There is no South Indian celebration that doesn’t feature vada and now you can enjoy them baked, not fried, for a lighter option. These baked vada are crispy, crunchy, and delicious. Plus, backing your vada makes the clean up much easier and the dish much healthier.

Baked Vada [Vegan, Gluten-free]



  • 1 cup black lentils or urad dal
  • Water, to soak the dal
  • 1-inch piece of ginger
  • 4 green chilis
  • 5 -7 large ice cubes
  • Salt, to taste
  • 3/4 cup onions, chopped
  • A handful of fresh coriander, chopped
  • 1 sprig of curry leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • Oil, for brushing


How to Make the Dough

  1. Completely submerge the dal in water and soak them for 30 minutes.
  2. Drain most of the water but leave about 1/8 cup in the pot with the dal.
  3. Add ginger, green chilis, and salt to the dal.
  4. Grind the mixture into a smooth paste while adding a few ice cubes at a time. Do this until you get a thick batter with no lumps.
  5. Add the chopped onion, coriander, baking soda and baking powder.
  6. Salt the dish to your liking.

How to Bake the Vada:

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Brush the oil generously into the doughnut tray. It's ok if it puddles at the base.
  3. Spoon the batter into the doughnut pan.
  4. Dribble more oil on the top and smooth down the batter. Make sure the entire top surface is coated in oil. Bake at 450°F for 12 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven, flip the vadas in the pan and continue baking for 10 more minutes.
  6. After you're finished, transfer the vadas to a wire rack immediately and let cool slightly before serving with a side of coconut chutney and sambar.


You will need a doughnut tray. To reheat your vadas, bake them at 450°F for 5-8 minutes or until crispy again.


Nutritional Information

Total Calories: 785 | Total Carbs: 145 g | Total Fat: 2 g | Total Protein: 56 g | Total Sodium: 2574 g | Total Sugar: 9 g Calculation not including salt to taste or oil for brushing. Note: The information shown is based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.