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
- Completely submerge the dal in water and soak them for 30 minutes.
- Drain most of the water but leave about 1/8 cup in the pot with the dal.
- Add ginger, green chilis, and salt to the dal.
- 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.
- Add the chopped onion, coriander, baking soda and baking powder.
- Salt the dish to your liking.
How to Bake the Vada:
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- Brush the oil generously into the doughnut tray. It's ok if it puddles at the base.
- Spoon the batter into the doughnut pan.
- 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.
- Remove from oven, flip the vadas in the pan and continue baking for 10 more minutes.
- 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.