Lentil Fritters

Looking for the perfect teatime snack? Try these Parippu Vadas aka Lentil Fritters from Kerala.

You know when the weather gets bad, people just want something comforting to eat and drink. Some go for muffins and hot chocolates, but us Indians go for tea and pakodas (popularly known as onion bhajis in the UK) and these vadas are perfect examples of south Indian pakodas and are so good with tea. I had these on a particularly gloomy rainy day (hence the bad pictures) and on days as depressing like these, comfort foods like these can only make the day bearable.

parippu vada

Parippu Vada are lentil fritters made with chana dal, curry leaves, chili, ginger and onions. These teatime vadas are from the South Indian state, Kerala and are extremely tasty. I particularly liked making these because they were soooo easy to make. They do take a little while because you need to soak the Chana Dal or lentils for about 2 hours  but then again we chill the cookie batter too, right?

chana dal

If you’re not based in India, then you can easily find chana daal in any Indian grocery shop near you. They’re really common so shouldn’t be hard to find. If you have trouble finding curry leaves then you can use coriander instead and green chilies place of red dried chili.

parippu vada

I made these fritters and followed the original recipe the first time but I knew something was missing. Even though they tasted delicious, they weren’t Bang On and giving my readers a sub par recipe is not my style. So I improvised a bit after writing this post and the second time I made these they were PERFECT! I have updated this post with the new recipe, so if you have previously read this post and are wondering if something’s up then you’re right, I have changed the recipe! If you’re thinking about making these fritters then I say try the new recipe, its way way better.


Makes: 16-20 Vadas

Prep Time: 2 hours (for soaking the daal)

Cooking Time: 10-15 minutes

  • Chana Daal, 1 cup
  • Dried Red Chilies, 2 or  Chili flakes, 1 teaspoon
  • Curry Leaves, 3 Sprigs, roughly chopped
  • Onions, 2, finely chopped
  • Ginger, 2 teaspoons, finely chopped
  • Garlic, 2 teaspoons, finely chopped
  • Green Chilies, 2, finely chopped
  • Asafoetida, a generous pinch
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for deep frying

parippu vada


  1. Wash and soak chana dal or lentils for 2 hours in water. After the 2 hours are up, drain out the water from the dal. Soak the remaining water using a tea towel and dabbing it over the daal. You don’t have to dry it out completely, just remove the excess water.
  2. In a food processor, add in the daal and dried chillies and grind coarsely. Don’t worry about a few daal pieces here and there, they actually look great when fried,
  3. To the ground daal, add in the remaining ingredients and make flat cakes on the palm of your hands. They will be slightly wet and will break easily but that’s okay.
  4. Add the cakes, 3-4 at a time and deep fry them on medium heat.

parippu vada

TIP: Just before adding the vadas to the oil for frying make sure the oil is really hot, once you put in them in, lower the flame to medium or even low so that the insides are cooked properly. If you straightaway throw in the vadas in hot oil and continue frying them, they’ll brown quickly and won’t cook from the center. To get the right balance of brown, crispy on the outside and soft,  cooked on the inside start with hot oil then lower it. Repeat each time. Takes time but the fritters are like I said, PERFECT!!

Do not forget serve these fritters hot with tea and chutney if you will !

Happy Cooking!

Radhika xx

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