Sambar Vada| Vadai

Sambar Vada| Vadai

I don’t make sambar vada much it’s one of those once in blue moon things in our plcae though my DH loves sambar vada & it’s one of few South Indian dishes that he will eat happily.  I made this yesterday for group of friends (whom eventually didn’t turn up except one kind soul, God Bless her).  I made these sambar vada for one of them whom love South Indian food, since she couldn’t make it I thought let’s give her a virtual treat, so gals enjoy.

These sambar vada came out perfect soft, moist and delicious I shared these with my neighbour whom loved it and she thought these are from restaurant.

Sambar Vadai  Vada Sambar



For Vadas – makes 12 medium size vadas

Whole Urad Dal/Black gram - 1 Cup [ use the whole white ones]

Peppercorn – 3

Green Chillies – 2

Ginger – 1” pieces [chopped]

Onion – 1/2 small [ chopped]

Salt – to taste

Cooking Soda – a pinch

Oil – To deep fry

Water – 2-3 tbsp + for soaking


1. Wash and soak urad dal for 5-6 hours or over night.  Wash soaked dal, added in grinder/mixer along with chopped onion, green chillies, pepper corn and grind to smooth paste.  Add water only if required each time 1 tbsp. [I added around 3 tbsp water]

2. Transfer the batter to a wide bowl and mix well batter with hand for 2 minutes until it becomes soft and fluffy. You can do a small test to know if the batter is ready, in a bowl of water drop a small amount of batter if it’s floats on top then it’s ready to use, if the batter sinks on base then you have to mix the batter more.  Now add salt and soda and mix well again.

3. Heat oil in a wok, drop small piece of batter in oil if the batter immediately comes on top then the oil is too hot, off the flame and let oil cool down a bit.  Once we put little batter it should go down in oil and then slowly float on top, that’s the right temperature.

4. Make vada on your palm or use a plastic sheet/zip lock bag.  Dip hand on a bowl of water and wipe the plastic sheet with the same hand, take small lemon size batter and place on plastic sheet spread it making a small round, use finger to make a small hole in the center. 

5. Carefully lift the sheet and transfer the vada on another hand then slowly slit it to oil, be careful not to get burn.  I have many times put my fingers on hot oil Sad smile

6. Fry each side until nice golden brown and fry each time 3-4 pieces so it doesn’t stick together [deep hand in water each time shaping vada and grease the sheet with water each time too].  Once fried take out vada  from oil and place on a kitchen tissue lined bowl, allow it to cool.

Sambar Vada Recipe

For Sambar


Toor Dal – 3/4 Cup

Vegetables – 3/4 Cup [I used Carrot, beans]

Tamarind – 1 Small Lemon Size

Onion – 1 Large

Tomato – 1 medium

Green Chillies – 3

Garlic Pods – 2 crushed

Sambar Powder – 2 tsp

Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tsp

Mustard Seeds – 1/4 tsp

Cumin Seeds – 1/4 tsp

Curry Leaves – 1 Sprig

Salt – To taste

Oil – 1 tbsp

Cilantro – 1 tbsp [chopped]

Jaggery – 1 tsp [optional]

Water -


1. Wash and soak dal for 1 hour, this is optional and pressure cook dal for 3 whistles with enough water and turmeric powder.  Once cooker release pressure mash the dal well and keep aside. 

~ You can pressure cook the veggies too. 

2. Soak tamarind in 3/4 cup warm water for 15-20mins and extract juice from it, keep aside.

3. Slice onion, tomato, slit chillies and crush garlic.  Chop veggie like carrot, beans or any other of your choice.

4. In a pan/wok heat oil add mustard and cumin seeds and allow it to crack, add garlic and sauté until light brown.  Now add curry leaves onion and green chilli, fry until onion become transparent.  If using raw vegetable add it now to fry with onion. 

5.  Add tomato, sambar powder and cook until tomato mashes.   [Sprinkle little water if using raw veggies]

6. If using boiled veggies add it now along with tamarind juice and bring it to good boil, simmer for 2 minutes.  Add mashed dal, salt and 2 cups of water and bring it to boil again and simmer for 5-7 minutes on medium flame.

Garnish with cilantro.  You can add jaggery to get sweet taste like restaurant style taste, I didn’t add.

Vada Sambar Recipe

For Assembly:

1.   Soak vadas in warm water for 5 minutes, remove it from water and squeeze between palm to remove excess water, do it gently to retain the shape. 

2. In a serving bowl pour sambar and arrange the vadas, now pour sambar on top of vada and keep it for 5-7 minutes for the vadas to soak sambar.

3. Before serving add more sambar, garnish with chopped cilantro and serve hot/warm.

Bada Sambar Recipe


~ You can serve the sambar vada with chopped onion, I don’t like that much. 

~ If you don’t soak the vada in warm water then you have to soak the vada in sambar for long time.

~ Beating/mixing the batter is very important to get soft vadas so don’t skip that.

Have a nice day ~~