Medhu vada is a very popular break fast in south India. Medhu vada is served with sambar and coconut chutney. It is like a doughnut shape but taste differs. Medhu vada is made with urad dal, which is soaked in water for few hrs, then ground to a thick paste and then fried in deep oil. Deep oil means the oil should be more so that when vada is fried , it should be immersed nicely, not shallow fry. In hotels especially in south India you get sambar vada (vada soaked in sambar), rasam vada (vada soaked in rasam), curd vada (vada soaked in spicy curd mixture).
Medhu vada is made differently in each house. My mother she used to soak urad dal in the overnight and ground it to a smooth thick paste or little coarse paste, which is then fried into doughnut shape. You can add few vegetables, with some spices like black pepper seeds and cumin seeds, green chillies in the paste or can fry it plainly , or you can add few black pepper seeds and cumin seeds and grind it with urad dal itself, this will give a different taste. My cousin she adds rice flour as it will make crispy from outside and from inside soft, but iam satisfied with my medhu vada itself, as it crispy and soft from inside but we have to follow some simple and easy rules to make it perfect medhu vadas.
To make perfect round shape like doughnut, you can take a small medium size banana leaf or a plastic cover (milk packets cover), just apply some oil or wet it with water and put the dough on the banaleaf or plastic cover, and make round shape and a hole in the middle, and invert it in the hot oil.
I often do it with my hand, by wetting my hand and make a hole with the help of my thumb, and drop it in the hot oil.
While making medhu vada, it is not necessary that it has to be round shape like doughnut, can just drop the batter with a spoon or hand , the taste will be the same, if the round shape is difficult to make for you. You can see it in the pictures.
I often serve medhu vada with pongal, idli, or just sambar vada.
- Urad dal (whole) – 1 cup
- Water - for soaking
- Salt - as per taste
- Water for grinding – 50 ml to 75 ml
- Carrot – 1 to 2
- Onion – 1
- Green chillies – 2
- Mint leaves – 20
- Pepper seeds – 3/4 tsp
- Curry leaves – 15
- Ginger (chopped) - 1 tsp
- Coriander leaves – few
- Cumin seeds (optional) - 1 tsp
- Hing – 1/4 tsp or more
- Salt - as per taste
- First chop all the vegetables and keep it aside.
- Wash urad dal properly and soak it with enough water for 2hrs to 4hrs. the urad dal should be soaked well in water.
Grinding urad dal batter and mixing vegetables
- You can grind urad dal into a paste in wet grinder or in a mixer, but have to be careful that the paste should be thick and fluffy.
- Do not throw the water in which urad dal was soaked, use that water for grinding.
- Drain the watet from the urad dal and keep that water aside.
- When you put the urad dal in a mixer or wet grinder, do not add water immediately, let it rotate in a mixer or wet grinder, if it requires , add water little by little.
- Ground it to a smooth paste or little coarse but it should be fluffy and light, not tight, other wise the vadas wont be crispy.
- I have grounded urad dal into a batter, in both mixer and wet grinder, and the vadas have come well for me.
- After grounding urad dal into a thick paste (batter), put it in a bowl or any container.
- You can add any vegetables you like, I have add onion, carrot , mint, curry leaves, ginger , hing, green chillies, corrainder leaves, and mix well in the batter (paste).
- You can make the vadas plainly and can add vegetables if you like.
- Add the vegetables, according to the requirement of the medhu vada.
- I have made plain vada with a spoon and vegetable vadas also.
- Now heat the oil and in meanwhile keep a bowl of water with you, so that you make doughnut shape like vadas very easily.
- Wet your palm with water, place the urad dal paste, make a hole with one finger in the middle of it and just drop it in the oil carefully.
- Wet your palm each time you do the vada shape, as it will not stick to your hand.
- If it very difficult, as it needs practise, just drop the vada batter with the help of a small spoon.
- Do not make the vadas big, try to make it medium size, so that it will be easy for you.
- To know whether your oil is hot, just drop a little batter in the oil, it will come immediately on the top of oil, with the sizzling sound, then it means the oil is hot.
- Drop the vadas as said above, one by one , after this try to keep the flame not very high as the vadas will get cooked soon from the outside but inside it will be raw. So keep the flame in medium.
- After few minutes, when one side is golden brown then turn it and cook till it is cooked well on both sides.
- Place it on the tissue papper, so that it will absorb all the oil.
- Serve it with chutney and sambar, pongal.
- If you are making sambar or curd vada try to make it plain vada.
- I always divide the vada batter into half, so that I can make plain vadas for sambar and curd vada , but it is not a must to make plain vadas.
Cooking medhu vada
- Add water carefully and grind the urad dal into a paste (batter) coarse or smooth but fuffy.
- While grinding itself can add black peppercorns and cumin seeds, ginger , and hing and make a paste(batter), it will give you a different taste, then if you wish can add chopped vegetables, I sometimes add capsicum and beans also.
- For children try to avoid spices and green chillies.