Masala vadai or chana dal vada is a classic South Indian snack with dal/ lentils. This beetroot parippu vada recipe combines the goodness, color and flavor of beetroot with the traditional parippu vadai to give you an irresistible all-time snack.
About the recipe
Paruppu vadai literally means fritter (vada) with lentils (paruppu/dal). In Indian cuisine, vadas are made with different dal or even a combination of two or more types of dal. The recipe and also the name varies depending on the place it comes from: chana dal vada, parippu vada, masal vadai, and so on. A festive occasion always calls for these yummy snacks, but we often make it a teatime snack whenever possible!
Naturally vegan and gluten-free, paruppu vada is a favorite among kids and adults alike. Adding a vegetable like beetroot makes it more flavorful and nutritious. Though the masala vadai 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 from lentils. So HEALTHY, so TASTY!
You’ll need just 9 ingredients and 30 minutes to make this unique parippu vadai:
- chana dal (split chickpeas or yellow lentils)
- green chilies
- cumin seeds
- fennel seeds
- curry leaves
- rice flour
This masala vadai recipe can also be made with whole lentils like green or brown ones. They have to be soaked longer, for about 6 hours minimum or if time permits, soak overnight.
How to make parippu vada: step-by-step photos
(You can find the exact measurements and instructions in the printable recipe card at the end of this page.)
Soak chana dal in water for about 2 hours.
Drain water completely. Keep aside 2 tablespoons of the soaked dal and blend the rest of the dal 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 masala vadai
- The secret to achieving an amazing reddish tint and earthy flavor lies in blending grated beetroot along with the lentils. Wipe the beetroot dry before grating so you don’t end up with a soggy dough. If your beets are very juicy, let the grated beet drain in a colander for about 30 minutes. (Do not squeeze the beetroot.)
- Drain the soaked lentils completely before blending. Dry them on a kitchen towel for best results. 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.
Love dal? Why don’t you try out my other dal recipes:
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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.