Dal vada recipe with moong dal, spices and herbs. To make festive time fun-filled and special, most of us prepare toothsome foods. These moong dal vada are super easy, delicious and can be made during any festivals or even as a tea time snack during the monsoon. These dal vadas are easy to make and just takes little time to prepare except for soaking. You can use any variety of split lentils to make these. Also you can flavor them up with whatever you desire, like with garam masala or just red chilies and some cumin powder.
This is my mom’s recipe and we would use a handful of drumstick leaves, spinach, methi or coriander leaves. They just turn out good. Here I just went ahead with a mix of coriander and curry leaves. The classic South Indian herb, curry leaves add a lot of aroma here.
These dal vada do not soak up much oil since the ground mixture is made to a tight consistency. These can also be offered during any puja, just skip the onions, ginger, garlic and chilli.
Dal vada can be deep fried or even air fried. These days I have been air frying. So I have included the instructions for the same below.
Preparation for dal vada
1. Add ¾ cup moong dal to a large bowl.
2. Add ¼ cup chana dal and 2 tablespoons split white urad dal. You can also simply skip these and add another ¼ cup moong dal. Chana dal is used for flavor and texture. If you don’t know how good fried chana dal tastes, then you have to try it. If you prefer to air fry these moong dal vadas, then simply skip the urad dal.
3. Rinse them well and soak for 2 hours.
4. Crush red chili in a grinder. This step is optional, but the chilies add a pungent flavor and heat. I haven’t used them here.
5. Drain the water completely and add them to the same grinder. Keep aside 2 to 3 tablespoons of dal for later use.
6. Pulse to make a coarse mixture. If it is too dry, you may sprinkle very little water but I don’t.
7. To the mixing bowl, add daal that was set aside along with the ground moong dal.
8. Add chopped onions, garam masala, ginger garlic paste and cumin.
9. Next add curry leaves, coriander leaves and green chilies.
10. Mix everything well. The mixture must be moist and must bind well when you make a dal vada. If the vada fails to bind well, it means dal hasn’t been blended enough. You can blend about 4 tbsps of this again and mix with the rest.
How to make dal vada
11. Heat oil in a kadai for deep frying. Grease a cling wrap or a foil or a parchment paper. Take small portions of this mixture and make 10 small balls. Flatten them on the sheet. Do not make them too thick. You will be able to make 10 dal vada.
12. When the oil becomes hot, drop a small portion of the mixture to check if the oil is hot. It has to rise without browning instantly. This is the right temperature. Grease the fingers on your right hand. Lift one corner of the sheet, transfer the vada on to your fingers and drop them in the hot oil. You can make these in batches of 3 to 4.
13. Do not disturb them from 2 minutes. Then use a perforated ladle and turn to the other side. Fry till golden and crisp. Remove moong dal vada to a colander.
Serve them hot with chutney or just with Tea.
Air fryer dal vada
These are the air fryer dal vadas. I place them on the tray/rack and air fry for 15 to 17 minutes at 180 C or 360 F. I do not spray oil or preheat the fryer as mine does not require. But if needed, preheat for 10 mins and then spray them with oil. I brush the hot dal vada with ghee otherwise they will be too dry.
Serve dal vada hot with your favorite chutney.
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- ¾ cup moong dal
- ¼ cup bengal gram (optional but recommended)
- 2 tablespoons urad dal (optional)
- ½ to ¾ teaspoon garam masala
- 1½ teaspoon ginger garlic paste (or ¾ inch ginger and 2 garlic cloves)
- 1 onion fine chopped
- 2 to 3 green chilies chopped (adjust to taste)
- 2 dried red chilies (optional for extra heat)
- 2 sprigs curry leaves (fine chopped)
- 3 tablespoons coriander leaves (fine chopped)
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
- ½ to ¾ teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
- Oil for deep frying
- Wash and soak all lentils for 2 hours. Drain and rinse them well.
- Keep aside 2 to 3 tbsp of the soaked dal separately.
- Pulse red chilies (if using) in the grinder. Then add the rest of the lentils to a grinder. Pulse to a coarse paste without adding any water.
- Transfer this to a mixing bowl. Add the lentils that we kept aside, garam masala powder, green chilies, ginger garlic paste, curry leaves, coriander, onions and cumin. Mix well.
- The mixture has to bind well. Check by making a ball and then flatten to see if it holds shape. Otherwise, take about ¼ cup of this mixture to the blender and blend again. Mix everything well.
- Taste test and add more salt if needed.
Frying mixed dal vada
- Heat oil in a deep pan for frying.
- Pick up small portions, shape them to small balls, and flatten on a greased sheet. You will be able to make 10 vadas out of this.
- Check if the oil is hot by dropping a small portion of the mixture. It must rise slowly without browning.
- Transfer the moong dal vada on to your greased fingers and drop in the hot oil gently. You can drop 2 to 3 vadas in one batch, depending on the size of the pan.
- Fry them on a medium flame. Do not disturb for 2 minutes otherwise they will break.
- After 2 mins, flip the dal vada around to the other side. Fry till golden and crisp. Remove and drain them on a kitchen tissue.
- Repeat making vadas and frying till you finish the ground mixture.
- Serve moong dal vada hot with your favorite chutney or with tea.
Air fryer moong dal vada
- Preheat air fryer for 10 minutes at 180 c or 360 F for 10 minutes. Place the dal vadas on the rack and spray with oil. I do not spray at this stage.
- Air fry for 15 to 17 minutes until golden and crisp, if needed turn them to the other side after 10 minutes. Do not handle them when they are still soft.
- Once done, brush them with ghee and serve hot.
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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