HomeBreakfast RecipesMedu vada recipe | sambar vada | pressure cooker sambar

Medu vada recipe | sambar vada | pressure cooker sambar

Medu Vada is a popular South Indian dish that features a crispy and savory doughnut-shaped fritter made from urad dal. It is commonly served with sambar, a versatile and aromatic lentil-based stew. In this recipe, I will share some easy techniques for shaping Medu Vada and also provide a pressure cooker sambar recipe with a special masala paste to enhance its taste and color. This sambar is not only easy to prepare but also saves a lot of time, making it ideal for busy routines. The combination of Medu Vada and sambar is perfect for breakfast or as a tiffin recipe. Give it a try!

The key to making restaurant-style medu vada and sambar at home are

For Medu Vada:

  1. Firstly, the urad dal batter is key for perfect medu vada. Add cold water or ice cubes while grinding the batter, and grind it into a thick paste. Add water in batches and beat the batter in a circular motion to incorporate air, making the medu vada soft, fluffy, and crispy.
  2. Secondly, shape the vada with slightly wet hands. If you are unable to shape the vada by hand, use a tea sieve or glass for shaping.
  3. Fry the vada on medium flame until it becomes crispy on the outside and properly cooked on the inside.

For Sambar:

  1. I prepare a special masala paste for sambar, which gives it the perfect color and taste. Also, adding tamarind water and jaggery provides a balanced flavor and original taste to the sambar.
  2. In terms of adding veggies to sambar, it is completely open-ended, and you can experiment with your choice of veggies. Apart from the veggies in this recipe, you can add eggplant, cauliflower, radish, and okra.
  3. Cook the sambar on low-medium flame for 25-30 minutes to enhance its taste and color.
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Recipe video 

Medu vada recipe | sambar vada | pressure cooker sambar

Author Nehas Cook Book
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Soaking time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 45 minutes
Course Breakfast
Cuisine south indian
Servings 4 servings


For medu vada

  • 1 cup urad dal
  • ½ cup cold water or ice cubes
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp crushed black pepper
  • 7-8 chopped curry leaves
  • 1 tsp chopped green chilli
  • 1 tsp chopped ginger
  • 2 tbsp chopped onion
  • Pinch of hing
  • Some coriander leaves

For sambar

  • ¼ cup toor dal
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 medium size onion pieces
  • 2 tomato pieces
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp red chilli powder
  • 1 chopped brinjal
  • 2 chopped drumstick
  • ½ cup chopped bottle gourd
  • ½ cup chopped carrot
  • ½ cup potato pieces
  • 2-3 cup water or as required
  • ½ tamarind water - 3 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 3 tbsp jaggery

special masala paste for sambar

  • 2 tbsp fresh coconut pieces
  • 2 tbsp roasted chana dal
  • 1 medium size tomatoes
  • 1 green chilli
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 2-3 garlic cloves - optional
  • 3 tbsp sambar powder
  • Water to grind paste

For sambar tempering

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • ¼ tsp mustard seeds
  • ¼ tsp chana dal
  • ¼ tsp methi dana
  • 3 dry red chilli
  • Some curry leaves


Making medu vada

  • Soak 1 cup of urad dal in enough water for 4 hours. Do not over-soak it.
  • Remove the water and grind the dal into a thick and smooth paste by adding water in batches. I use ½ cup of cold water. Transfer the urad dal paste into a large mixing bowl. Add some salt and beat and mix the batter in a circular motion until it turns light. This helps to incorporate air into the batter and make the medu vada soft and fluffy.
  • Then add ½ tsp cumin seeds, ½ tsp crushed black pepper, 7-8 chopped curry leaves, 1 tsp chopped green chilli, 1 tsp chopped ginger, 2 tbsp chopped onion, a pinch of hing, and some coriander leaves. Mix well.
  • Now wet your finger and shape the vada into a round shape, making a hole in the center. You can also shape the vada using tea sieves or a glass. (Refer to the video.)
  • Heat oil and drop the vada in the oil, deep-frying the medu vada on medium flame. Fry on both sides until they turn golden brown and crisp. Serve hot medu vada with sambar or chutney.

Making Sambar:

  • Wash and soak ¼ cup toor dal for 20 minutes. Now, in a pressure cooker, add the soaked dal, ¼ tsp turmeric powder, salt to taste, and 1.25 cups of water. Mix well and pressure cook the dal on medium flame for 4-5 whistles.
  • In a mixture jar, add 2 tbsp fresh coconut pieces, 2 tbsp roasted chana dal, 1 chopped tomato, 1 green chilli, 1 inch ginger, 2-3 garlic cloves, 3 tbsp sambar masala, and some water. Grind it; the masala paste is ready, keep it aside.
  • In a pan, add 3 tbsp oil, ½ tsp mustard seeds, and ½ tsp cumin seeds. Add 2 medium-sized chopped onions and sauté. Now, add 2 medium-sized chopped tomatoes and salt. Sauté until the tomatoes become soft.
  • Then add 1 tsp turmeric powder and 1 tbsp Kashmiri red chilli powder. Sauté it. Now, add ½ cup chopped potatoes, 1 chopped brinjal, ½ cup chopped carrot, ½ cup chopped bottle gourd (Dudhi/lauki), and 2 drumstick slices. Sauté it. Cover and cook the vegetables for 2-3 minutes. Switch off the gas.
  • When the pressure cooker releases its pressure naturally, whisk the cooked dal and make it smooth. Add sautéed vegetables, masala paste, and 1 cup hot water. Mix well and pressure cook the sambar for 1 whistle.
  • After 1 whistle, open the pressure cooker; the vegetables are properly cooked. Add water to adjust sambar consistency, also add ½ cup tamarind water (3 tbsp tamarind pulp) and 3 tbsp jaggery. Mix well and boil the sambar for 10 minutes.
  • In a tadka pan, add 2 tbsp oil, ¼ tsp chana dal, ¼ tsp mustard seeds, some curry leaves, ¼ tsp methi dana, and 2 dry red chillies. Sauté it and add tempering on sambar. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve sambar with medu vada.


For sambar
  • Use a very small quantity of tuvar dal in sambar.
  • Cook on medium flame for 5 whistles.
  • Coconut provides an authentic taste, and roasted chana dal adds thickness to sambar.
  • Saute vegetables in oil to enhance their flavor in sambar.
  • Add slightly hot water to adjust the sambar's consistency.
  • You can use lemon juice instead of tamarind water.
  • Jaggery balances the taste in sambar.
For medu vada
  • Add cold water or ice cubes while grinding urad dal.
  • Grind the dal into a thick and slightly coarse batter.
  • Whisk the medu vada batter for 2-3 minutes until it becomes light and fluffy.
  • Wet a plastic sheet slightly so that the vada batter can be easily added to hot oil.
  • Fry medu vada on medium flame.
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5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)


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