Melagu Vadai - 6 to 10 pieces


  • 1 cup urad dal

  • 2 tablespoons of rice flour

  • 1 tablespoon peppercorns

  • A pinch of Asafoetida/Perungayam

  • Salt as per taste

  • Groundnut oil for deep frying


  • Rinse the urad dal and soak for 30 minutes.

  • Drain the water from the urad dal, and allow the dal to stay in the strainer for 5-10 minutes to ensure that all water is completely removed.

  • Add pepper, rice flour, perungayam, and salt to a mixie jar and grind well. Keep this dry mix aside.

  • Add the drained urad dal to the mixie jar. Grind the urad dal to a coarse paste. Remember, do not add any water. Try variations of pulse and speeds, along with mixing using a spoon to ensure all portions are evenly ground. The result should be a coarse mix, and not smooth/fine paste, hence sprinkle water only if the blades are stuck.

  • Now add the coarse paste and the ground dry mix in a mixing bowl.

  • Heat 2 tablespoons of oil and add to the mixing bowl. Mix well using a spatula. The batter is now ready.

  • To make the vadai, use a banana leaf or any other smooth texture mat. Grease with oil. Place a small ball of the batter, you can use your hand to flatten the ball or place another texture mat/leaf on top of the batter and press gently.

  • As thinner the vadai, the crispier the texture. If needed a small bowl can be placed on the top to press the ball batter.

  • Once pressed, remove the top texture/mat. Using your finger, dip in water and make a hole in the middle of the vadai.

  • Place a thick-bottom kadai on the stove. Heat the oil, and test with a small ball batter. If the batter rises immediately, the oil is ready for frying.

  • Once the oil is ready, reduce the flame to low and use a non-stick spatula to transfer the vadai from the plate to the kadai. At maximum, 3 vadais can be fried together in a medium kadai. Once added, keep the flame to medium.

  • Deep fry the vadai on one side in medium flame. Then gently flip the vadai over and fry till both sides turn golden brown.

  • Once completed, remove the vadai from the kadai using a perforated ladle. Place the vadai in a kitchen towel or tissue to drain the excess oil.

  • Repeat for all the vadais. Store in an airtight container. The vadais taste best when hot and served with butter and can be stored for 5-6 days.

For hanuman jayanthi, a garland is made from the melagu vadais and placed as a garland to Lord Hanuman.