South Indian-Style Deep-Fried Bean Savory

 South Indian-Style Deep-Fried Bean Savory (Vadai)

Split black beans or gram (urid dal) are pale cream in color and cook to a thick consistency.  This variety is very popular in South Indian cuisine.

½ cup water
1 cup split black beans
Salt to taste
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped fine
½-inch piece fresh gingerroot, peeled and chopped fine
1 fresh green chili, peeled and chopped fine
¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped fine
1 cup corn oil

Wash the beans and soak in a pot of cold water for 4 hours.  Drain the beans in a colander.

Place the water, beans, and salt in a food processor and puree to a fine paste.  Transfer the mixture to a bowl.

Add the onion, ginger, green chili, and cilantro and mix the bean mixture thoroughly.

Heat the oil in a wok over high heat.  Reduce to medium heat.  Using your right hand scoop a small portion of the bean batter and carefully place 5 or 6 in the wok.  Fry the vadai for 3-4 minutes until golden brown.  With a steel spatula turn over and fry for another 2-3 minutes, until golden brown.  Remove the vadai and drain on paper towel.  Repeat this process until all the vadai batter is fried.

Serve hot with cilantro or coconut chutney and chai.


Being on friendlier terms with your stomach serves you well!  Discover and share my dazzling repertoire of authentic, delicious, healthy, and easy-to-prepare recipes of diverse flavors with your friends from my cookbooks Feast of India: A Legacy of Recipes and Fables (1991, 2015) and India’s Unsurpassed Cuisine: The Art of Indian Curry Cooking (Editor’s Choice, 2016) at


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