Masal Vadai (Lentil Fritters)
Recipe Type: Snack
Prep Time: 
Cook Time: 
Total Time: 
Serves: 4
  • Bengal Gram/Chana Dal - 1 big cup
  • Pigeon Peas/Toor dal - 2 to 3 tbsp
  • Semolina - 1 tbsp (adds to the crispiness of the batter)
  • Red Chillis - 3- to taste
  • Green Chillis- 2 - to taste - optional
  • Garlic - 3 large pods - finely chopped
  • Ginger - a small piece - finely chopped
  • Shallots - 10- finely chopped
  • Fennel Seeds - 1 tbsp (makes it aromatic & flavourful)
  • Coriander leaves & curry leaves -a few sprigs (chopped)
  • Salt - to taste
  • Asafoetida - a pinch or two
  • Oil - for frying
  1. Wash the lentils well and soak them in enough water for at least one hour.
  2. Retain a fistful of lentils separately and grind the rest of the lentils with red chillis, garlic, ginger to a coarse paste. Add very little water if necessary.
  3. In a bowl, add the coarse lentil paste, the whole lentils ( it adds to the crunch & bite),finely chopped shallots, salt to taste, asafoetida, chopped curry leaves & coriander leaves, fennel seeds and mix well.
  4. In a pan heat the oil for deep frying.
  5. Take a lemon sized ball of the mix and shape them in to disc. Repeat the same for the rest of the batter.( It makes - 10 to 12, depending on the size of the disc).Drop in to the hot oil gently,1 or 2 at a time and let it cook till golden brown on both sides.
  6. Serve hot with chutney/sauce/any other dip or enjoy it with a steaming cup of your choice beverage
While grinding the lentils do not add water unless required(for instance if the mix becomes too dry & it becomes difficult to pulse further).If so, add a few dops or as required. Else the batter becomes very runny If the batter becomes runny, add rice flour or semolina to adjust, so that it becomes easy to shape the disc Instead of shallots you can also use onion. Adding shallots lend more flavour to the fritters.
Recipe by Honest Cooking at