Vada also known as wada, vade or vadai is a very popular savoury doughnut-like snack from South India. It can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, dinner or just as an evening snack along with a steaming cup of coffee. Medu vadas (in pic above) are extremely versatile in that they can be eaten just like that or with a variety of accompaniments. They can also be transformed into the equally popular rasam vada or dahi vada.
This was one of my first few attempts at making Medu Vada. The shape and contour is not as perfect as I would like it to be but since these bite-sized snacks are so yummy, I have plenty of opportunities to get more practice! The strange thing is that I hadn't bothered trying to make vadas for several years because I was plagued by the notion that it was a very cumbersome affair and required overnight fermentation of the batter and all that. How wrong I was! A chance conversation with my mum on the subject erased my misconception. The urad dal used to make the vada just needs some soaking (ideally 3-4 hours) and after that, you can start to prepare them immediately. Usually, I soak the dal the previous night and then make the vadas the next morning but if I wake up and suddenly decide on impulse to make them for breakfast, I soak the dal for 2 hours in warm water. By the time I finish making the sambar and chutney (while the dal is soaking), the vada preparation can be started. So you see, it isn't really elaborate.
All those wasted years.....sigh!
One more detail - I used to grind the urad dal for the vada in the mixie but I had to do it in 2-3 installments because my mixie jar is pretty small. It used to take too long so I started using my wet stone grinder for the same purpose - so much easier and you don't have to add much water either. I agree it is a pain to wash but it gets the job done much quicker and with far better results.
Without further ado....here is the recipe. Hope you like it ☺