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Masala Vada / Lentil Masala Nuggets

South Indian style, Lentil Masala nuggets which are plant based and gluten free suitable as prep food, storage food. Recipe below has both Stove Top and Air Fryer Methods with step wise pics, tips.

Recipe Cooked, Photographed and Written by Praveena

PrepTime:3 hrs   CookTime:20 mins   Cuisine: Indian


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Masala Vada / Lentil Masala Nuggets, which are originally called as Senaga Pappu Vada (Chana Dal Vada) is most commonly called as Masala Vada in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Two among the five states of South India. 

masala vada / masala fritters. protein rich yellow Lentil Nuggets  in Air Fryer / Stove Top. low carbs, vegan, gluten free, prep food.

What is Masala Vada?

Masala Vada / Masala fritters is THE most famous street food there. It is served with a chutney/dip and chopped onions, in a newspaper. I replicated the same, excluding the newspaper part. 🙂

There might be few variations in the ingredients , but this is the version that I follow. Try this recipe and you will surely feel the pleasure of utmost satisfaction. Give it a go then!!

Whenever I suddenly realise that I am out of urad dal / black gram / minapappu in my pantry, this is the immediate item that comes into my mind for making vada(s). This is the one such days I cooked these and clicked few pictures too.

masala vada / masala fritters. protein rich yellow Lentil Nuggets  in Air Fryer / Stove Top. low carbs, vegan, gluten free, prep food.
Platter showing air fryer method vada(s) in the front and stove top method vada(s) in the back side.
This platter has the masala vada(s) made using deep fry method. You can find the drawing by my little kiddo…:-) Howz it?!!

Health Benefits of ‘Masala Vada / Lentil Masala Nuggets’:

Chana Dal / Split Yellow Lentils / Split Polished Chickpeas: are mainly an excellent source of vegetarian protein. They are low in carbs, so suitable for weight loss diet. Hence, is also apt for Diabetic friendly diet plan.

Other benefits would be its easily digestible & is high in fibre.

To Conclude: This recipe is packed with protein, iron, fibre. It is suitable for Vegetarian, Vegan, Plant based, Gluten free, Kids Friendly, Protein Rich, diets. And its absolutely economical and crowd pleasing appetiser.

Possible alterations for the recipe, ‘Masala Vada / Lentil Masala Nuggets / Dal Vada’:

To add Garlic: Just add 4 to 5 cloves of fresh garlic while grinding the dal. Or else, add 1 tablespoon of ginger-garlic paste after grinding.

Other ingredients to add: While below one is the regular authentic recipe. Some others add 2 tablespoons of raw rice, 2 tablespoons of toor da; / urad dal. While soaking the chana dal. Adding raw rice makes the vada to turn more crispy. 

In case the batter turns runny: Add 1 (or) 2 tablespoons of rice flour to the batter just before making the patties. Instead of rice four other option is besan / gram flour.

To avoid using Onion, Garlic: Yes, you can avoid using onion and garlic in this recipe. Just follow the rest of the recipe as it is. 

Alternative for Onion & Garlic: You might add same quantity of finely chopped white cabbage (or) purple cabbage. It gives that crunchy sweet texture just like the onions.

Oven baked method: Place the vada patties on a baking tray lined up with parchment paper. Brush each with oil. Bake them in the middle rack, at 200C / 390F, for 12 to 15 mins.

Whole Food Plant Based /Oil Free Options: The same recipe worked amazingly well in an AIR-FRYER / OVEN, WITHOUT USING OIL. All the other ingredients are anyhow compatible to Whole Food Plant Based diet.

masala vada / masala fritters. protein rich yellow Lentil Nuggets  in Air Fryer / Stove Top. low carbs, vegan, gluten free, prep food.

Recipe for Chutney in the pic is here⇒   Green chilli chutney / Mirchi Pachchadi

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

Appetiser recipes collection here⇒  Starters / Snacks

Air fryer recipes collection  Air – Fryer Recipes

Related Posts:

  1. Red Kidney Beans Nuggets / Rajma – Masala Vada / Fritters
  2. Bell Pepper & Lentil Fritters / Capsicum Punugulu
  3. Vada Ponganalu / NonFried Lentil Fritters

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Ingredients:

  • Senaga Pappu / Split Yellow Gram Lentils / Chana Dal – 1 cup
  • Onion – 1 (large size) (finely chopped)
  • Green Chillies – 4 (small size)
  • Ginger –  1 inch piece (chopped)
  • Garlic Pods – 3 to 4 (optional)
  • Fresh Coriander – 10 twigs (chopped)
  • Curry Leaves – 10 (finely chopped) (optional)
  • Whole Jeera / Cumin Seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Water – as required (for soaking)
  • Turmeric powder – ¼ teaspoon
  • Salt – 1 teaspoon (or as per taste)
  • Cooking Oil  – 2 cups / as required (for stove top method)
  •           “”            – 2 tablespoons (for air fryer method)

Special Ingredients:

  • Curry Leaves
  • Ginger
  • Coriander
masala vada / masala fritters. protein rich yellow Lentil Nuggets  in Air Fryer / Stove Top. low carbs, vegan, gluten free, prep food.
All the vada(s) in this platter are made using AIR FRYER METHOD, only. Yes, thats true!!

