Learn how to make traditional and authentic Parippu Vada.
These tasty Indian fritters, also known as Chana Dal Vada, are a healthy snack or side dish for vegetarians and vegans.
Our easy Parippu Vada recipe features flavourful ingredients like onion, curry leaves, green chili, ginger, turmeric and grated coconut.
This Vada recipe is vegan, vegetarian, dairy free, keto friendly and gluten free.
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What Is Parippu Vada?
Vada is a category of savoury fried snacks from India.
Different types of vadas can be described as fritters, cutlets, doughnuts, or dumplings. Alternative names for this food include wada, vade, vadai, wadeh and bara. In North India, Bhalla is a similar food.
Parippu Vada is a traditional deep fried fritter recipe from India featuring lentils, usually chana dal.
The lentils are first soaked for a few hours, ground coarsely, and then mixed with finely chopped onions, ginger, green chilies, and curry leaves.
The batter is deep fried until crispy and then served with coconut chutney or tomato chutney.
Travel to India by Cooking Parippu Vada at Home
I love traveling through Asia.
My first visit to Asia had me living in South Korea for a year as a teacher and it’s where I was first introduced to fermented vegetables like kimchi.
After my contract ended in Seoul I travelled throughout Asia for 6 months, visiting the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, The Maldives and India.
I spent over a month traveling through India. I started in the capital, eating my way through the bustling markets and fine dining restaurants in Delhi. I then embarked on a magical weekend getaway to awe-inspiring Taj Mahal in Agra. In India’s north you’ll find plenty of barbecue and wheat based side dishes like scorched naan bread.
For the second half of my Indian adventure I explored the southern state of Kerala. The south is famous for its seafood, coconut, tropical fruits, Parippu Vada and rice based side dishes like crispy dosa. The colonial capital of Cochin was formerly run by the Portuguese. It’s also one of the only places in India you can find beef on a menu.
After enjoying a jaunt to the Maldives my India trip came to a close in the Bollywood capital, bustling and cosmopolitan Mumbai. The city is famous for its specialty street foods and fine dining restaurants at opulent luxury hotels. The Taj Mahal Palace in particular serves one of the world’s most famous Afternoon Teas.
What I found most fascinating is India’s distinct regional food cultures. Much like the regional cuisines found in France, Germany, Italy or Spain, each city in India had its own local speciality.
After you’ve traveled to India, return home to prepare an authentic and fragrant feast for friends and family featuring this Parippu Vada recipe.
Where To Eat Dal Vada
If you live in a large city in Canada or America you’ll likely have access to local Indian restaurants that serve traditional Parippu Vada.
Haven’t traveled to India before? It may be helpful to first sample Dal Fritters at a local Indian restaurant to better understand how the dish is served. You can assess the amount of coconut chutney to serve with the fritters and desired spicy heat level before trying to make the deep fried snacks at home.
In Toronto, popular Indian restaurants that may serve Parippu Vada include Udupi Palace, Lahore Tikka House and Kothur Indian Cuisine.
My Family Loves Crispy Indian Fritters
I’ll never forget my first experience eating Parippu Vada.
I woke up at a luxury hotel in Cochin, the capital of the southern state of Kerala, to find a decadent breakfast buffet. I felt like I had arrived in a different country as the dishes in Southern India are unique to what you’d find in Agra or Delhi.
The waiter asked me if I’d like to try a local breakfast speciality, crispy dosa served with a selection of chutneys. I remember sipping bitter darjeeling tea while dipping dosa into spicy chutney. I experienced an unforgettable explosion of flavours in my mouth as hot tea muddled with the flavours of spiced chutney. A wonderful way to wake up to the world!
The waiter saw that I loved the dosa and moments later brought over a small bowl of Dal Vada, deep fried fritters that were bright yellow thanks to ground turmeric. I dunked these in more chutney and was in heaven!
After traveling throughout India and eating at some of the world’s best Indian restaurants I was excited to share my love of Parippu Vada with family in Toronto.
I’ve hosted many Indian-themed feasts, showcasing dishes from Delhi to Bengal via fragrant curries, fresh salads and hearty soups.
I served a creamy Chicken Shahi Korma with crunchy Indian Onion Salad for an al fresco lunch in the spring. While in the summer at the cottage in Muskoka we enjoyed a vegetarian feast featuring Shahi Paneer and Indian Chickpea Crepes.
