Maddur vada are crispy street snack from Karnataka cuisine. Made with basic ingredients, these fritters are super delicious & flavorful with a crisp texture on the outside and a slight soft center, inside. These make for a great party or tea time snack that will be loved by everyone. Maddur vada are usually served on their own with Tea or with coconut chutney.
Vada are South Indian deep fried fritters mostly made with lentils. But here these are made with just rice flour, semolina, all-purpose flour, spices and curry leaves. Since lentils are not used, there is no soaking or grinding task involved, making it a super simple recipe.
Maddur vada gets the name from its place of origin ‘Maddur’, a small town in the state of Karnataka. It is located on the Bangalore-Mysore route and has been popular for these vadas for more than 100 years.
So for many decades people travelling to and fro these cities by train had a chance to taste these in the Maddur railway station. Overtime, these have become so popular and are served as a tea time snack in almost every Tiffin center and restaurant in Karnataka.
About this recipe
This recipe will give you maddur vada which have a similar texture and taste as the original ones. But the actual version has more all-purpose flour & chiroti rava which gives them a distinct texture & flavor. Since most of us prefer to avoid refined flour, I have kept it to the minimum.
Also the oil in which maddur vada is fried is reused to make the dough for the next batch. This oil has a lot of fried onion flavor which enhances the aroma of these vade. So replicating them exactly at home is not possible.
But these homemade ones turn out to be very good for a home version with less refined flour and fresh oil.
Maddur vada recipe is simple and goes in just 3 steps – make the dough, shape to patties and then fry them. They can also be baked or air fried if you do not prefer deep fried foods. However the texture is not the same but still wonderfully good for the health conscious people.
How to make maddur vada
1. To a mixing bowl, add
- 1 cup rice flour (fine flour)
- ½ cup fine semolina (if possible chiroti rava)
- ½ cup organic all-purpose flour
2. Add 1 cup thinly sliced and halved onions. Slice the onions evenly thin and then halve the slices so you get the size like mine in the pictures. Don’t use very long slices of onions.
3. To the same bowl, add
- ¼ cup chopped curry leaves – about 3 to 4 sprigs
- 1½ tablespoons fine chopped ginger
- 2 to 3 green chilies fine chopped (adjust to taste)
- 1 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
4. Mix all of these squeezing the onions to release any moisture in them.
5. Heat 2½ tablespoons oil in a kadai and pour it over the ingredients. The oil has to be very hot so it sizzles when you add it here.
6. Add ½ teaspoon red chilli powder and 1½ tablespoons sesame seeds (optional). Use a spoon and mix all of these. Since the oil is hot avoid keeping your hand.
7. Pour oil to a kadai and begin to heat it on a medium flame. I used about 2 cups oil, you can use lesser too depending on the size of your kadai.
8. Meanwhile make the dough. Pour ¼ cup water and begin to mix to form a non sticky dough. Add more water as required little by little and mix. I used ½ cup plus 2 to 3 tablespoons water in total.
9. This is how mine looked after mixing.
10. Grease a parchment paper or use a moist cloth. Spread it well. Grease your fingers as well. Divide the dough to 15 to 16 equal portions. Roll them to balls. Keep them covered so they don’t dry up.
11. Flatten 2 to 3 of them and begin to spread. Keep the edges thinner than the center. This gives the crisp texture on the outside and soft center inside the vadas. Maddur vada has to be slightly thick and not very very thin like nippattu/ chekkalu/thattai. A typical maddur vada has cracked edges so it is normal for the edges to crack.
12. Test if the oil is hot by gently dropping a small portion of dough. If the oil is right, the dough sizzles and rises to the surface without turning brown.
13. Keep the flame to medium and gently slide the maddur vadas to hot oil.
14. You can fry about 2 to 3 in one batch depending on the size of your kadai. When the onions begin to turn golden, turn them to the other side with a perforated ladle and fry on a medium flame.
