Crispy Lentil Fritters (Parippu vada)

Parippu VadaParippu Vada is something you will find in all tea stalls in Kerala along with the ubiquitous Pazham Pori or plantain fritters. I had posted the recipe for pazham pori before in a post where I shared some lovely pictures of Kerala.  To me nothing says Kerala more than plates of pazaham pori and parippu vadas served with steaming cups of chaaya (tea as it is called in malayalam).  When we were kids, we used to wait for parippu vada vendors to come in our train whenever we traveled to Kerala. The many pleasures of journeying by train (it took us 32 hours from Mumbai! ) included eating mom’s home made snacks, playing cards perched on the top berth, watching beautiful scenery go passing by and who can forget these vadas! Savoring these hot tasty vadas… gulping them down with a cup of coffee was what made these 2 day trips totally memorable and satiating 🙂

DSC_0529Whenever I ask my husband for ideas on appetizer dishes, his instant response will be ‘Parippu vadas’! He just loves them and cannot have enough of them. That’s him – my simple fella – No gourmet dishes for him please! Give him his chaaya, parippu vada and a newspaper to make his day!

Looking at Sri Lankan recipes lately for my ‘Around the world’ series I realized that parippu vadas are quite popular in Sri Lanka too!

I am bringing these tasty fritters to Throwback Thursdays and Fiesta Friday this week.


Crispy Lentil Fritters (Parippu vada)

  • Servings: makes about 20 vadas
  • Time: about 45 mins
  • Difficulty: moderate
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  • 2 cups Toor dal (yellow lentils) soaked in water for at least 4 hours
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 inch by 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, chopped (or about 1 tbsp)
  • 4-6 green chillies, chopped fine (use less or omit if you don’t like biting into green chillies)
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 4-6 fresh curry leaves, chopped roughly
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • Drain the water from the soaked dal. Reserve about 2 tbsp of the dal and place the rest in a food processor and grind it using very little water – about 1/2 cup or so.  The ground mixture should be very thick. Add all the rest of the ingredients to the ground dal mixture and the reserved dal and mix using a spoon.Heat oil in a deep frying pan. Test the oil by adding a drop of the mixture. If it comes up immediately then the oil is ready.  Keep heat on medium.  Using your hands make small patties of the dal mixture into the oil and deep fry turning it once so that the patties are golden brown and crispy on the outside.  Drain on paper towels.Serve the vadas hot with coconut chutney or just ketchup.Notes:
    • Reserving a few whole dal grains gives the vadas additional crispiness and texture.
    • Make sure to use very less water while grinding; the mixture needs to be shaped into patties so it needs to be thick. If you add too much water to grind, you will get a loose batter and then you will not be able to make the vadas.

DSC_0525Parippu Vada


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