Alasanda Vada are traditional crisp fried lentil fritters made with black eyed peas, spices, onions and herbs. These are a festive snack from Andhra and Telangana regions of South India. Alasanda vada are also a popular street food in some parts of Karnataka and Rayalaseema. Also known as bobbarlu vada & alasande vade, these black eyed pea fritters are delicious, crisp from outside and fluffy from inside. In this post I share how to make traditional alasanda vada with deep frying and air fryer options.
Alasanda is a Telugu word for black eyed peas. These are also known as lobia in Hindi and are used to make curry, stir fries, sundal and many other dishes. Black eyed peas are high in protein, fiber and essential nutrients. These are highly used in rural India, where they are cultivated.
These Alasanda Vada are very easy and quick to make like the Masala vada, if you have soaked lentils. The lentils need only a moderate soak of 4 hours and is best not to oversoak them. Oversoaked lentils sometimes soak up oil, so a little amount of rice flour can be added to the batter.
Bobbarlu vada can be eaten with a Chutney of choice or as a side with flavored rice dishes like lemon rice, mint rice, curd rice or tamarind rice. In some regions, these are eaten with Chicken Curry, especially during Sankranti.
The preparation to make these vadas start with soaking the lentils for 4 hours, later they are ground to a coarse paste and mixed with onions, ginger, garlic, chopped coriander leaves, cumin and salt. This mixture is shaped to patties and deep fried in hot oil until crisp. For a healthier option you can also air fry or bake these vadas.
It is so much convenient to make these anytime because the batter can be made ahead & refrigerated. Just add the onions later when you are about to make the vadas. The batter keeps good for 2 to 3 days. I usually keep the left over batter in the fridge and air fry or bake the alasanda vada later on the subsequent days.
How to Make Alasanda Vada (Stepwise photos)
Add 1 cup alasandalu to a large pot and rinse them well thrice. Pour fresh water and soak them for 4 hours. Drain the water and rinse them well under running water. Drain to a colander.
Add them to a grinder along with ⅓ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon turmeric. If you do not have ginger garlic paste, you may add ½ inch peeled ginger and 3 garlic cloves. I had the paste ready so I added it later.
Grind to a coarse paste, splashing water only if required. Shape little batter to vada and check if they bind well and hold shape. If it doesn’t bind add some of the batter to the grinder back and blend to smooth paste. Later mix well, this way the vada will bind well.
These are the ingredients you will add now. ¼ cup chopped onions, ¼ cup coriander leaves, 1 teaspoon cumin, 2 chopped green chiles and 1½ tablespoons rice flour (optional). I felt my lentils were a bit oversoaked so I used some flour.
Give a good mix. Taste test and add more salt if required.
Shape Alasanda vada
Heat oil in a kadai on a medium heat. Meanwhile grease a cling wrap or a parchment paper. Take small portions of the batter and roll them to balls. Flatten slightly to make thick vadas.
Test if the oil is hot by adding a small portion of the batter to the oil. They should sizzle and rise to the surface without turning brown. If the batter sinks, it means the oil is not hot yet. Heat it a little longer.
Gently lift the sheet and transfer the vada to your greased fingers. Gently drop them to the hot oil. Do not crowd the kadai with a lot of vadas. Add only as many as your pan and oil can accommodate.
Do not touch them for 3 mins, later turn them to the other side with a slotted spoon. Fry the alasanda vada on a medium heat until golden and crisp.
Remove to a cooling rack or a steel colander. To fry the next batch of vadas make sure the oil is hot but not smoking hot.
Serve alasanda vada hot with coconut chutney.
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- 1 cup black eyed peas (alasandalu)
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- 1½ tablespoon rice flour (optional, refer notes)
- 1½ teaspoon ginger garlic paste (½ inch peeled ginger, 3 garlic cloves)
- 2 green chilies (chopped)
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ¼ cup coriander leaves fine chopped
- ¼ cup onions , fine chopped
- ½ to ¾ cup Oil for deep frying or to brush for air frying
- ⅓ to ½ teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
- Wash & soak alasandalu for 4 hours. Rinse and drain water thoroughly.
- Add them to a grinder jar along with salt and ginger garlic.
- Grind to a coarse paste, splashing little water only if required. Test by shaping some batter to a vada. If it does not bind or hold shape, add a few tablespoons of the batter to the grinder and make a smooth paste and mix it well with the rest.
- Make sure there are no whole lentils left without getting crushed as they can burst while frying the vadas.
- Transfer this batter to a mixing bowl. Add all the other ingredients – onions, coriander leaves, rice flour (optional), green chilies and cumin seeds. Mix together well. Taste test and add more salt if required.
- Pour oil to a deep pan and heat it on a medium flame until hot.
How to Make Alasanda Vada
- Grease a cling wrap or a plastic sheet or a parchment paper. You can also grease your hands and shape them in your palms directly.
- Take small portions of the batter and place them on the greased sheet or hand. Shape to balls and flatten them to thick vadas/ patties.
- Test if the oil is hot by dropping a small portion of the batter to the hot oil. It should sizzle and rise to the surface without turning brown. If the batter sinks, it means the oil is not ready to fry yet. So heat it a little longer.
- Gently transfer the vadas to the hot oil. Do not touch them for 3 mins, let them fry on a medium heat. Do not crowd the pan, fry only as many as your kadai and oil can accommodate.
- Later turn them to the other side and fry until golden and crisp. Remove to a cooling rack. Make sure the oil is hot but not smoking hot before you add the next batch of alasanda vada.
To Air Fry
- Place the shaped vadas in the air fryer basket or rack. Air fry for 10 mins at 180 C or 350 F.
- Turn them to the other side and air fry for another 6 to 7 mins. Adjust the time as needed depending on your air fryer. They will turn hard if you over fry them. Once done brush the hot air fried alasandalu vada with oil or ghee.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
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I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills.
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