Black Urad Dal vada/Karuppu Ulundhu Medhu Vadai


I always try and incorporate whole grains, legumes and lentils into our diet, and to enable that my pantry is stocked with these healthy items all the time. One such lentil is whole black urad dal. I remember my mom soaking the urad dal and dehusking it after it has soaked to make idly batter. Since the whole process was done by hand, there would still be some black skin stuck to the urad dal, leading up to not so white idlies. Although I used to hate that as a kid, I understand now that the skin added fiber and that is where the nutrition in the dal really lies.

In fact, in very olden days, idlies were made with the whole urad dal, skin and all, and were not the white mallikai poo idlies as we know them today. Nowadays, nobody soaks and dehusks the urad dal for making idlies, it has become the norm to buy dehusked dal for this purpose. But, this doesn’t mean we have forego eating the healthy stuff. I love using this dal in my cooking, and you can check out my Dal Banjari and Dal Makhani recipes.

Having always used this dal in North Indian dal recipes, I wanted to make use of it, to make something South Indian, some dish closer to my heart. That’s how I arrived at the idea of making vadas with it. I realized that it wouldn’t vary much from the regular vada, and roughly followed my urad dal vada recipe. The vadas turned out to be crispy and were a perfect snack.


1 cup whole black urad dal(with skin on)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 green chillies, finely chopped
a small piece ginger, chopped
1/2 tsp whole black pepper(optional)
a few curry leaves, chopped
1 tbsp coriander leaves, chopped finely
1/4 tsp asafoetida
salt to taste
oil, for deep frying

Soak the whole black urad dal overnight.

Place the urad dal and salt in a blender and grind it well. You won’t get a soft batter as when making vadas with the skinless urad dal and the ground vada batter will tend to be a bit coarse. This is okay. Do not add water hoping to make a softer batter, then you will not be able to shape the vadas and the vadas with soak up more oil while frying.

Add the chopped onion, green chilly, ginger, pepper, curry leaves, coriander leaves and asafoetida. Check for salt. Heat the oil for deep frying. Shape into vada shape and fry in the oil over medium heat. When golden brown, drain onto paper towels. Serve hot!


Verdict: To be honest, I was a bit skeptical in trying these vadas out, but absolutely loved them. They tasted like a cross between medhu vada and paruppu vada. Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, they made for a perfect snack.

Sending to:
CWS – Urad dal, event series by Priya.
My bowl of Snack, event by Jagruti.
Whats with my Cuppa 2
Dish it out: Legumes/Lentils and Vegetables
MLLA #60, started by Susan and now run by Lisa.

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