Go Back

Best Vada Recipe

A delicious crispy snack made from yellow split peas and loads of chilli and fresh herbs
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: deep-fried indian snack, south african food, split-pea snack, vada, veda
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