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Vada Ponganalu / NonFried Lentil Fritters

Recipe Cooked, Photographed and Written by Praveena

Prep Time:3-4 hrs   Cooking Time:10 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 them as Vada Ponganalu as I made them with the batter used for making Vada(s) or fritters.

There are many other recipes for preparing this simpe dish. But I mostly make them with Urad Dal or Lentils bacause , Urad Dal/Skinless 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 a vegan, glutenfree, non-fried, protein enriched recipe for fritters. Its perfectly Guiltfree in all ways. You can have them with any spicy sauce, while we had them with Instant Coconut Chutney / Kobbari Pachchadi đź™‚

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

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Related Posts⇒  Miriyam Garelu / Peppery Lentil Fritters , Mint-Coconut Chutney / Pudina-Kobbari Pachchadi , Peanut Chutney / Palli Pachchadi

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  • Minapa Gundlu / Skinless Whole Black Gram / Urad Dal – 1 cup
  • Green Chillies – 4
  • Carrot – 1 (small size)
  • Coriander – 10 twigs
  • Ajwain / Carom Seeds – 1 teaspoon (optional)
  • Cooking Oil  – as required (for deep fry)
  • Water – 2 cups
  • Salt – 1 teaspoon
  • Whole Black Pepper – 1 tablespoon (optional)

Special Ingredients:

  • Coriander
  • Green Chillies


  • 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. See pics below.  
  • Let them soak for 3-4 hours. Add enough water in between if needed.
  • After 4 hours of soaking the lentils will bulge in size and overflow the vessel as shown in pic below.
  • Transfer just the lentils (not water) to a grinder/processor and add the whole black pepper. See pic below.  
  • Grind the lentils thoroughly into a smooth batter , add 3-4 tablespoons of water in between if required.  See pics below.  

  • Add salt,green chillies,onions,coriander,carom seeds and carrot to the smooth batter and give a mix. As shown below.  
  • Mix everything gently.  Put aside.
  • Put the Ponganalu pan/Appe pan/Paniyaram pan on stove top under high flame.
  • Using a teaspoon, pour ÂĽ 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. See pics below.  
  • Reduce the flame to medium and let it cook with lid, for 7-8 mins.
  • After that open the lid, and using a tablespoon,turn each ponganam/paniyaram to the other side.
  • Add ÂĽ teaspoon of oil in each hole of the pan.
  • 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 3 hrs in summer, while it might take more time in winters.
  • 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. That doesn’t cause any problem.
  • Do not throw away the soaked water . You can use them for mixing the flour for roti.
  • While grinding , you can add garlic too.
  • You can add 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 the ponganalu pan/appe pan on the stovetop under high flame.
  • You can store the batter in the refrigerator and make ponganalu/paniyaram when needed.
  • This batter stays good upto a week in the fridge.


  • This is a vegan, glutenfree, non-fried, protein enriched recipe for fritters. It’s perfectly Guiltfree in all ways. 
  • You can have them with any spicy sauce, while we had them with Instant Coconut Chutney / Kobbari Pachchadi 
    Hot NonFried Lentil Fritters/Vada Ponganalu served with Coconut Chutney

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