Step wise pics Procedure for ‘Masala Vada / Lentil Nuggets / Dal Vada (Stove Top, Air Fryer Methods)’:

PREP WORK (common for both methods:

STOVE TOP METHOD FRYING:

gently dropping the vada patties into hot oil while making masala vada / lentil masala nuggets on stove top
Put a frying pan with enough of cooking oil (for deep frying) on the stove top under high flame. When the oil is very hot, reduce the flame to medium. Gently drop the patties one after the other, into the oil.
Fry them on one side for 2-3 mins and then flip them back to the other side very gently. And fry on the other side also for 2-3 mins. 

AIR FRYER METHOD FRYING:

vada patties arranged on the air fryer mesh while masala vada / lentil masala nuggets in an air fryer.
Apply oil throughout the mesh of the air fryer, using a teaspoon of oil (or) use oil spray. Place the vada patties over it, again spray oil over each of the vada patties. Set the timer to 12 mins, under temperature of 200C / 390F.
vada patties after they are done while masala vada / lentil masala nuggets in an air fryer.
Later, when the air-fryer stops, open it and gently flip each of the vada to the other side. Close the air-fryer, set to 2 mins under same temperature.
masala vada / masala fritters. protein rich yellow Lentil Nuggets  in Air Fryer / Stove Top. low carbs, vegan, gluten free, prep food.
Take them out, give an oil-spray (optional) and then serve hot. Done!!

Tips:

  • Soaking the chana dal/split chickpeas might take 2 hrs in summer, while it might take more time in winters.
  • If you think the dal / chickpeas 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 dal for more time than required. 
  • Adjust the salt and spice 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 stove top 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 .
  • While mixing , don’t press on the batter much, just mix gently.
  • Storage: You can store the batter or patties in the refrigerator/freezer and fry them when needed.

Result:

  • The masala vada / masala fritters are perfectly crispy on the outside and soft in the inside.
  • The flavour of coriander, curry leaves, ginger, garlic is very much evident in every bite.
  • I served it with Green chilli chutney / Mirchi Pachchadi, tomato ketchup and sliced onions.
  • Sliced onions or chopped onions is a must with these vada(s) or fritters, at least for me. 🙂
masala vada / masala fritters. protein rich yellow Lentil Nuggets  in Air Fryer / Stove Top. low carbs, vegan, gluten free, prep food.

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Masala Nuggets / Lentil Masala Nuggets / Dal Vada

VegCookBook by Praveena
Indian style Lentil Nuggets which are protein, iron & fiber rich, vegan, glutenfree, storage friendly, kids friendly, prep food.
Prep Time 3 hrs
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 3 hrs 20 mins
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine South Indian
Servings 12 nuggets

Equipment

  • Food processor / Blender / Mixie.
  • Wide Mixing Bowl
  • Deep Frying Pan (for stove-top method)
  • Air Fryer (for air-fryer method)
  • Convection Oven / OTG (for oven baked method)

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup SenagaPappu / Split Yellow Gram Lentils / Chana Dal
  • 1 count Onion (large size) (finely chopped)
  • 4 count Green Chillies
  • 1 inch piece Fresh Ginger
  • 3 to 4 count Garlic Pods (optional)
  • 10 twigs Fresh Coriander (finely chopped)
  • 10 count Curry Leaves (finely chopped) (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon Whole Jeera / Cumin Seeds
  • as required Water (for soaking)
  • ¼ teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Salt (or as required)
  • 2 cups Cooking Oil (or as required) (for stove top method)
  • 2 tablespoons "" (for air fryer method)

Instructions
 

PREP WORK (common for both methods):

  • Take the senagapappu/chana dal into a wide vessel, wash them 2-3 times.
    Add 3 times of water and leave the vessel on kitchen platform for 3 to 4 hrs, to soak.
  • After the soaking time, drain the water. 
    Take whole of the chana dal into a food processor/blender/mixer.
    Except, keep a tablespoon of dal aside. Don't grind this.
  • Into the processor/mixer, add the salt, turmeric, green chillies, ginger pieces, half of the coriander, jeera/cumin seeds, garlic pods into the same.
    Grind them into coarse batter.
    Add 3 to 4 tablespoons of water if needed.
  • Add the salt, chopped onions, chopped curry leaves & rest of the chopped coriander into the batter.
    Later, add the tablespoon of dal which we kept aside.
    Mix everything gently & keep aside.
  • With this batter, make small balls.
    Then press each ball into flat patties with your thumb finger.

STOVE TOP METHOD:

  • Put a frying pan with enough of cooking oil (for deep frying) on the stove top under high flame.
    When the oil is very hot, reduce the flame to medium.
    Gently drop the patties one after the other, into the oil.
  • Fry them on one side for 2-3 mins and then flip them back to the other side gently.
    And fry on the other side also for 2-3 mins. 
  • Once the Masala Vada / fritters are fried to golden brown colour, take them out using the ladle onto a plate with paper towel on.
  • Serve them hot with spicy chutney (or) sauce. Done!!

AIR FRYER METHOD:

  • Apply oil throughout the mesh of the air fryer, using a teaspoon of oil (or) use oil spray.
    Place the vada patties over it, again spray oil over each of the vada patties.
    Set the timer to 12 mins, under temperature of 200C / 390F.
  • Later, when the air-fryer stops, open it and gently flip each of the vada to the other side.
    Close the air-fryer, set to 2 mins under same temperature.
  • Take them out, give an oil-spray (optional) and then serve hot. Done!!

Notes

Please see the MAIN POST for step wise pics & RECIPE TIPS!
Keyword easy appetiser with lentils, indian style masala nuggets, lentil fritters, lentil nuggets

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