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Best Vada Recipe

Best Vada Recipe

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Yellow Split Pea Vada or Veda as we call it here in South Africa is a deep-fried Indian snack.  This is seriously the Best Vada Recipe, if I should say so myself.

Vadas are usually made for a religious function or special occassion, which I think is a good thing because it is deep-fried and we don’t want to be eating it too often.

Best Vada Recipe

Vada in a white bowl


What ingredients do I use?

This Yellow Split Pea Vada is a South Indian snack and I have watched my mum make it often. She kept it very simple with just a few ingredients. I also have a cousin who is an amazing cook and she also confirmed that I was using the right ingredients. 

You need yellow split peas, lots of chilli (dry and green), cumin, onion (lots of it) fresh coriander, spring onion, salt and oil for deep-frying. 

The extra onion in the mixture is what gives the Vada the crispness it needs. You definitely want a crisp Vada.


Process for making Vada

Firstly the split-peas must be soaked overnight. This softens it a little and makes it easier to grind into a fine paste. The next day it is rinsed a few times, you pop it into a food processor and pulse until it forms a smooth paste.

The paste must be smooth and no water is added to it. The paste is then placed in a bowl and mixed with all the other ingredients. You make them into round circles, with a little indent in the centre and deep fry them.

Is it difficult to make

I am going to admit that at first it does seem difficult to make these Yellow Split Pea Vada but with practice everything gets better. If you do not get it right the first time please try again.  I promise it took me a few times before I got it right.

Serving the Vada

For me it is best when freshly out the pan. Once it stands for a while it does lose it’s crispness. I honestly don’t enjoy it when it’s cold.

I came across a Vada that’s very different to how we make them and I am soon going to give it a try.

More Indian treats to try:

Sweetcorn and Cheese Samoosas

Spicy Chilli Bites

Best Vada Recipe

A delicious crispy snack made from yellow split peas and loads of chilli and fresh herbs
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Indian
Keyword deep-fried indian snack, south african food, split-pea snack, vada, veda
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings 35


  • 2 cups/500ml yellow split-peas
  • 2 medium onion finely chopped
  • 6 dry chillies soaked in warm water
  • 8 green chillies finely chopped
  • 4 tsp coarsely ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh coriander
  • 1/2 cup chopped spring onion
  • 2 tsp salt
  • vegetable oil for deep-frying


  • Soak the split peas overnight
  • The next day rinse the split peas a few times and drain all the excess water
  • Place the split peas in a food processor and pulse. After a few pulses add the chillies and pulse until you have a smooth paste. You may have little chunks of chilli but that's ok. It should not be runny
  • Take a little paste and roll it into a ball, if it rolls easily then it is ground to the right consistency
  • Transfer the split peas to a large bowl and mix in all the other ingredients. Ensure it is mixed well. The ingredients should stick to the ground split peas, that also confirms the consistency is correct
  • Take a small amount of the mixture and roll into a ball. Flatten in your palms and make a small indent in the centre
  • Place the circle on a spoon or use your hands if you're confident, and gently place in the heated oil. Fry on medium to low heat. The insides will not cook if it browns too quickly. Flip over when the bottom is brown. Do not attempt to flip it over if it is not fully brown as it will crack
  • Once a deep golden brown, remove with a slotted spoon, draining the excess oil. Place in a bowl lined with paper towels
  • Serve hot


  1. The amount of chilli can be adjusted depending on how hot you prefer the Vada
  2. You an process all the chillies with the split peas or you can finely chop the green chillies and add to the mixture
  3. If you love the taste of cumin you can add  a little more
  4. Ensure your oil is hot before frying them or it will absorb the oil
  5. I flatten mine to about 1/2cm thickness but you can make them a little thicker if you prefer
  6. The onion gives the Vada the crispness so I don't find the need to add any other ingredient
  7. You can halve the recipe if you need a smaller quantity


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Recipe Rating

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Veronica Fester

Wednesday 22nd of September 2021

I love Veda, so I'm definitely going to make this recipe.... Hope it comes out good too. Thank you so much ❤️


Wednesday 29th of September 2021

Thank you Veronica. Hope you get to try it:-)

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