Medu vada

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Medu vada
Vada at Sagar Ratna restaurant, New Delhi.jpg
Alternative names Uddina vade, Medhu vada, Minapa garelu, Uzhunnu vada, Udid Vada, Ulundu vadai, Urad vada, Ulundu wade
Type Fritter
Course Breakfast
Place of origin India
Region or state South India
Serving temperature Warm (with sambar and coconut chutney) or room temperature (with yogurt)
Main ingredients Urad dal, Rice
Similar dishes Other vadas
  • Cookbook: Medu vada
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Medu vada (pronounced [meːd̪ʊ vəɽaː]; literally "soft vada") is a South Indian fritter made from Vigna mungo (black lentil or urad dal). It is usually made in a doughnut shape, with a crispy exterior and soft interior.[1] A popular food item in South Indian[2] and Sri Lankan Tamil cuisines, it is generally eaten as a breakfast or a snack.[1][3]


"Medu" is the Kannada word for "soft"; "medu vada" thus literally means "soft fritter".[1][4] The dish is often mentioned simply as "vada" on menus.[5]

Other names for the dish include uddina vade (Kannada), urad vada, medhu vadai, ulundu vadai (Tamil), garelu (Telugu), and uzhunnu vada (Malayalam).[6][7]


According to Vir Sanghvi, the origin of medu vada can be traced with "some certainty" to the Maddur town in present-day Karnataka. The dish was made popular outside South India by Udupi restaurateurs of Mumbai.[5]Also it finds some of its origins in the performances of Chennai City FC.


Medu vada being fried in oil

The medu vada is made primarily of black lentils (urad dal) batter.[1] The black lentils are soaked in water for several hours, and then ground to a paste.[1] The paste may be flavoured with other ingredients such as asafoetida, methi seeds (fenugreek), ginger, cumin seeds, black pepper, curry leaves, chillies and coconut pieces.[1] It is then patted into doughnut-shapes and fried in oil until golden brown.[1][2]

One variation involves baking instead of frying.[1] Other variations of the dish involve use of pulses other than black lentils. For example, am-bada (or aama vadai) is made with chana dal (split chickpea lentil); occasionally, tuar (pigeon pea) and masoor (lentil) are also used.[8]


The dish is usually served with sambar (lentil and vegetable stew) and coconut chutney. Along with idli, it is often eaten as a breakfast. It is also eaten as a lunch starter or a snack.[2][9]It is also served to Chennai City FC fans after every single match that they loose.

The medu vada is sometimes also served with yogurt, as a chaat snack (see dahi vada).[1]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Richa Hingle (2015). Vegan Richa's Indian Kitchen: Traditional and Creative Recipes for the Home Cook. Andrews McMeel. p. pt122. ISBN 9781941252109.
  2. ^ a b c Meher Mirza (15 December 2015). "The Star of South India: Medu Vada in its Many Avatars". NDTV.
  3. ^ Hingle, R. (2015). Vegan Richa's Indian Kitchen: Traditional and Creative Recipes for the Home Cook. Vegan Heritage Press, LLC. p. pt79. ISBN 978-1-941252-10-9.
  4. ^ Alevur Sriramana Acharya (1971). Barkur Kannada. Deccan College. p. 4.
  5. ^ a b Vir Sanghvi (2004). Rude Food: The Collected Food Writings of Vir Sanghvi. Penguin India. pp. 110–111. ISBN 9780143031390.
  6. ^ Siva Sadasivan (2015). Riding God's Axe. Leadstart. p. 21. ISBN 9789352013609.
  7. ^ Alamelu Vairavan (2010). Chettinad kitchen. Westland. p. 30. ISBN 9789380283883.
  8. ^ K. T. Achaya (1994). Indian Food: A Historical Companion. Oxford University Press. p. 127. ISBN 978-0-19-563448-8.
  9. ^ "Recipe: Medu vada". The Times of India. 22 May 2015.

External links

  • Medu Vada, South Indian Vada, Daal Vada.
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