Masaal Vadai

Masaal Vadai 8

இனிய தமிழ் புத்தாண்டு நல்வாழ்த்துக்கள் / Happy Tamil New Year greetings eyeryone. Today’s menu for Tamil new year was rice with sambar, cabbage kootu, plantain fry, pineapple kesari and masaal vadai. Hope you had a wonderful day.

Masaal Vadai 9

Masaal vadai is famous in Tamil Nadu. My husband calls it “Tea Stall Vadai” 🙂 . Well that is true.This vadai is sold at tea stalls,beach,railway stations and bus terminals. The fennel seeds and chopped chilli adds flavor to this vadai.It is called masala vadai or masaal vadai.It is a comfort snack when combined with tea on a cold or rainy day. It is called kadalai paruppu vadai in Tamil.Below is the recipe for Madras Masaal Vadai / Kadalai Paruppu Vadai.

My mom makes very good masaal vadai’s. Recently, she told me that she drains the channa dal in a colander for half an hour before grinding them. I used to over grind the channa dal. The result will be soft vadai’s. They will be crispy when they are hot but will turn soft once the vadai’s cool down. Well, this was until 2009 or 2010.  Coarsely ground dal will result in crispy vadai’s. They will remain crisp even after they cool down. When you grind the dal too coarse, it is hard to make the vadai hold it shape. So squeeze hard and make small thick vadai’s.

Masaal vadai’s must be soft inside and crunchy on the outside. I have updated this post with new step by step photos.


  • Bengal gram/Chana Dal/Kadalai paruppu – 1 cup + 1/4 cup
  • Onions – 3/4 cup chopped
  • Green chillis – 1 small chopped
  • Curry leaves – 7 pr 8 leaves
  • Coriander leaves – 3 strands finely chopped
  • Ginger – 1 tbsp finely chopped
  • Fennel seeds – 1 tsp
  • Hing – 4 pinches
  • Salt – to taste
  • Oil – for deep frying


    • Soak chana dal in water overnight or for 5 hours.
    • Drain the water and let the dal drain in a colander for half an hour.

Masaal Vadai 1

    • Grind the dal to a coarse mixture with salt. Do not add water.

Masaal Vadai 2

Masaal Vadai 3

  • Transfer the ground channa dal to a bowl.
  • Add chopped onions, chopped chilli, chopped coriander leaves, curry leaves, ginger, fennel seeds and hing.

Masaal Vadai 4

    • Mix till well combined.
    • Heat oil for deep frying.
    • Take a lemon size ball of vadai mixture in your right hand and squeeze it together and make a ball.

Masaal Vadai 5

    • Place it on your left hand and flatten it gently using your right hand.
    • Since the mixture is coarse, you cannot make thin vadai’s. Make small thick vadai.

Masaal Vadai 6

    • Slide the vadai  gently into the hot oil.

Masaal Vadai 7

  • Fry the vadai’s on medium heat until they turn golden brown. Flip them in between and make sure that both the sides are cooked.
  • Remove the vadai’s onto a paper towel lined plate or bowl.
  • You can fry 4 -6 vadai’s at a time depending on the size of your pan/wok used for deep frying.


  • Masaal vadai can be served as it is or with coconut chutney .

2 thoughts on “Masaal Vadai

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