Vada (Fried lentil doughnuts)

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Vada, also known as Garelu is round, crispy, fluffy, deep-fried South Indian savoury made out of lentils. Our participants lovingly call it fried lentil doughnuts.

They can be either made with black lentil gram (urad dal) or bengal gram (chana dal). Traditionally they are deep fried in oil.


1.  Soak 1cup of whole black gram lentils (with the skin on) overnight (8-12 hours)
2. Drain the water and rinse them well with fresh water a couple of times.  You may notice the outer black skin coming out. Don’t throw away the skin.
3. Blend the drained lentils with one inch ginger, salt, and 1 green chili without adding any water in a blender/Vitamix/food processor. Here the key is to make a thick fluffy batter without adding much water. In the beginning, you may have to scrap the sides and just sprinkle 2tablespoons of cold water to get it started.
4. Transfer the batter to a bowl
5. Add 1 small shredded zucchini or you can also use 1 cup of shredded cabbage instead of zucchini
6. Add  one small finely diced onion (around 1/2 cup) and 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro
7. Mix them well in the batter
8. Line the airfryer basket or tray with parchment paper.
9. To make patties wet your left palm only and scoop out tiny amount of batter with your right hand and place them on your left palm. Flatten the ball gently and make a hole in the center.
10. Place the patty on the parchment paper and repeat the process with the remaining batter.
10. Place the tray in air fryer at 375F for 15 mins. You can turn them over after 10 mins.
11. You can enjoy them with sambhar or coconut coriander chutney.


1 cup whole black gram lentils (with the skin) soaked overnight
1-inch ginger
1 green chili
1 zucchini shredded (or 1 cup shredded cabbage)
1 small onion
1/2 cup cilantro
1/2 tsp salt
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