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Sambar Vadai | Sambar Vada | South Indian Breakfast Recipe

Sambar Vadai Recipe
Sambar Vadai Recipe
Idly, Dosa, Sambar, Vadai almost rhyming as it sounds, a South Indian home will never be complete without these tasty platter of food. I have seen anyone and everyone love medhu vadai (vadas). Although deepfried, no one can say no to a crisp vada with some coconut chutney and sambar for evening tea. And when making medhu vadai we will sure be left with few and the best way to enjoy them is to make Curd Vada (Thayir vadai) or Sambar vada. Whenever we end up having breakfast outside I will never fail to have a plate of sambar vadai. It tastes great with a cup of coffee :-) pure bliss. R & I love south Indian food for breakfast most times and with vadas we never complain. 

You can follow the same recipe as the medhu vadai recipe which I had posted earlier. Use leftover vadas to make this sambar vadai platter. The best part is you can make them ahead and serve for guests or family.

Hotel Style Sambar Vada
Hotel Style Sambar Vada

Medhu Vadai
Medhu Vadai


(read notes before doing the recipe)

Recipe Source - Amma
Soak time - 4-5 hrs 
Prep time - 12-15 mins
Cook time - 20 mins for the entire batch
Makes - 15-16 medium sized vadas
Serving Suggestion - SambarCoconut Chutney


Urad Dal (Skinless) - 1 cup levelled 
Water - as required
Salt - to taste
Curry leaves - 7-8 nos (chopped)
Hing/ Asefotedia - 3 pinches
Coriander leaves - 3 tbsp (chopped, optional but recommended)
Rice flour powder/ arusi mavu - 1 tbsp (used to get crisp texture)
Oil - to deep fry ( be generous)


1. Wash urad dal 2 times in water and soak with more water (just till immersed) for 4 hours. Now drain the water if any to a bowl and start grinding the urad dal in a running grinder.
2. Keep sprinkling the separated water little by little to help in grinding process else the urad dal will get stuck to the base of the grinder.
3. Continue grinding sprinkling water as required until the batter is smooth and fluffy. The whole process will take 12-15 minutes. Once done switch off the grinder and remove the prepared batter with care gently, collect the batter in a vessel. 
4. Now add the hing, curry leaves, coriander leaves, salt and rice flour, using a folk fluff up the batter gently to combine
5. Heat the oil in a wide vessel be generous else the vadas will get stuck to the kadai/ pan
6. In a small bowl add cold water dip hand in cold water and place a kitchen towel to absorb excess oil in vadas.  
7. Take a ball of batter place on your fingers (joint) and make a whole with your thumb and drop the vada in hot oil. 
8. The Vadas will start sizzling in oil the vadas will turn golden now drain with a slotted spoon and place of a kitchen towel.
9. Once the oil is drained place them on kitchen towel.



Thoor Dhal - 1/2 cup
Tamarind paste - 2 spoons/ goft-sized ball
Mustard seeds- 1 tsp
Jeera seeds - 1 tsp
Hing - pinch
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder/ Sambar powder - 1-2 tsp
Garlic pods - 5-6 peeled 
Green chili - 2 slip in center
Onion - 1 medium, chopped
Tomato - 1 medium, chopped
Drumsticks - 1 chopped 1 inch size pieces (optional)
Curry leaves - one spring 
Coriander leaves - finely chopped (garnishing)
Salt- as per taste
Oil (refined,sunflower) - 2 tsp


  • Wash and soak dhal in hot water for 30 mins-1 hr and put it in a pressure cooker for 4-5 whistles, add salt, hing and turmeric to this
  • Once it is cooked to this add the chopped onions, tomato and vegetable you prefer, let it cook. 
  • Add the red chilli powder and garlic and give it a good stir, let it cook for 5 mins
  • Soak the tamarind in hot water and keep it ready, in a small pan heat oil and add the mustard seeds and let them splutter, jeera and curry leaves and add this to the dhal mixture.
  • Now add the tamarind paste to the dhal mixture and let it cook for 5 minutes


In a bowl take warm water (gentle to touch) dip the vada one by one in the warm water and with both palms gently squeeze out the excess water. Place in a serving dish, repeat the same until you use up all the vadas. Now pour sambar on top of the vadas. Garnish with chopped onions and coriander leaves and serve warm.

Enjoy your bowl of sambar vada along with coconut chutney & a cuppa coffee.


Tip 1

Use good  quality urad dal that you use for making soft idlies. 

Tip 2

Make sure you do not over grind the urad dal else the vadas will not be fluffy and sticky

Tip 3

If you find the vadas too oily then there is more water in the batter, make sure you adjust accordingly next time

Tip 4

I have not used onions, peppercons, green chilli or ginger while making this vadas. We love it that way, you can go ahead and use them. Before adding to batter you can use a motor to form a coarse paste of them.

Tip 5

Adding rice flour helps the vadas be stay crisp even after turning cold / to room temperature



  1. Sambar vada looks absolutely tempting dear...I wanna have some now :)

  2. Yummy sambar vada.. this is the way I love to eat it .. soaked in the sambar.

  3. love all south indian dishes u post:) This one is also yumm...
    happy women's day :)

  4. This is my favorite too it anytime...lovely preparation and the sambar sounds so flavorful and yumm...delectable clicks :)

  5. Delicious , I love vadas but have never tried making it.....

  6. though i like thayir vadai ..sambhar vadai is exceptional.

  7. Yummy sambar vada....

  8. Any time fav snacks...

  9. Looks very inviting and my favorite too.

  10. You are just killing me with this fabulous sambar vadai..Drooling;

  11. yummy... wanna have some :)

  12. I would love to dig into it right now!!!! Please pass it on....

  13. droolworthy..i just love this ..too yumm

  14. wow... all time favorite dear... I would love to dig into at any time... Super juicy vada...



Thank you for visiting, I hope you enjoyed my recipes :-) In case you have tried any of the recipes featured here, do let me know in the comment section. For any other queries email me - cooklikepriya(at)

Priya Ranjit

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