Dal vada

Dal Vada (Lentil Fritters)

By Swasthi on August 5, 2022, Comments, Jump to Recipe

Dal Vada are traditional Indian fritters made with lentils of choice, spices and herbs. These delicious and crispy dal vada are a great way to make your festive time fun-filled. They are simply addictive and can be served as a Tea-time Snack. Serve them with a spicy chutney like Coconut chutney, Coriander chutney, Garlic chutney or Mint chutney. Dal vada taste good on their own and can be served with just Tea or coffee. To make these healthier you can also air fry these dal vada. I have the instructions in the post.

Dal vada recipe

About Dal Vada

Dal Vada translates to “Lentil fritters” and can be made with any kind of whole or split lentils. Medu vada, Masala vada and Dahi vada are some popular kind of lentil fritters from Indian Cuisine. This dal vada recipe is the way my Mom would make for us.

They are easy to make and just takes a little time to prepare except for the soaking. You can use any kind of split lentils & also have the option to flavor these vadas with whatever you like – garam masala or just red chilies with some crushed cumin. You can also use the same spices we use for masala vada – fennel, cinnamon, cloves and red chilies.

A handful of drumstick leaves, spinach, methi or coriander leaves also add flavor to these vada. 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. I have been air frying these for a few years now. So I have shared the pictures as well.

More recipes,
Batata vada
Masala vada
Medu vada
Alasanda vada
Sabudana vada

How to Make Dal Vada (Stepwise Photos)

Soak Lentils

1. Add ¾ cup moong dal to a large bowl.

moong dal for vada

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.

lentils in a bowl

3. Rinse them well and soak for 2 hours.

soaking moong dal for vada

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.

add moong dal to a grinder

Make Batter

6. Pulse to make a coarse mixture. If it is too dry, you may sprinkle very little water but I don’t.

coarse ground lentils

7. To the mixing bowl, add daal that was set aside along with the ground moong dal.

moong dal batter for vada

8. Add chopped onions, garam masala, ginger garlic paste and cumin.

add spices and onions

9. Next add curry leaves, coriander leaves and green chilies.

add herbs

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.

shape to moong dal vada

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.

Dal vada recipe

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 as they turn out too dry.

Serve dal vada hot with your favorite chutney.

Related Recipes

Recipe Card

dal vada recipe

Dal Vada Recipe

These dal vada are delicious snack made with lentils, spices & herbs. Serve them with chutney or masala chai. These can be deep fried or air fried.
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For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Prep Time2 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time27 minutes
Servings10 moong dal vada

Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )

  • ¾ cup moong dal (yellow split lentils)
  • ¼ cup bengal gram (chana dal, optional but recommended)
  • 2 tablespoons urad dal (optional)
  • ½ to ¾ teaspoon garam masala
  • 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.

Fry 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 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.


This an updated recipe. The original recipe which I shared earlier uses half cup each of moong dal, chana dal and urad dal.

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)

Nutrition Facts
Dal Vada Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 90 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 150mg7%
Potassium 280mg8%
Carbohydrates 16g5%
Fiber 7g29%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 146IU3%
Vitamin C 27mg33%
Calcium 26mg3%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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© Swasthi’s Recipes

Dal Vada Recipe first published in August 2014. Updated & republished in August 2022.

Dal Vada (Lentil Fritters)

About Swasthi

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. More about me

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Can these be baked? If so what temperature would you recommend?

Wanted to know which one is more crispier between the two recipes for vada, masala vadai or dal vadai.

4 stars
easy to make recipes of popular and tasty dishes

Thank you for sharing this tasty recipe. Also I recommended to try moog dal vada recipe which is also tasty.

4 stars
Really nice way of explaining and simplify preparation of any recipe. Great job

All recipes are so good . Pictures are very clear. I will try all

5 stars
Tried today for my tea pakora party , very nice recipe, vadas were yumm.. 🙂

thank u so much for the best receipes it is very helpful for me. have a nic day

thanq so much for the best receipes it is very helpful..thanx a lot

I went through so many Dal Wada receipes.but could found, in yours only I could find perfect details.on shree Mahalaxmi I had tasted n wanted to offer Thakurji..without onion.will add kadipatta.Thanks

Thanks, I get a very tasteful recipe for my family

Came out well thank you

5 stars
Turned out good, crunchy and tasty. thank you so much

I am surely going to make this. Looks very very tempting