Kanji vada recipe

Kanji vada recipe

Kanji vada is a popular Indian snack that originated in the state of Rajasthan. It consists of two main components: kanji, which is a sour fermented drink made from mustard seeds and water, and vada, which is a fried lentil fritter.

Kanji vada is typically served as a snack or appetizer and is enjoyed by many in Rajasthan and other parts of India. It is often garnished with toppings like coriander leaves, chopped onions, and tamarind chutney to add more flavor and texture.

Ingredients for kanji vada


  • 1 cup urad dal (split black gram)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/2 inch ginger, grated
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for deep frying

For Kanji:

  • 1/2 cup mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • Salt to taste

For Serving:

  • Chopped coriander leaves
  • Chopped onion
  • Tamarind chutney

Instructions for kanji vada

  1. To make the vada, soak the urad dal in water for 4-5 hours.
  2. Drain the water and grind the dal with ginger, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, and salt to a smooth batter.
  3. Heat oil in a deep frying pan over medium heat.
  4. Wet your hands and take small portions of the batter and shape them into small balls.
  5. Carefully drop the vada into the hot oil and fry them until they are golden brown.
  6. Drain the vada on paper towels to remove excess oil.
  7. To make the kanji, soak the whole mustard seeds in water for 2-3 days until it ferments and becomes sour.
  8. Mix the fermented mustard seeds with water, salt, turmeric powder, and chili powder.
  9. Add the fried vada to the kanji and let them soak for 4-5 hours or overnight.
  10. To serve, remove the vada from the kanji and place them in a serving dish.
  11. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves, chopped onions, and tamarind chutney.
  12. Serve and enjoy your delicious kanji vada!

Serving suggestions

  • Serve the kanji vada as a snack or appetizer with some tamarind chutney, mint chutney, or ketchup on the side.
  • Make it a meal by serving the kanji vada with some plain or jeera rice and a simple salad of sliced cucumber and tomato.
  • For a more indulgent version, top the kanji vada with some sweet and tangy tamarind chutney, spicy green chutney, and some sev (crunchy chickpea flour noodles).
  • Serve the kanji vada with some chilled buttermilk or lassi to balance out the heat and add a refreshing touch to the meal.
  • You can also try experimenting with different toppings and garnishes such as grated coconut, chopped green chilies, chopped mint leaves, or even some grated cheese for a fusion twist.

Tips and variations

  • To make the vada more crispy, you can add a pinch of baking soda to the batter while grinding.
  • If you want to make the vada spicier, add some chopped green chilies or red chili powder to the batter.
  • For a healthier version, you can bake the vada in the oven instead of deep-frying them. Brush some oil on top of the vada and bake them at 375°F for 15-20 minutes or until they turn golden brown.
  • Instead of urad dal, you can use moong dal (split green gram) or chana dal (split chickpeas) to make the vada.
  • You can also add some grated carrots or chopped spinach to the vada batter for an extra dose of nutrition.
  • For a vegan version, you can skip the yogurt and use water or coconut milk to make the batter.
  • If you don’t have whole mustard seeds, you can use store-bought kanji powder to make the fermented drink.
  • For a more flavorful kanji, you can add some sliced carrots, beets, or radishes to the fermented drink.
  • Instead of tamarind chutney, you can serve with some sweet and sour mango pickle or spicy lime pickle.
  • To make ahead of time, you can fry the vada and store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. Soak them in the kanji just before serving.


  • Is kanji vada healthy?

While vada is deep-fried and can be high in calories, kanji vada can be a healthy snack or meal when made with moderation and balanced with healthy toppings and sides. The fermented drink kanji is known to have some health benefits such as aiding digestion and boosting immunity.

  • Is kanji vada gluten-free?

Yes, kanji vada is gluten-free as it is made with lentils and spices and does not contain any wheat or other gluten-containing ingredients.

  • How long can it be stored?

Kanji vada is best served fresh, but if you have leftovers, you can store them in the fridge for up to 2 days. To reheat, place them in the oven or air fryer for a few minutes until they turn crispy again.

  • Can kanji vada be frozen?

Yes, you can freeze the vada and store them in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to a month. To reheat, let them thaw in the fridge overnight and then fry them in hot oil or bake them in the oven until they turn crispy again

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