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Miriyam Garelu / Peppery Lentil Fritters

Recipe Cooked, Photographed and Written by Praveena

Prep Time:5-6 hrs   CookTime:20 mins  Cuisine:Indian

Minapa Garelu/ Medu Vada is the most common food item made with these lentils. It is basically a South Indian breakfast dish. It can also be served as an appetiser for any meal/lunch/dinner. Generally, these are fried plain, but for a twist I added whole black pepper to spice them up!

Health Benefits of Minumulu/ Urad Dal/ Black Lentils

Minumulu/ Urad Dal/ Black Gram is 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.For those who do not eat meat or fish, have black gram as it is rich in protein which is much required by the body (extracts from the internet).

This is one of the Vegan, Gluten free , protein enriched recipes of Indian fritters. It’s Guiltfree in many ways. You can have them without any dip/chutney or with any spicy sauce/chutney, while we had them with Ginger Chutney / Allam Pachchadi 🙂

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

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  • Minapa Gundlu/Skinless Whole Black Gram /Urad Dal – 1 cup
  • Water – 2 cups
  • Salt – 1 teaspoon
  • Whole Black Pepper – 1 tablespoon
  • Cooking Oil  – as required (for deep fry)

Special Ingredients:

  • Whole Black Pepper

Step wise pics Procedure for Miriyam garelu / peppery lentil fritters:

  • First, take the Urad Dal/Skinless Whole Black Gram in a big vessel and wash them twice with cold water.
  • Then soak them with double the amount of water.
  • Let them soak for 5-6 hours. Add enough water in between if needed.
  • After 4 hours of soaking the lentils will bulge in size and overflow the vessel.
  • Transfer just the lentils (not water) to a grinder/processor and add the whole black pepper.
  • Grind the lentils thoroughly into a smooth batter , add 3-4 tablespoons of water in between if required.
  • Add salt to the smooth batter and give a thorough mix.
  • In the meanwhile, put a wide frying pan on stove top under high flame and pour enough oil to deep fry.
  • Take a tablespoon of batter and put it on any flat surface like a plate or polythene sheet. I used a Zip Loc.
  • Then spread it over like a flat pattie with a hole at the centre.
  • Once the oil is heated, reduce the flame to medium and gently drop the pattie into the boiled oil.
  • Let them fry on one side until they turn golden brown and reverse the patties gently to the other side for frying.
  • Once they are fried both sides until golden brown colour remove them slowly using a chopstick into the hole.

    Hot Peppery Lentil Fritters/Miriyam Garelu taken out of the frying pan with a chopstick
  • Transfer them to a bowl with a paper towel on. Done!!


  • Soaking the urad dal/skinless black lentils might need approximately 4 hrs in summer, while it needs 6 hrs in winters. 
  • Alternatively, you can soak the dal / lentils just for 3 hrs, grind immediately, then let it rest for 2 more hours at room temperature. (before you make the vada(s)).
  • Few people follow this tip of, adding baking soda in the batter, to get fluffed up vada(s)/fritters.
  • If you think the dal / lentils have not soaked enough, when compared to my picture, then let it soak for more time. Don’t hesitate.
  • Don’t worry if you have soaked the urad dal/lentils for more time than required. 
  • Do not throw away the soaked water . You can use them for mixing the flour for roti.
  • Adjust the salt and pepper as per your taste.
  • If you wish to make the vada(s) or fritters immediately after grinding: then to save time put a frying pan with enough cooking oil, on the stovetop under high flame.
  • The oil for deep frying must be perfectly hot, to test this just drop a small blob of batter into the oil and check .
  • Be extremely careful while dropping the batter into the oil and while turning each pattie to the other side.
  • If you would like to avoid deep frying you can try these in an air-fryer too.
  • You can store the batter in the refrigerator and make vada(s) or fritters when needed.
  • This batter stays good upto a week in the fridge.


  • The taste of these, miriyam garelu / peppery lentil fritters, is spicy , as we added black pepper.
  • They are crunchy on the outside and soft as cotton in the inside. Even though these are deep fried, they are not at all oily to look and taste.
  • As shown below, we ate them with Ginger Chutney / Allam Pachchadi

    Plate of warm peppery Dal Fritters/Miriyam Garelu served with Ginger Chutney/Allam Pachchadi

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