Delicious Spicy Masal Vadai (Channa Dahl)

Delicious Masal Vadai

This is really very delicious. It is not difficult to make. Preparing the batter part may seem a little cumbersome, but these Vadai’s are worth the effort. When you taste them, you will agree with me. 

The process is simple. Just soak a couple of ingredients, grind, and deep fry. You can prepare them spicy or bland. When you see the pictures and the slide show, you may wonder, will they really taste as yummy as they look? Believe me, they do taste yummier than that!

Hover over the highlighted Keywords below for Images and/or Description of some of the Ingredients:
Channa Dahl, Coconut, Curry Leaves, Green Chillies, Red Chillies, Serrano Peppers, Hing


Slide Show:

Delicious Masal Vadai


Delicious Spicy Masal Vadai (Channa Dahl)

Serves 4
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Total time 30 minutes
Dietary Diabetic, Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Side Dish
Misc Pre-preparable, Serve at Room Temperature, Serve Hot


  • 2 cups Channa Dahl (soaked in lukewarm or cold water for at least 2 hours)
  • 1 - 2 Red Chillies (dried chilli peppers, soaked with the channa dahl)
  • 1 - 2 Green Chillies (serrano peppers)
  • 1 Onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 - 2 teaspoon Salt
  • 4 - 6 cups Cooking Oil


  • 1/2 teaspoon Hing
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder (don't use baking soda)
  • 4 - 6 leaves Curry Leaves


Serving Suggestions:

1) Serve hot with Coconut or Mint Chutney.
2) Serve hot with hot Sambar.


If the Vadai pieces cool off or they become soft, you can do the following to have delicious options.

1) You can reheat them in the toaster oven. This will render them hot and crisp.
2) You can reheat them in the Microwave oven, but they may not be very crispy, but still tasty.
3) If you have "Spicy Buttermilk Gravy (More Kulambu)", you can soak these in it for an hour or so and they will taste simply delicious. It is like "Dahi Vada", but a yummy variation. You can find recipes for the Buttermilk Gravy right here on this website. If you are Vegan, skip this.


Step 1
Drain the soaked channa dahl and red chillies.
Step 2
Place the red chillies and the green chillies at the bottom of a medium or large blender.
Step 3

The Vadai mixture when completely ready, should be thick and not runny.

Step 4

Add 1 cup of soaked channa dahl to the blender. Add 4 tablespoons of water, the hing and the curry leaves. Pulse or grind a few seconds at a time. If difficult to grind, add more water, 2 tablespoons at a time. Grind until the chillies and the curry leaves are well ground. This batch of mixture can be fine ground. Transfer contents to a medium size bowl.

Step 5

Add 1 or 2 more cups of the soaked channa dahl to the blender, depending upon the size of the blender. Add a little water and pulse a few seconds at a time. Keep stirring the mixture in the blender, with the blender spatula. Add a few tablespoons of water if the mixture gets stuck and the grinding stalls. The mixture or batter when finished grinding, should be coarse. A few of the channa dahl may even be left whole, or some of them may be just broken into two pieces. That's okay.

Step 6
Transfer the contents into the bowl.
Step 7

Repeat steps 5 and 6 until you finish grinding all the soaked channa dahl.

Step 8
Add 1 teaspoon salt to the mixture in the bowl. Mix thoroughly.
Step 9

Take half of the mixture and place it in a small bowl. Add 1/2 teaspoon baking powder. Do not use baking soda. If you don't have baking powder, just don't use anything. The Vadai will still come out great.
1. Sometimes, depending upon the quality of channa or ural dahl, the Vadai may come out hard when fried. Baking powder softens the hardness while retaining the crispness and taste.
2. If you use baking powder, use it only for the mixture that you are going use and fry right away.

Step 10

Add half of the chopped onion and mix thoroughly. Taste for salt and add a little more, if you like. Mix well.

Step 11

Place 4 to 6 cups of cooking oil in a small, sturdy Wok or a small sauce pan. Place the sauce pan on medium heat.

Step 12

When the oil appears hot, drop a tiny, round piece of batter into the oil. If the batter sizzles in the oil and gets fried, that means the oil is ready. Otherwise, wait a little longer until the oil is hot.

Step 13

Have a large bowl lined up with paper towels ready by the side of the stove. Have a flat spatula also ready, to remove the Vadai pieces from the oil.

Step 14

Take a little of the batter, about the size of a small lime, and flatten it a little on the palm your hand. Drop or slide it in the hot oil. Add a couple more into the oil. About 3 or 4 at a time is good for beginners, or if you have less oil.
Note : You can add as many as you like at a time into the oil, depending upon the quantity of the oil, how much experience you have, and how quickly you can turn over and also remove the items from the oil, before they get fried too much.

Step 15

With the spatula, gently turn over the pieces that are fried a little.

Step 16

When they turn golden brown, remove them with the spatula one or two at a time, and place them in the bowl with the paper towels.Do not fry too much. See pictures.

Step 17

Serve hot, with coconut or mint chutney, or hot Sambar.

Step 18

If you prefer, perform steps 9 through 16 for the other half of the batter. Or refrigerate it for later use. If you refrigerate, thaw it before making the Vadai's.


Yummy Chunky Guacamole
Yummy Spicy Potato Stir Fry

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Spicy Rice Noodles Mexican Style

Spicy Rice Noodles Mexican Style

Spicy Rice Noodles Mexican Style Just a simple recipe using Rice Noodles, some Vegetables and some Mexican spices. It is ...
Read More
Long Green Bean Spicy Curry

Long Green Bean Spicy Curry

Long Green Bean Spicy Curry If you feel like having a variation to the usual string beans, you will like ...
Read More
Carrot Ginger Soup

Carrot Ginger Soup

Carrot Ginger Soup A simple, tasty, healthy, colorful soup. Try it. I am sure you will like it. Hover over ...
Read More
Lite Veggie Lunch

Lite Veggie Lunch

Lite Veggie Lunch Why should a burger patty always be enclosed in buns or rolls? Sometimes, when a light lunch ...
Read More

Spicy Rice Noodles Italian Style

Spicy Rice Noodles Italian Style Just a simple recipe using Rice Noodles, some veggies and some spices. It may be ...
Read More
Spicy Veggie Pita Sandwich

Spicy Veggie Pita Sandwich

Spicy Veggie Pita Sandwich When you put together a few aromatic and tasty vegetables, a little cooking oil, some herbs ...
Read More