Sambar Vada

Sambar Vada Recipe: A Delightful South Indian Dish

Sambar vada is a popular South Indian meal made up of crispy vadas (deep-fried lentil fritters) served in a spicy and tangy sambhar sauce. (lentil and vegetable stew). It’s a tasty and filling snack or breakfast item.

Sambar Vada is a traditional South Indian breakfast recipe or a snack recipe that is relished with sambar or coconut chutney. the sambar prepared for Sambar Vada can be easily used in any other South Indian breakfast recipe like idlidosa, or even with upma or Pongal.

Sambhar vada
Sambhar vada

Ingredients for Sambar vada:

For the vada:

  • 1 cup urad dal (black gram lentils)
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for deep-frying

For the sambhar:

  • 1 cup toor dal (split pigeon peas)
  • 2 cups chopped mixed vegetables (carrots, beans, onions, tomatoes, etc.)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2-3 green chilies, chopped
  • 1 tbsp tamarind pulp
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tbsp sambhar powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Coriander leaves for garnishing

Instructions for Sambar vada:

  1. Wash and soak the urad dal in water for 3-4 hours.
  2. Drain the water and grind the dal to a smooth paste, adding a little water if necessary.
  3. Add salt to the batter and mix well.
  4. Heat oil for deep-frying in a pan.
  5. Wet your hands with water and take a small portion of the batter. Shape it into a ball and flatten it slightly. Make a hole in the center with your thumb.
  6. Slide the vada into the hot oil and fry until golden brown. Repeat with the remaining batter.
  7. Drain the vadas on a paper towel to remove excess oil.

For the Sambar :

  1. Cook the toor dal in a pressure cooker or a pot until soft and mushy.
  2. Mash the dal with a spoon or a masher.
  3. Heat oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and fenugreek seeds. When they start to splutter, add the chopped onions and green chilies.
  4. Fry until the onions turn golden brown.
  5. Add the chopped vegetables and fry for a few minutes.
  6. Add turmeric powder, red chili powder, and sambhar powder. Fry for a minute.
  7. Add the mashed dal, tamarind pulp, and salt. Add enough water to make a thick sambhar.
  8. Bring the sambhar to a boil and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  9. Add the vadas to the sambhar just before serving.
  10. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.
  11. Enjoy your delicious sambhar vada!

Serving suggestions

  • Sambar Vada is best enjoyed hot and fresh, straight from the pan. Serve the vadas and sambhar hot to preserve their flavors and textures. It is traditionally served with coconut chutney and/or tomato chutney. These chutneys add a cooling and refreshing touch to the spicy and tangy flavors of the sambhar and vadas.
  • Sambar Vada can also be served as a complete meal. You can serve it with steamed rice, papadum (thin crispy wafer), and a side of vegetable stir-fry or salad.
  • Sambar Vada goes well with other South Indian dishes like dosa, idli, and uttapam. You can also serve it with a cup of hot chai or coffee.


  1.  It is important to soak the dal (black gram lentils) for at least 4-6 hours before grinding it into a smooth batter. This helps in getting a fluffy and crispy vada.
  2. Grind the dal batter properly to get a smooth and fluffy consistency. Add water gradually while grinding to ensure that the batter is not too thick or too thin.
  3. Allow the dal batter to ferment for a few hours or overnight to get a light and fluffy vada.
  4. The sambhar should have a slightly thick consistency to properly coat the vadas. If the sambhar is too thin, the vadas may become too soggy.
  5.  You can add a variety of vegetables to the sambhar like onions, tomatoes, carrots, drumsticks, eggplant, and pumpkin. This not only enhances the flavor but also makes the sambhar more nutritious.
  6. The seasoning of the sambhar is crucial for the taste. Make sure to add the right amount of spices, tamarind pulp, and salt to get the perfect balance of flavors.
  7. Soak the vadas in the hot sambhar for at least 10-15 minutes to allow them to absorb the flavors of the stew.


Masala Vada Sambar

In this variation, the vada is made from a blend of lentils and spices, adding an extra layer of flavor and crunch.

Mini Sambar Vada

These bite-sized vadas are perfect for parties and gatherings, offering the same incredible taste in a convenient, snackable form.

Sambar Vada Burger

A modern twist on tradition, this fusion dish combines the flavors of Sambhar Vada with the convenience of a burger, creating a unique culinary experience.



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