Beetroot masala vada or beet lentil fritters make great appetizers, snacks or finger foods. Masala vada is a classic South Indian snack recipe with dal/ lentils. This beetroot masala vada combines the goodness, color and flavor of beetroot with the traditional masala vada to give you an irresistible all-time snack.
Masala vada literally means lentil fritter (vada) with a mix of spices (masala). In Indian cuisine, dal vadas are made with different lentils or even a combination of two or more lentils. A festive occasion always calls for these yummy snacks, but we often make it a teatime snack whenever possible!
Naturally vegan and gluten-free, the masala vada is a favorite among kids and adults alike. Adding a vegetable like beetroot makes the vada more flavorful and nutritious. Though the masala vada is a deep-fried snack, you can indulge with half the guilt since there’s a vegetable hidden inside and is full of fiber and protein-rich lentils. So HEALTHY, so TASTY!
You’ll need just 9 ingredients and 30 minutes to make this unique masala vada: beetroot, chana dal (yellow lentils), ginger, green chilies, cinnamon, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, curry leaves and rice flour.
How to make beetroot masala vada
(Full printable recipe card at the end of the post)
Soak the lentils in water for about 2 hours.
Drain water completely, keep aside 2 tablespoons of the soaked lentils and blend the rest of the lentils in a food processor with beetroot, ginger, chilies and cinnamon to a coarse paste.
Mix the paste with cumin and fennel seeds, rice flour, chopped curry leaves, salt and the soaked lentils that you have kept aside.
Mix the dough well and shape into patties. Grease your palms with oil or use baking paper to shape the vadas. Deep-fry in hot oil until the fritters turn reddish-brown. Serve with coconut chutney or any of your favorite sauces.
Tips to make the best beetroot masala vada
- The secret to achieving an amazing reddish tint and earthy flavor lies in blending grated beetroot along with the lentils.
- Drain the soaked lentils completely before blending. This prevents the dough from getting soggy.
- Blend to a coarse paste to get crispy vadas. Blending the dough smooth will result in soft vadas.
- Adding rice flour and a handful of soaked whole lentils to the dough also helps make the fritters crispy.
- If you don’t like whole spices (cumin and fennel) in your fritters, blend them with the lentils. But they definitely add to the crunchy texture of the vadas.
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Love lentils? Why don’t you try out my other lentil recipes:
Easy snack/ appetizer recipes you’ll enjoy:
Health benefits of beetroot
- Beets are naturally low in calories and high in nutritional content.
- Help regulate blood pressure.
- Beets can increase oxygen use by up to 20% and hence can enhance athletic performance.
- Contain pigments that have potential anti-inflammatory properties.
- Beet is a good source of fiber and can improve digestive health.
- Its low calorie and high water content may help in weight loss. (source)