15. You have to be careful during the last few minutes as the onions can quickly burn and become bitter. So the last 1 to 2 minutes, regulate the flame to medium to low and fry. Remove them to a colander when they become golden.
Shape the rest of the vadas while the other batch gets fried. Once removed from oil, they will take about 3 to 4 minutes to cool down and get the right texture. If you feel they are soft it means they need to be fried a little longer, fry them again on a low heat.
Cool maddur vada completely and serve them. These are best served when they cool down as they firm up and you will really enjoy the texture. Serve them with coconut chutney or tea. They keep good & crisp in a air tight container for 2 days. If you want to keep them longer, refrigerate and then crisp them in oven or air fryer.
Air fryer maddur vada
These won’t taste the same as the fried ones. But still good if you are health conscious and want to make them. These are best brushed with ghee after frying and served with chutney. please check the recipe card for instructions.
Maddur vada (with air fryer option)
For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- 1 cup rice flour (fine flour)
- ½ cup semolina (fine or chiroti rava)
- ½ cup all-purpose flour (organic or unbleached)
- 1 cup onions (sliced & halved, 2 medium)
- 1½ tablespoon ginger (fine chopped)
- 2 to 3 green chilies (fine chopped)
- ¼ cup curry leaves chopped (3 to 4 sprigs)
- ½ teaspoon red chilli powder (adjust to taste)
- 1 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste, I use pink salt)
- 2½ tablespoons oil
- 1½ tablespoons sesame seeds (or 10 cashews chopped)
- 120 to 150 ml water (adjust as needed)
- 1½ to 2 cups oil for frying
- Slice onions thin and evenly so they brown evenly when fried. After slicing, halve the slices so they are not too long. (check step-by-step pictures in the post)
- To a mixing bowl, add rice flour, all-purpose flour, semolina, onions, ginger, curry leaves, green chilies and salt.
- Mix all of them together squeezing the onions so they release the moisture.
- Heat 2½ tablespoons oil in a kadai. It has to be very hot so it sizzles when poured into the mixture. When it becomes hot, pour it to the mixing bowl.
- Add sesame seeds and red chilli powder. Give a quick stir with a spoon as the oil is still hot.
- Meanwhile heat oil in a kadai on a medium flame for deep frying.
- Then pour ¼ cup water and begin to form a non-sticky soft dough adding more water as required. I used half cup plus 2 to 3 tbsps more.
- Dough has to be soft & smooth without any cracks. If it becomes sticky sprinkle little flour, if it is dry sprinkle little water. Divide the dough to 16 equal portions & roll them to balls.
- Grease a parchment paper or a banana leaf. Place a ball on the sheet and begin to spread the dough to make a patty that is neither too thin nor too thick. Keep the edges thinner than the center. (check the pictures and video for thickness)
- You will see the edges crack and it is just fine to leave them or you can even join them. You can make 3 to 4 maddur vade at one time.
Frying maddur vada
- Test if the oil is hot enough by gently dropping a small portion of dough to the hot oil. It has to rise without browning quickly.
- Gently lift the parchment paper and transfer the maddur vada to your fingers. Carefully transfer it to the hot oil & fry them on a medium heat.
- This way you can fry 2 to 3 vadas at one time depending on the size of your kadai. Do not disturb them for 1 to 2 minutes until they become firm otherwise they break.
- When you see the edges light golden, turn them to the other side and fry until golden and crisp. When you see the onions are deep golden, reduce the flame to low and fry for 1 to 2 mins.
- Remove them to a steel colander. This way shape and fry all of them.
- Maddur vada are best served they cool down as they firm up & get the perfect texture. Serve them with masala tea or coconut chutney.
- Preheat air fryer at 180 C or 360 F. Place the vadas in the basket and air fry them for 12 mins. Adjust the timing as required until they become crisp and golden. Mine take about 14 mins.
- Remove and brush them with ghee or oil. Let them cool down completely.
- Nutrition values are for 1 maddur vada.
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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