Perugu vada is a traditional Andhra dish where fried urad dal dumplings are soaked & served with tempered yogurt. In Telugu, perugu means curd/yogurt & vada are nothing but the South Indian medu vada. Perugu vadalu are prepared mostly during festivals or occasions and is served as a snack. It is much similar to the Tamil Thayir vadai, Karnataka mosaru vada & North India dahi vada.
This traditional dish is made by soaking urad dal for a few hours and then ground to a fluffy batter. Later portions of this is shaped and fried. These fried dumplings are further soaked in water and then buttermilk to soften them.
Later these are added to tempered spiced yogurt. A well soaked perugu vada has a soft melt-in-the-mouth texture & is eaten along with the spiced yogurt.
In this post I have also shared making perugu punugulu. If you are a beginner then making these perugu punugulu is super easy compared to the perugu vada.
Since shaping them is easier and frying takes less time as these are smaller in size. The only difference is these are round ball shaped instead of the doughnut garelu shape.
Punugulu are traditional ball shaped fritters quite popular in Telugu speaking households. I make these only with urad dal and without rice.
So the final outcome & taste of perugu punugulu will be the same as perugu vada except that you will have them in ball shape.
Preparation for perugu vada
1. Rinse urad dal at least 3 to 4 times in lots of water. Wash it well, rubbing with your hand. Drain the water and soak them in enough water for at least 5 hours.
2. To make the batter in the right consistency, follow this link to medu vada recipe. Also make and deep fry the garelu following the instructions there.
3. For 1 cup urad dal, you will be able to make 14 to 16 garelu depending on the size. Here I made perugu garelu with only 7 of them. If you want to make with all of them, double the full recipe.
4. Make the tempering – Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a small pan. When the oil becomes hot, add mustard, cumin and red chilies. I was running out of cumin, so added very little.
5. When the spices splutter, then add curry leaves, green chilies and ginger. Saute until the leaves turn crisp. Turn off. Lastly add hing and turmeric. Cool this completely.
6. Add yogurt to a bowl and whisk it well with some salt. If it is too thick then you may add little water. If the yogurt is too thick, it won’t be absorbed by the vadas. So add accordingly, it must not be too thick or too runny. I did not since mine had lot of whey in it.
7. Next add the cooled tempering to the curd and mix well. Taste test and add more salt and green chilies if needed. If you want add more turmeric to the tadka pan and then pour little yogurt into it. Pour that back here.
Making perugu vada
8. Keep the following ready before frying the garelu. Add ½ cup curd & ½ teaspoon salt to a mixing bowl. Whisk them well. Pour 1½ cups water to this and whisk well.
9. Remove the golden fried garelu from oil and straight away add to the bowl of buttermilk.
10. Immerse them with your fingers. Leave them until they soften for about 2 to 3 mins.
11. Later discard the buttermilk in which the vada were soaked. Squeeze the vadas one by one gently in between your palms and drain most of the water. Don’t break them. Arrange all the garelu in the same pan.
12. Pour the tempered yogurt and gently shake the pan. This helps the yogurt coat all of the garelu. Rest them for 2 to 4 hours in the fridge.
Transfer to serving bowls.
Sprinkle boondi or mixture. Some people also sprinkle coriander leaves and fresh chopped onions.
1. Wash half cup urad dal a few times until the water runs clear. Then soak it for 4 to 6 hours. You can also soak overnight.
2. You can prepare the tempering before frying the fritters. You can also make it a day ahead and refrigerate. Heat a wide pan with 1 tbsp oil. Then add
- ¼ teaspoon mustard
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 broken dried red chilli
- When the spices splutter add 1 sprig curry leaves, ginger and green chillies. When the leaves turn crisp, off the heat. Add turmeric and 1 pinch hing. Set this aside to cool.
3. Once cool add 2 to 3 cups yogurt and salt as required. Whisk everything well to break up the lumps of curd. Your seasoned yogurt is ready. Set this aside. If it is too thick, then you may add a few tablespoons of water. Taste test and add more salt if needed.
How to make perugu punugulu
4. Drain the water from dal and add it to a grinder jar along with salt and 3 tablespoons water. You can also add half teaspoon cumin and 1 green chili. Blend it for a few minutes. Scrape the sides and sprinkle more water only if needed and blend to a smooth fluffy batter. Take care not to make it very runny.
