Aama Vadai also called the paruppu vadai is popular on the menu for festivals and weddings. This easy chana dal vada is made with basic pantry ingredients and is a no-onion and no-garlic vada recipe.
Vadai is popular and loved by all snacks. These deep-fried fritters are the best accompaniment to a cup of coffee or tea. It becomes even more loved when the weather is cooler or rainy.
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The name Aama vadai literally translates into tortoise vadai. It is called so because this paruppu vadai is hard and crunchy on the outside just like the shell of the tortoise.
So we have two different kinds of vadai. One is this aama vadai or chana da dal vadai made with chana dal, toor dal, and a little urad dal. the other one is Medhu vadai or Ullundhu vadai made with urad dal alone.
I call this paruppu vadai the beginner vadai as it does not need special skills in grinding the batter or shaping the vada. Also, we make these two vadais on special occasions and each one is made for a specific festival or pooja.
What vadai to make?
I am sure many would often be confused about which occasions we make the paruppu vadai and which we make medhu vadai. So for any pandigai or festival, like Boghi, Tamil New Year, Karthigai deepam, and Avani avittam, we make this aama vadai.
Any festival that has a pooja done like, varalakshmi nombu, pillayar Chaturthi, Pongal and so on we make the medhu vadai.
One more easy way to remember as well what amma taught me is anytime we make poli, we make this paruppu vadai. That did the trick for me and so for the boghi festival this year, I made Puranam poli and aama vadai along with carrot kheer.
Why make this aama vadai?
- Aama vadai is the easiest vadai recipe to ever make.
- It uses just the basic Indian pantry ingredients.
- A perfect paruppu vadai recipe for the beginners as it does not need any shaping skills.
- Tastes amazing with a cup of coffee and is a wonderful appetizer or finger snack to serve for parties.
- A great way to use lentils.
- Very versatile and can be modified into different flavors (check the recipe variations below).
- It's Vegan and Gluten- free (skip the asafoetida as it could contain gluten).
Check the recipe card at the bottom of the page for exact measurements and printable detailed recipes.
- Lentils - We will be using three different dal for the paruppu vadai. More of chana dal (kadalai paruppu), a little less of toor dal (tuvaram paruppu) and very little urad dal (ullutham paruppu).
- Chilies - I use both green and dry red chilies. It is a preference and if needed we can skip the green chilies and just use the dry red chilies.
- Asafetida - If gluten-free skip the asafoetida.
- Curry leaves
- Oil - To deep fry. I either use vegetable oil or canola oil.
Wash the lentils well and soak them together for one to two hours. It is usually sufficient to soak it for an hour.
Drain the lentils in a colander after the soaking time and let them drain for a few minutes. I usually soak the lentils and then in an hour or so drain them in the colander and let them sit there until ready to grind.
Transfer the drained dal to the blender or food processor jar and grind it along with green chilies, red chilies, asafoetida, and salt. Add very little water when grinding. Also, make sure to grind the lentils coarse. I also keep a few whole lentils aside before grinding to add them to the batter.
Add the curry leaves to the vada batter and mix well.
In the meantime, heat oil to deep fry the aama vadai.
Once the oil is hot, add a small piece of vada batter to the oil to check if it is hot enough. The batter should rise up and slowly start crisping up. If the oil is too hot, then the vada will brown outside too quickly whereas the interior will still be uncooked. So the temperature of the oil is very important to make crispy aama vadai.
Take a small lemon size batter and slightly flatten it in your palm. Slowly slide the shaped paruppu vadai into the hot oil. Depending on the size of the frying pan, add a few more vadai into the oil without crowding.
Using a slotted spoon, flip the vadai and cook on both sides until golden brown.
Remove the cooked vadai and drain it in a paper towel-lined bowl.
Vadai tastes amazing with a cup of hot filter coffee.
If you are not a hot coffee person, then serve the chana dal vada with Iced Caramel Macchiato or Vietnamese Iced Coffee.
If serving the paruppu vadai as an evening snack then make sure to make some delicious coconut mint chutney or some kara chutney
Variations of Paruppu Vadai
Since this aama vadai is made for festivals, we make it without onion or garlic. On a normal day, we can make the same paruppu vadai or chana dal vada with onion and a few other spices and make it Masala Vadai.
Vazhaipoo vadai or Paruppu vadai with banana flower is a very popular snack in Tamil Nadu. We can add finely chopped banana flowers and make this aama vadai batter into vazhaipoo vadai.
I love adding finely chopped cabbage to dal vadai. Cabbage vadai is one of my favorites when I can't use onions. We can make the cabbage vadai in the air fryer as well and in the same way, we can make the aama vadai in the air fryer too.
Vadais are best when served hot. This is one of the best snacks that taste great right off the pan.
