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A white tray is filled with masala vadas and bowl of sauce
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5 from 8 votes

Masala Vada Recipe

Masala Vada is a very simple snack recipe, yet tastes heavenly when done right. It can be a standalone snack or a part of a multi-course meal but sure to be a showstopper.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Soaking Time4 hrs
Total Time4 hrs 40 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Indian
Diet: Vegan
Allergen: Dairy free, Gluten free, Soy free
Difficulty: Easy
Servings: 6
Calories: 166kcal



  • 1 ½ cup Channa dal
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 strand curry leaves optional
  • 2 strand cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 3 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 green chili
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • Oil for frying


  • Soak the Chana dal for 4 or more hours. Drain the water completely. Except for a little bit of the soaked dal, blend the rest of the chana dal without water and make a coarse paste. Mix in the paste with the soaked chana dal.
  • Add the black pepper, red chili powder, chopped green chilies, grated ginger, chopped onions, chopped curry leaves(optional), salt to taste, and chopped cilantro to the dough and mix well. Make a 2" ball and press gently with your palms to flatten it.
  • In a medium frying pan, deep fry the vadas until you see a golden brown texture. When you drop them in oil, the heat should be on high. Simmer the heat after you drop 4-6 vadas (depending on the pan size) and deep fry them in medium flame until they turn golden brown on both sides. Drain the excess oil in a paper towel. Masala vada is ready!


  • If you do not soak for enough time, vada could turn too hard and too crispy.
  • As a subtle variation, Rice flour or sooji can be added to make them crisper.
  • No need to add excess water while blending the chana dal.
  • Green chilies can be replaced with red chilies.
  • For extra flavor, add chopped garlic and/or mint leaves.
Note: The nutrition values I show here are my best estimates. Please be sure to check your preferred nutrition calculator, if you are relying on accurate calculations in your diet.


Calories: 166kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 7mg | Potassium: 64mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 101IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 91mg | Iron: 2mg