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Mung Dal Nuggets / Pesarapappu Vada (Air-Fryer & Deep-Fry)

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Recipe Cooked, Photographed and Written by Praveena

PrepTime:4-5 hrs  CookTime:15 mins   Cuisine:Indian

Mung dal nuggets / Pesarapappu vada is my newest try using my Air-fryer. My husband doesn’t enjoy air-fried food, so I had to make deep-fry version of these parallelly. Hence, posting both the versions using the same batter.

Well, among the Air-fried & deep-fried versions, I didn’t find much of difference in taste. But, air-fried seems to be made in a healthy way (uses just oil-spray) and the texture is also just the same. Except that a bit more patience is needed while using the air-fryer, because we cannot make more than 5-6 no. in one go. 

These, Mung dal nuggets / pesarapappu vada, can be called as sibblings to these recipes that I posted before. 

  1. Medu Vada / Minapa Gaarelu
  2. Masala Vada / Nuggets
  3. Red Kidney Beans Nuggets / Rajma – Masala Vada / Fritters
  4. Bell Pepper – Lentil Fritters / Capsicum Punugulu

I made these, Mung dal nuggets / pesarapappu vada (excluded the onions), for Telugu New year in the first week of April Ugadi Festive Delicacies-2019  and made them again yes’day.. when kids demand, you have to! right!! 🙂 

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

My other Snack recipes here⇒  Starters / Snacks

My other Air-fryer recipes here⇒  Air – Fryer Recipes

Related Posts⇒

  1. Yellow Moong Dal Idli / Pesarapappu Idli
  2. Pesarapappu Payasam / Yellow Moong Dal Kheer
  3. Sorakaya-Pesarapappu / Lauki-MungDal / BottleGourd-LentilStew

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  • Pesarapappu / Yellow Moong Dal – 1 cup
  • Green chillies – 3 (finely chopped)
  • Fresh Coriander Leaves – handful (finely chopped)
  • Salt – ½ teaspoon
  • Whole Cumin / Jeera – 1 tablespoon
  • Ginger / Allam – 1 inch piece (finely chopped)
  • Onions – 1 medium (finely chopped)
  • Turmeric Powder – ¼ teaspoon
  • Rice Flour / Biyyappindi – 2 tablespoons
  • Pepper Powder / Miriyam Podi – 1 teaspoon
  • Water – 3 cups
  • Garlic Pods – 3 (finely chopped) (optional)
  • Cooking Oil – 2 cups (for deep fry)
  • Oil spray – 1 tablespoon (for air-frying)

Special Ingredients:

  • Rice Flour / Biyyappindi
  • Green chillies

Step wise pics Procedure for Mung dal nuggets / pesarapappu vada:

Wash the Yellow Moong Dal / Pesarapappu for 3-4 times, and soak them in water for 4 to 5 hrs.

Strain the water, take the dal / lentils into a blending jar and make a smooth paste.Add 2 tablespoons of water ONLY if required.

Yellow mung dal nuggets / Pesarapappu vada.

In a mixing bowl, add the all the ingredients as shown (except oil and water), mix everything gently and make a batter.

Yellow mung dal nuggets / Pesarapappu vada.

Batter ready to be used…for making the nuggets / vada.


Yellow mung dal nuggets / Pesarapappu vada.

Put a frying pan, add enough of cooking oil (for deep frying), on the stovetop under high flame.

When the oil is hot enough,
make small balls with the batter. Then press each ball into flat patties with your thumb finger and gently drop them into oil.

Yellow mung dal nuggets / Pesarapappu vada.

Fry them on one side for 2-3 mins and then flip them back to fry, until they turn golden brown.


Yellow mung dal nuggets / Pesarapappu vada.

Brush the base of air-fryer with oil / use an oil-spray throughout. Plate nugget patties over it. Cook for 7-8 mins on one side,
at 200ºC .

Yellow mung dal nuggets / Pesarapappu vada.

Pause it, gently flip to the other side and fry for 4-5 mins more,
200ºC .

Yellow mung dal nuggets / Pesarapappu vada.

Perfectly cooked lentil nuggets / moong dal vada
in air-fryer .

Yellow mung dal nuggets / Pesarapappu vada.

Vada / Lentil Nuggets, in a serving plate, along with tomato, tamarind sauces as dip. Done!!


  • Don’t worry if you have soaked the dal for more time than required. 
  • Do not throw away the soaked water. Use them while kneading chapathi dough.
  • Adjust the salt and spice as per your taste.
  • The oil for deep frying must be perfectly hot, to test this just drop a small blob of batter into the oil and check .
  • For air-fryer method, make the patties with a hole in the middle, for even frying.
  • You can store the batter or patties in the refrigerator/freezer and fry them when needed.
  • Making the nuggets / vada, and storing them is not preferred as they turn hard within few hours.


  • These, Mung dal nuggets / pesarapappu vada, are crispy on the outside and soft from inside.
  • The flavour of coriander, curry leaves, ginger, garlic is very much evident in every bite.
  • I served them with tamarind sauce and tomato ketchup.

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  1. Lentils are mentioned a couple of times, but not throughout. Do you treat the lentils (what kind: red? Brown/green) the same as the moong dal?

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