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Medu Vada (Deep fried and Air fryer)

These delicious medu vada are lentil fritters that are a popular Indian breakfast/snack. You can find both deep fried and air fryer recipes here.
Course Breakfast | Snack
Cuisine Indian
Keyword air fryer medu vada, Medu vada, medu vada recipe
recipe air fryer vegan, Indian snacks
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Soaking time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 20 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 61kcal


  • 1 cup urad dal or split black gram lentils
  • 1 tsp. ginger chopped
  • 1 pinch hing or asafoetida
  • ½ tsp. Pepper whole or coarsely crushed
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. green chillies or jalapeños chopped
  • 1 tsp. Cumin seeds optional
  • 1 tsp. Curry leaves chopped optional
  • 1 tbsp. cilantro chopped optional
  • 1 tsp. Oil and some more for brushing for air fryer method
  • Oil for deep frying.


  • The trick to making perfect vadas is by soaking and grinding urad dal correctly. Soak 1 cup urad dal after washing it in 3 cups of water.
  • About 6 hours is enough. Now drain the dal or lentils and blend in a blender so that the dal is nicely blended. Add a little water if needed.
  • Make sure that the blended lentils stay thick. Now with your hands or an electric beater, beat the blended lentils for about 3 minutes till they become light and fluffy.
  • Do not add any more water.
  • Now add chopped ginger, green chillies, pepper, salt and asafoetida. You can also add chopped curry leaves and 1 tsp. cumin.
  • Mix gently.

For Deep Frying

  • Now using your hands or spoon, make donut shaped vadas. Apply water to your palms, take a large spoonful, shape it like vadas and make a hole in the centre then gently slide it into hot oil.
  • My vadas do not look very round but I don’t mind it. You can also use a donut mould to make this job easier.
  • Repeat the same with other vadas. Fry on both sides till golden brown and cooked. Take out with slotted spoon and serve hot.

For Air fryer

  • Add 1 tsp. Oil to the vada batter and mix gently.
  • Preheat air fryer at 150C or 300F for about 4 minutes.
  • Take a parchment paper cut to the shape of your air fryer basket. Place the parchment paper in the air fryer basket.
  • Now using a ladle or large spoon, place large dollops of medu vada batter right onto the basket. Place as many as will fit into your sheet. You can make a hole in the centre using your spoon.
  • If you don’t want the donut shape, you can just make regular round vadas using your spoon to ladle out the vada mix onto the parchment paper.
  • Air fry at 150C or 300F for about 8 minutes. The vadas would start setting by now. Lightly brush with oil on top. Now flip the vadas and lightly brush with oil again.
  • Air fry again at 180C or 360F for about 8 minutes.
  • Now increase the temperature to 200C or 390F and air fry for another 2-3 minutes to get a darker golden brown colour and crunch outside.
  • Remove them and serve hot with either dip or chutney or choice.
  • I have also made the same without donut shape and it turns out the same delicious and fluffy inside while being crunchy outside.
  • My family loved the air fryer version a lot. Do give these a try and let me know.


1. The most important part of making the recipe is ensuring that you don't add too much water while grinding the dal. Just add very little water as much as is needed to smoothly grind.
2. Also aerate your batter by beating it well. This ensures that you get fluffy and soft vadas.
3. While air frying, you can also put the vada batter in the freezer for about 10 minutes so that it holds its shape better.
4. Some people steam the vadas in idli batter for about 5 minutes. Then they air fry the vadas at high temp for 8 minutes at 200C to brown and crisp up the outside.
5. To make a nice donut shape you can use donut mould.


Calories: 61kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Sodium: 163mg | Potassium: 19mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 0.05g | Vitamin A: 122IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 2mg