5. The batter consistency must be thick and not very runny. If your batter becomes runny, you can add 2 to 3 tablespoons rice flour. Let it sit for 5 to 10 mins it turns thick. If you make them with runny batter, they will soak up oil. Mix and beat the batter well in clock-wise direction for 1 to 2 minutes to make it fluffy.
6. Fill a bowl with water or butter milk and stir some salt to it. Since these are smaller in size they are okay even if dropped in salted water. Set aside away from your stove along with the seasoned yogurt.
7. Heat oil in a pan for deep frying. Check if the oil is hot enough by gently dropping a small portion to the oil. It has to rise without browning. This is the correct temperature. Gently slide in a tbsp of batter each time in the hot oil. You can use your fingers to shape them or use a tablespoon. Fry them on a medium heat until crisp and golden.
8. Drop these hot punukulu in water or buttermilk.
10. After 1 to 2 mins, remove the fritters from water and squeeze each of them gently by pressing in between your palms.
11. Add these to the seasoned perugu/ yogurt. Set this aside in the refrigerator for a couple of hours until they soak well.
Garnish perugu pungulu with boondi & coriander leaves. I had none so we ate them as is. They tasted good, soft and delicious.
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- ½ cup urad dal (minapa pappu)
- ¼ teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
- oil as needed for deep frying
- ½ cup curd
- 1½ cups water
- ½ teaspoon salt
To make seasoned yogurt
- 2 to 3 cups curd (thick yogurt)
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- ¼ teaspoon mustard seeds
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 dried red chili broken
- 2 green chilies chopped
- 1 teaspoon ginger fine chopped
- 1 pinch hing (asafoetida)
- ½ teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
- 1 tablespoon oil
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- ¼ cup khara boondi or mixture
- 2 tablespoons coriander leaves chopped
- Rinse urad dal thrice and soak them in water for 5 to 6 hours.
- Just before making the fritters, heat a wide pan with 1 tablespoon oil. When it is hot enough, add cumin seeds, mustard and red chilli. When the seeds splutter, add curry leaves, ginger and green chilies. Soon the leaves will become crisp. Turn off the stove. Add turmeric and add hing. Cool this completely.
- Once it cools down, add yogurt to this along with ¼ teaspoon salt. Whisk it well until smooth. If it is too thick, then add little water to bring it to consistency. It should be neither too thick nor too runny. Taste test and add more salt if required. Set this aside.
- Drain the water from dal and add it to the grinder/blender along with salt and 3 tablespoons water.
- Blend it for a few minutes. Then scrape the sides and sprinkle more water only if needed and blend to a smooth and fluffy thick batter.
- Ensure the blender does not become hot while you blend. Keep sprinkling water as needed and blend.
- Transfer the batter to a bowl and beat it well in clock-wise direction for a minute to make it light and fluffy.
- The consistency of the batter has to be thick, fluffy and light. ( If it is runny then add 2 to 3 tablespoons rice flour and mix. Make punugulu instead of garelu)
How to make perugu vada
- In a large wide serving bowl, whisk together curd and salt. Then add water to make buttermilk and set aside.
- Heat oil in a pan for deep frying on a medium heat. Check if it is hot by gently dropping a small portion of batter to the oil. It has to rise without browning a lot.
- Then take small portions of the batter and shape to balls. Place the ball on a greased parchment paper. Flatten slightly and make a hole in the center. Grease your finger and transfer the vada to your fingers. Gently slide to the hot oil by shaking off your fingers. (You can also use a tablespoon to drop the batter & make balls.)
- Let them fry and firm up for a few minutes, then stir and fry them evenly until crisp and golden.
- Remove and add them directly to the bowl of buttermilk. Immerse them fully by pushing down with your fingers.
- Once they soak up the buttermilk and soften in about 2 to 3 mins. Remove them one by one and gently squeeze to remove excess buttermilk.
- Drop them in the seasoned perugu/ yogurt. Gently stir the yogurt to coat them. They will be delicate so handle them carefully.
- Cover and rest for a couple of hours in the refrigerator until they become soft. Avoid leaving this in hot place as the yogurt will turn sour. You can keep it in the refrigerator.
- Garnish with coriander leaves and khara boondi.
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)
© Swasthi’s Recipes
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.
Follow Swasthi’s Recipes