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Vada Ponganalu / NonFried Lentil Fritters

Recipe Cooked, Photographed and Written by Praveena

PrepTime:2-3 hrs   CookTime:20 mins   Cuisine:Indian

Gunta Ponganalu is the name given these tiny little balls of dal fritters (no fry) in Telugu (a South Indian Regional language,my Mother tongue). This is a breakfast or evening snack or supper item served with any spicy chutney to balance the taste. I named these as, vada ponganalu / nonfried lentil fritters,  coz I made them with the batter used for making Medu Vada / Minapa Gaaerlu.

There are many other recipes for preparing this simpe dish. But I mostly make them with Urad Dal or Black Lentils as its one of the richest sources of proteins and Vitamin B. It is also good for women as it has iron, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, potassium which makes it a healthy pulse. (extracts from the internet).

NOTE: Though this batter is same as that we make for Medu Vada / Minapa Gaaerlu,preparation for batter is different for both.

It’s a vegan, gluten free, non-fried, protein enriched recipe thats Guilt free in all ways. We had Roasted Tomato Chutney / Tomato Pachchadi as a condiment along with fresh lettuce & tomato salad and fresh papaya cubes.

Before starting to cook, don’t forget to see the Tips mentioned in the end.

Starters / Snacks Collection here⇒  Starters / Snacks

Breakfast recipes collection here⇒ Breakfast / Tiffin

Chutney recipes collection here⇒  Chutney / Pachchadi / Dip

Weight Loss Diet Recipes collection⇒ Weight Loss Food / Low Carb Recipes

Related Posts⇒  

  1. Miriyam Garelu / Peppery Lentil Fritters / Medu Vada
  2. Mung Dal Nuggets / Pesarapappu Vada (Air-Fryer & Deep-Fry)
  3. Bell Pepper – Lentil Fritters / Capsicum Punugulu

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  • Minapa Gundlu / Skinless Whole Black Lentils / Urad Gota / Dal – 1 cup
  • Water – 1½ cup (for soaking)
  • Finely Chopped Onion – ½ cup 
  • Green Chillies – 4 (finely chopped)
  • Grated Carrot – ¼ cup
  • Fresh Coriander Leaves – a handful (finely chopped)
  • Ajwain / Carom Seeds – 1 teaspoon (optional)
  • Cooking Oil  – as required
  • Salt – 1 teaspoon
  • Whole Black Pepper – 1 tablespoon (optional)

Special Ingredients:

  • Fresh Coriander Leaves
  • Green Chillies

Step wise pics Procedure:

  • Take the Urad Gota / Minapa Gundlu into a big vessel and wash them twice with running water.
  • Then soak them with 1½ cup of water.
  • Let them soak for 2-3 hours. After soaking the lentils will bulge in size.
  • Transfer whole of the dal / lentils along with the soaked water into a grinder/processor and add the whole black pepper.
  • Grind them thoroughly into a smooth batter, add few tablespoons of water in between ONLY IF NEEDED.(I did not add any)
  • Add salt, chopped green chillies, chopped onions, chopped coriander, carom seeds and grated carrot to the smooth batter.
  • Mix thoroughly and set aside.
  • Put the Ponganalu pan/Appe pan/Paniyaram pan on stove top under high flame.
  • Pour ¼ teaspoon of oil in each hole of the pan.
  • When the oil is heated , gently drop a tablespoon of batter into each hole and close the pan with lid.
  • Reduce the flame to medium and let it cook with lid, for 7-8 mins.
  • After that open the lid, and using a tablespoon / chopstick, turn each one to the other side.
  • Reduce the flame to low, and let them cook without the lid for another 7-8 mins.
  • Using a tablespoon, remove each from the pan and serve them hot!! Done!!


  • Soaking the urad dal/whole black lentils might take approximately 2-3 hrs in summer, while it might take more time in winters.
  • Don’t worry if you have soaked the urad dal/lentils for more time than required. 
  • Adjust the salt and spice as per your taste.
  • This batter stays good up to a week when kept in fridge.
  • These, Vada ponganalu / nonfried lentil fritters, taste the best ONLY when served warm/hot.


  • This is a vegan, gluten free, non-fried, protein enriched recipe for fritters. It’s perfectly Guilt free in all ways. 
  • We had Roasted Tomato Chutney / Tomato Pachchadi as a condiment along with fresh lettuce & tomato salad and fresh papaya cubes.

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