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Ahila's Masala Vada

To celebrate the launch of our new Picnic Collection, one of our lovely seamstresses Ahila has given us the recipe for one of her favourite sharable dishes.

Masala Vada, also known as Chana Dal Vada, is a crispy vegetarian deep fried fritter. Quick and easy to make, it's perfect for sharing on a luncheon picnic.


  • 2 cups Bengal Gram Dal (Chana Dal)

  • 2-3 dried red chillies

  • 1 tsp cumin seeds

  • 1 tsp fennel seeds

  • 1 onion, diced coarsely

  • 1 handful of fresh coriander leaves

  • 2 curry leaves

  • 1 tbs ginger and garlic paste

  • 1-3 green chillies (skip for kids)

  • 1tsp turmeric

  • Vegetable oil for deep frying

  • Salt to taste


  1. Wash and soak the bengal gram dal and red chillies for 2 hours.

  2. Using a sieve, drain the bengal gram dal and let it rest for 10 minutes to allow all of the water to seep out.

  3. Transfer to a kitchen blender, and blitz the dal into a coarse paste, without adding any water. If the paste is feeling too thick, add a tsp of water if required.

  4. Transfer the dal paste into a large mixing bowl.

  5. Finely chop the red chillies, coriander leaves, curry leaves and onion.

  6. Use a mortar and pestle to crush the cumin and fennel seeds

  7. Add all ingredients to the mixing bowl and stir to combine mixture.

  8. Grease your hands with oil and make small balls of the vadai mixture. Flatten the balls into the shape of fritters.

  9. Deep fry the vadai in oil.

  10. Stir occasionally until the vadai turn golden brown and crisp.

Ahila recommends you serve her Masala Vada with tomato sauce or coconut chutney.

Yum!! Thank you Ahila!


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