When I finally introduced my parents to crispy dal vada their eyes bulged with glee. I knew they’d both love the snack because it was crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside and tastes great dipped in freshly grated coconut chutney.
If you’ve traveled to India on holiday there is no better way to share your adventure at home with family and friends at home then by serving our homemade Parippu Vada recipe.
Parippu Vada Health Benefits
Our homemade healthy Parippu Vada recipe is packed full of healthy ingredients!
All types of dal are rich in cholesterol-lowering fibre. They are also a low-fat source of iron, vital for the cardiovascular system and for energy, and contain B vitamins that protect against heart disease.
Onions are a humble vegetable packed with vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Regular consumption of onions can help boost digestive health and reduce the risk of developing heart disease.
Ginger contains at least 14 phytochemicals, many of which have impressive antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It also has a good source of copper, which supports your bones, blood and nervous system.
The star component of turmeric is curcumin, a potent phytochemical that has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It is often prescribed in Indian Ayurvedic medicine to help relieve arthritis, aid digestion and inhibit the growth of cancers.
Coconut is rich in fibre and may also offer a number of benefits including improved heart healthy and digestion. It is high in calories and sautéed fat so be sure to eat in moderation.
Chana Dal Vada Cooking Tips
If it’s your first time cooking restaurant-style Parippu Vada Indian Fritters at home be sure to review our detailed step-by-step recipe below.
Here are some helpful tips and tricks to get you started:
- Use a large cast iron dutch oven or wok with a high rim to reduce splatter when deep frying.
- Use a metal slotted spoon to remove fritters from the hot oil and drain them before resting on a paper towel lined baking sheet.
- In our recipe below we suggest using a food processor but you could also use a heavy duty Vitamix to blend the parippu vada dough.
- I have used 4 green chilies in the batter but if you don’t like spicy food feel free to reduce to 1 or 2 chilies or leave them out entirely.
- Once all of the parippu vada are finished deep frying reheat in the oven before serving.
- We love serving this south Indian snack with coconut chutney but you could also use tomato chutney.
What To Serve with Parippu Vada
Parippua Vada is one of our favourite deep fried snacks from Southern India.
The healthy vegan appetizer is often served with coconut chutney and enjoyed with a hot pot of tea. You can find them sold to locals at humble tea shops (chayakada) and railway stations.
Parippu vada, Chaaya (Sweet Milk Tea) and Poovan Pazham (small ripe bananas) make for a perfect tea time snack with dal vada.
If you’re hosting a large Indian-themed dinner party buffet you may want to also include fresh salads, soups, fragrant rice biryani, homemade naan and a seafood or chicken curry.
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How To Make Healthy Vegan Parippu Vada
- Wok or Dutch Oven
- Metal slotted spoon
- measuring cups
- measuring spoons
- Food processor
- 2 cups Chana Dal or Yellow Split Peas rinsed
- 1 Spanish Onion finely chopped
- 15 Curry Leaves chopped
- 4 Green Chiles halved lengthwise
- 1/2 inch Ginger chopped
- 1 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Ground Turmeric
- Vegetable Oil for deep frying
- 1 cup Grated Coconut
- 1/2 inch Ginger chopped
- 2 Green Chiles
- 1/4 Spanish Onion chopped
- 10 Curry Leaves
- 1 tsp Kosher Salt
- In a large bowl, combine the chana dal and 6 cups of water and soak for 2 hours.
- Drain well, then transfer lentils to a food processor and process into a course paste. Transfer paste to a clean bowl.
- Add onions, curry leaves, chiles, ginger, salt and turmeric and mix well. Shape a spoon of the mixture into a 1-inch diameter ball and using the palm of your hand, slightly flatten. Repeat with the remaining mixture.
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add patties (avoid overcrowding) and fry for 2 minutes. Flip over and fry for another 2 minutes. until golden brown. Transfer the parippu vada to a plate lined with paper towels. Repeat until all vadas have been made.
- In a bowl, combine coconut, ginger, green chiles, onion, 5 curry leaves and salt. Transfer mixture to a food processor, add 1/2 cup warm water and process until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl and serve with hot Parippu Vada.
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