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.
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.
Tips to make the best beetroot masala vada
Drain water from the soaked dal completely before blending.
Blend the lentils and beetroot to a very coarse paste. Alternatively, you can pulse a few times.
Grated beets can be added as is, but blending them along with the dal gives the enticing color and flavor to the masala vada.
If your vada dough is not firm enough, add a little more rice flour or besan (chickpea flour).
VariationsFinely 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.LeftoversLeftover fried parippu vada can be refrigerated overnight and reheated the next day. It doesn't keep longer than that. They can be frozen for about a month, but won't be as crispy when thawed and reheated.Make-ahead optionThis dal 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.