Savory Doughnuts

Ulundha vadai aka medhu vadai is a gluten-free South Indian savoury donut prepared using black lentils dough. Any feast or festival in South India is incomplete without making ulundha vadai; this traditional vadai is prepared for all special occasions or even on a normal day as an evening snack.

I tried a method that has never been followed by anybody (to my knowledge) for making lentil dough fluffy; I find this method useful specially for making in small quantities at home. I have been following this successfully for quite a long time. You can check the recipe here for making restaurant-style soft spongy vada with crispy golden skin.IMG_7835Ulundha vadai can be served as rasa vadai, sambar vadai or thayir vadai.

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IMG_7900Ulundha vadai can also be simply served with coconut chutney & sambar.

IMG_7884For rasa vadai or sambar vadai we have to soak vadai in hot rasam (soup) or sambar (lentil gravy) for few minutes and for thayir vadai blend yogurt (half cup) & coconut chutney (1 tbsp) and pour over warm vadai. Garnish with finely chopped onions and coriander leaves before serving.

Please note that we need to prick holes using toothpick or fork so that it gets soaked quickly, evenly and completely.

Now lets get into the recipe for spongy vadai.

Time taken (excluding soaking time) for making vadai: 30 min

Serves : 16 Nos.

Ingredients:

  1. Black gram (muzhu ulundhu) – 1 cup (200 g)
  2. Green chillies – 3 Nos.
  3. Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp
  4. Shallots – 15 to 20 Nos.
  5. Curry leaves – 2 sprigs.
  6. Salt – 1 tsp
  7. Sunflower oil for deep frying

Cooking Method:

Preparing dough:

  • Wash & soak black grams for 1 hour.
  • Chop shallots & curry leaves and keep aside.
  • Strain water completely from soaked lentils.
  • In a mixer-grinder jar add green chillies & grind for 30 sec.
  • Add lentils and grind for few min.
  • Add 2 tsp water and grind into a smooth paste.
  • Transfer lentil paste to a large bowl.
  • To incorporate air into the dough beat with electric beater (at high speed) until it becomes fluffy & whiter (approx. for 3 min).
  • Add salt, cumin seeds, chopped shallots & curry leaves and mix well.

Making Vadai:

  1. Heat a frying pan with oil in medium flame.
  2. Divide lentil dough into 16 equal sized balls.
  3. Place lentil ball on a greased leaf (or a plastic sheet),  make a hole through the center of ball and flatten it to form a doughnut shape.
  4. Check oil by dropping a pinch of dough, if it comes up to the surface, it is ready for deep frying.
  5. Turn over the leaf gently onto your hand and drop carefully into hot oil.
  6. Repeat from step.3 to slide 3 to 5 vadai in a batch.
  7. Gently flip them to other side using frying spoon.
  8. When they turn golden remove to a plate lined with paper towels.
  9. Repeat the same with rest of the dough.
  10. Hot spongy delicious vadai is ready to serve.

Please Note:

  1. If you are making dough using wet grinder, no need to use electric beater.
  2. If you don’t have electric beater, you can beat with whisk.
  3. You can use groundnut oil instead of sunflower oil, but sesame oil is not recommended for deep frying.
  4. You have to fry vadai constantly in medium flame without adjusting the flame.
  5. You can also add finely chopped ginger & coriander leaves.
  6. Some like to add chopped coconut pieces also.
  7. If you are offering to God, you can replace chillies with pepper and leave shallots.
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48 Comments Add yours

  1. I wish you could cook for me for a week! I would love to try all your food…so different than ours and I love to eat new things.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Megala says:

      Hahaha! Thanks for your kind words! Please do make a visit to India to try all of them!!

      Like

      1. I would love too!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Christy B says:

    Spongy, savory donuts, oh my! 🙂 Are they spicy?

    Like

    1. Megala says:

      They are not spicy and absolutely you can’t feel the heat of green chillies.

      Like

    1. Megala says:

      Yes, truly they are! Thanks for dropping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. My all time favorite and one I can have for breakfast, a snack or dinner time. Will try the new method of beating it, never did that before. Thank you, Megala for the tip.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Megala says:

      Glad that you like them so much! Thanks for dropping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh we have something like this in Malaysia too!
    That’s where I come from.
    I miss murukku so much too.

    Indian food in England is mild and creamy.
    In Malaysia, it’s very spicy and dry.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Megala says:

      Oh! Nice to know that!
      Yes, we all like murukku, but thats quite different from this vadai!
      Will soon post recipe for murukku also! 🙂
      By the way, thanks for dropping by!

      Like

      1. Oh we actually have something like vadai but it’s made of chickpea powder or lentil (I can’t remember), bird’s eye chilis and curry leaves.
        Do you know the name of this dish?
        Oh I just had a quick check online, it’s parippu vada. 🙂
        He he… I only know two words in Tamil, vanakkam and nandree.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Megala says:

        Now I got it, you can check here for its recipe: https://megalaskitchen.com/2017/01/27/deep-fried-lentil-patties/
        Nandree! 🙂

        Like

  5. Sofia says:

    This is a good snack. Thank you for sharing this. Looks delicious!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Eva@L.E.EBakers says:

    Yum!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Mmmm. These look really yummy! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Megala says:

      Thanks, and thanks for visiting my blog!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome. Xx

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Aruna says:

    Crisp vadas are my weakness!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Megala says:

      Yes, me too! 🙂

      Like

  9. All time favorite vada lovely

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Megala says:

    Happy that you like them so much!
    We also do the de-husking of black gram lentils sometimes.
    We soak lentils for 2-3 hours, when they are soaked we scoop out a handful of lentils and rub them between fingers & palm while immersing palm inside water. We repeat the same for another batch of lentils until skins are separated completely. Then we have to shake the bowl gently so that the skins would start to float and lentils stay at the bottom. Now floating skins can be poured out with water and we add some water to repeat the same until skins are poured out. It wont take not more than 10 min.
    If you find any difficulty in this method above, you can try this: When lentils are soaked, you can drain the water completely, spread evenly on a towel and cover them with another towel. Now you can roll a polling pin over the top towel several times until the husks are separated and take them out one by one.
    Hope this would be helpful, do let me know whether this works for you!

    Like

  11. These look soooo tempting Megala. I was wondering if I could get your help for something? I have recently made dosa batter and now thinking of making these 🙂 but I have a bit of a problem. Here I have only found urad dal or black gram with the husks on, and although I tried to soak them overnight or rub them off, I haven’t found any simple way to remove or separate the black skins in bulk. I had spent about two hours doing it last time (after soaking), and although I guess it would be worth it for a delicious recipe like this 😉 I was wondering if you could advise a better method for me or what I am doing wrong? Many thanks!!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Anu Yalo says:

    looks tempting!!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Lovely vadas👌👌🙏💛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Megala says:

      Thank you so much!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. A fav nytym 👌👌

    Liked by 1 person

  15. KR says:

    So exotic and interesting idea. I am so glad you shared this recipe !! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Hang says:

    Wow, they look delicious! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Megala says:

      Thank you so much!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Megala says:

    Thank you so much!

    Like

  18. Dahlia says:

    Yummmm – they look so tempting!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Megala says:

      Thanks thanks thanks!!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  19. chefkreso says:

    They look amazing! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  20. M Drooling :):):) Thumbs up for Vada and sambar

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Megala says:

      Thank you so much!

      Liked by 1 person

  21. PriyaPandian says:

    Vada is my all-time​ favorite. Nice share 👍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Megala says:

      Thank you so much.

      Liked by 1 person

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