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Moong Dal Nuggets / Pesarapappu Vada (Air fryer, Stove Top)

VegCookBook by Praveena
South Indian style, Healthy, Protein & Fibre rich appetiser recipe. Recipe below has both Air-Fryer and Stove top Methods with step wise pics & tips.
Prep Time 4 hrs
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 4 hrs 15 mins
Course Appetizer, Snack, Starter
Cuisine Indian, South Indian
Servings 12 nuggets


  • Blender/Grinder/Mixie.
  • Air-Fryer for air-fryer method
  • Frying pan (for stove-top method)


  • 1 cup Pesarapappu / Yellow Moong Dal
  • 3 count Green chillies (finely chopped)
  • 1 handful Fresh Coriander Leaves (finely chopped)
  • ½ teaspoon Salt (or as per taste)
  • 1 tablespoon Whole Cumin / Jeera
  • 1 inch piece Ginger / Allam (finely chopped)
  • 1 medium Onion (finely chopped)
  • ¼ teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • 2 tablespoons Rice Flour / Biyyappindi
  • 1 teaspoon Pepper Powder / Miriyam Podi
  • 3 cups Water (for soaking)
  • 2 cups Cooking Oil (for deep - fry)
  • 1 tablespoon Oil Spray (for air - frying)


PREP WORK (common for both methods):

  • 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.
  • In a mixing bowl, add the all the ingredients as shown (except oil and water).
    Mix everything gently and make a batter.
    Now, the batter is ready to be used, for making the nuggets / 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.
  • Fry them on one side for 2-3 mins and then flip them back to fry, until they turn golden brown.


  • 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 / 390ºF .
  • Pause it, gently flip to the other side and fry for 4-5 mins more, at 200ºC / 390ºF .
  • Transfer the nuggets / vada onto a serving bowl. Done!!


Please see the MAIN POST for recipe with step wise PICS & TIPS!
Keyword moong dal vada in air fryer, protein rich starter, simple appetiser recipe for air fryer, yellow lentil nuggets recipe