

      PS – “If the vads are not fully immersed in water” ..I think it should be oil here ?


    11. Anu
      October 23rd, 2012 @ 8:23 am

      Hey Sig,

      The gray skies outside made me search your blog for comfort food.
      Took me back to tea time at home with Amma cooking me all these goodies and the weather around our side of the Space needle def. calls for crispy,fried delicacies too! :)

      Thanks for the step-by step pics ..really helped me fry them till just perfect.

      On another note..I was looking for one of your old posts, it was one about Baby showers? Would you please post the link?

      Parippu vadaas on the way this evening. :)

      ~ Anu

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