In case we have to make it ahead of time, then we can reheat the aama vadai in the air fryer or oven before serving.
Leftover vadais freezes great. During the festival time when making aama vadai with many other dishes, I always end up having leftovers. I freeze them and then use them later after heating them in the air fryer. The paruppu vadai comes out tasting just as fresh as just fried vadais.
More Vadai Recipes
If you made this recipe and liked it, give a star rating on the recipe card or let me know in the comments below. You could also share it with me on Instagram using #MyCookingJourney and tagging me @sandhya.ramakrishnan. You could follow me and my recipes on Facebook |Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter
Aama Vadai | Paruppu Vadai | Chana Dal Vada
- 1 Blender
- 1 fry pan
- 1 slotted ladle
- 1 cup Chana dal / kadalai paruppu
- ½ cup Toor dal / tuvaram paruppu
- 1 Tablespoon Urad dal / ullutham paruppu
- 2 Green chilies
- 3 Red chilies
- ¼ teaspoom Asafetida
- to taste Salt
- few Curry leaves
- to deep fry Oil
- Wash the lentils well and soak them together for one to two hours. It is usually sufficient to soak it for an hour.
- Drain the lentils in a colander after the soaking time and let them drain for a few minutes. I usually soak the lentils and then in an hour or so drain them in the colander and let them sit there until ready to grind.
- Transfer the drained dal to the blender or food processor jar and grind it along with green chilies, red chilies, asafoetida, and salt. Add very little water when grinding. Also, make sure to grind the lentils coarse. I also keep a few whole lentils aside before grinding to add them to the batter.
- Add the curry leaves to the vada batter and mix well.
- In the meantime, heat oil to deep fry the aama vadai.
- Once the oil is hot, add a small piece of vada batter to the oil to check if it is hot enough. The batter should rise up and slowly start crisping up. If the oil is too hot, then the vada will brown outside too quickly whereas the interior will still be uncooked. So the temperature of the oil is very important to make crispy aama vadai.
- Take a small lemon size batter and slightly flatten it in your palm. Slowly slide the shaped paruppu vadai into the hot oil. Depending on the size of the frying pan, add a few more vadai into the oil without crowding.
- Using a slotted spoon, flip the vadai and cook on both sides until golden brown.
- Remove the cooked vadai and drain it in a paper towel-lined bowl.
- Serve warm.
Srividhya Gopalakrishnan says
This no onion no garlic paruppu vadai is our goto vadai for pandigai days. Great share Sandhya. Love the detailed explanation.
Priya Srinivasan says
Love this crispy aama vadai sandya, hot vadai and filter coffee is bliss and i m totally loving all the other combos you have listed
Saraswathi Tharagaram says
Looks so good and perfect with cup of tea..
veena krishnakumar says
Vadai looks yummm,,,been some time since i cooked these
Pallavi Purani says
What a crowd pleaser 🙂
Yep no wedding will end without vadai.
Suma Gandlur says
Love these vadas. And indeed the chariot - elephant stuff sounds grand.
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nice vada sandhya kalakuringa.
The Pumpkin Farm says
Rajani S says
Curd rice at his own wedding? Paavam! Anyway the vadas look good, just like my MIL's version 🙂
Nalini's Kitchen says
nice write up...delicious looking vadas,we do make this version on fasting days...
This looks so yum and tasty. Come and participate in my event and 3 giveaways.
Gayathri Kumar says
Vadas look so nice. Always my fav...
Though I have heard so much abt this version, never tried myself..good one..and nice to read about this as well..
Savitha Ganesan says
I have heard about these .But never tried ,u r tempting em to try it.
Aruna Manikandan says
delicious vadai, love it 🙂
Rita Bose says
Vadais look so crispy and delicious!! 🙂
Archana Potdar says
Wow what agrand wedding. Will love to see the pics. And these vadais are mind blowing.
Sangeetha Nambi says
vaishali sabnani says
Interesting write up...enjoyed reading it..and bookmarked the vadas ..they look good.
Pavani N says
Wow. That's definitely a really grand wedding. Those Vadai look delicious.
Navaneetham Krishnan says
My fav but all this time I have been comfortable buying them. Now that I am seeing how perfect home made vadai can be, I am lining this delicious recipe.
Corporate to Kitchen says
I am drooling. The vadas are very tempting.
look really tempting , i'm drooling
Priya Anandakumar says
Very yummy and crispy vadai sandhya. Very nice theme....
Priya Suresh says
Love this vadais,been ages i had them..Wish i live near u.
Harini-Jaya Rupanagudi says
The groom greeted by an elephant is indeed grand! Love these vadas!
Swathi Iyer says
Ammavadai super sandhya, Kalayana sappadu njapakam varathu.