Beetroot masala vada recipe | Easy beet lentil fritters

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.

beet lentil fritters in a white plate served with coconut chutney

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!

beetroot masala vada in a white plate served with coconut chutney

Ingredients

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.
beet lentil fritters in a white plate served with coconut chutney

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Happy cooking!

– Sheeba.

Love lentils? Why don’t you try out my other lentil recipes:

Vibrant lentil salad with turmeric

Vegan lentil soup

Lentil curry with spinach

Easy snack/ appetizer recipes you’ll enjoy:

Simple fish cakes

Italian potato croquettes

Guacamole with berries

Fried shrimps

beet lentil fritters in a white plate served with coconut chutney

Beetroot masala vada recipe | Easy beet lentil fritters

Masala vada recipe with the unique flavor and goodness of beetroot. These tender-crisp beet lentil fritters is the best vegan, gluten-free snack you can eat anytime.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Soaking time 2 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine Indian
Servings 12 masala vada
Calories 66 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup chana dal/ yellow lentils
  • 1 cup beetroot grated
  • 2 green chilies
  • 1 inch ginger chopped
  • 1 inch cinnamon (or 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon)
  • curry leaves (a handful)
  • 2 tablespoons rice flour
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil for frying

Instructions
 

  • Wash and soak chana dal/ lentils for 2 hours.
  • Drain the dal completely. Keep aside 2 tablespoons of soaked lentils and place the rest in a food processor or blender. Add grated beetroot, cinnamon, ginger and chilies. Blend to a coarse paste.
  • Transfer the blended paste to a large mixing bowl. Add rice flour, curry leaves, salt, cumin and fennel seeds and the reserved whole lentils. Mix until well combined.
  • Heat oil in a deep pan or wok. Make 12 balls out of the dough. Grease your palm with oil (or use a small piece of baking paper) and flatten the balls into small discs. Deep-fry in batches in hot oil on medium heat until the vada turn reddish-brown.
  • Serve these masala vadas with a simple coconut chutney, tomato sauce or any other sauce of your choice.

Video

Notes

Tips to make the best beetroot masala vada
  1. Drain water from the soaked dal completely before blending.
  2. Blend the lentils and beetroot to a very coarse paste. Alternatively, you can pulse a few times. 
  3. Grated beets can be added as is, but blending them along with the dal gives the enticing color and flavor to the masala vada.
  4. If your vada dough is not firm enough, add a little more rice flour or besan.
 
Variations
Finely chopped onions and coriander leaves can be added for more flavor. Add onions just before frying, since they tend to make the dough more moist over time.
Leftovers
Leftover fried masala vadas can be refrigerated overnight and reheated the next day. It doesn’t keep longer than that. Leftover vada dough keeps in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. 
Make-ahead option
This masala vada dough can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to 4 days or frozen for a month. Do not add onions if you’re making ahead.
 
Beetroot masala vada recipe | Easy beet lentil fritters
Keyword dal vada, easy vegan appetizer, lentil fritter recipe, masala vada recipe, vegan lentil recipe

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)
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