Indian lentil fritters known as dal vada is popularly served as a snack or an appetizer. They are vegan, gluten-free, and usually deep-fried. However, with air fryers becoming more common, they can be easily made in the air fryer.
This is a real simple recipe to make lentil fritters with no flour and very basic ingredients found in the pantry. I really enjoy making these on special occasions and sometimes to accompany my evening tea.
What is dal vada made of?
Dal vada is made with lentils like moong dal, chana dal, or red lentils. These real simple lentil fritters are made with red lentils and chana dal (split chickpeas) in an equal ratio.
Both the dals are soaked for about 6 hours or even overnight before blending into a coarse paste.
This lentil fritters recipe uses no flour but a few basic ingredients like turmeric powder, serrano pepper, onions, nigella seeds, ginger paste, and salt are added for flavor. You can add some chili powder if you want it spicier.
How to make the dal vada batter?
To make dal vada batter soak the lentils for at least 6 hours or even overnight. Grind the batter coarsely in a blender like Vitamix with a minimum amount of water.
For 1 cup of dry dal, I have used ¼ cup water and used low speed to blend it coarsely. Add all the ingredients and mix well with the help of a spatula.
The consistency should be thick, so you need to be careful in adding water while blending. In case the batter becomes runny, you can add some boiled mashed potatoes.
How to make lentil fritters in air fryer?
Lentil fritters can be deep-fried or air-fried. Of course, the air-fried version is healthier as it requires very little oil. First, preheat the air fryer to 390 °F for about 5 minutes.
Now place a parchment paper and make a fritter of about 2 inches in diameter and half a centimeter in thickness. Place the fritters on the parchment paper, either with the help of a spoon or with your hands, whatever you are comfortable with.
Air fry for 8 minutes at the temperature of 390 °F and then apply oil on both sides with the help of a basting brush.
Air fry once again for 8 minutes after flipping the sides. Continue in a similar way for the remaining batter.
What to serve with lentil fritters?
Lentil fritters are spicy and savory. They are best served with Indian green chutney, sweet and sour tamarind chutney, or tomato chutney. If you do not have either at hand, you can also serve them with some tomato ketchup and sriracha sauce.
Lentil fritters make a good evening time snack accompanied by a hot cup of masala chai. It is delightfully refreshing, especially on a cold chilly day.
How long does vada last in the fridge?
Leftover dal vada can last for about 3 days in the fridge when stored in an air-tight container. They can be reheated again before serving. It is best to reheat them in the air fryer to retain their crispiness.
Vada batter also stores well in the fridge for 3-4 days. It is best not to mix the onions and spices if you plan to store them in the fridge but just add them before you are ready to make the fritters.
If you enjoyed this recipe, you may also like
- Indian appetizers for potluck
- Lentil flatbread
- Moong dal halwa
- Toor dal
- Chana dal
- Dal makhani
- Mixed lentils
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Dal Vada | Lentil Fritters In Air Fryer
- ½ cup Chana dal (soaked for 6-8 hours)
- ½ cup Split red lentils (masoor dal, soaked for 6-8 hours)
- ¼ cup Water
Ingredients to be mixed
- ¾ teaspoon Salt
- ½ teaspoon Turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon Ginger (paste)
- ¼ teaspoon Nigella seeds
- 1 cup Onion (chopped finely)
- 1 tablespoon Serrano pepper (chopped)
- 1 teaspoon Oil (more for coating)
- Rinse and soak chana dal and masoor dal for 6-8 hours.
- Discard the water used for soaking.
- Blend soaked dals with ¼ cup water into a coarse paste.
- Add all the other ingredients and mix with a spoon or spatula.
- Preheat the air fryer for 5 minutes at 390 °F.
- Take about 2 tablespoon of batter and make it into a patty of 2 inches width.
- Place it in the air fryer over a parchment paper.
- Air fry the fritters for 8 minutes at 390 °F.
- Apply oil using a basting brush.
- Flip once with the help of kitchen tongs and apply oil on the other side.
- Air fry for an additional 8 minutes on 390 °F.
- Carefully remove them from the air fryer.
Does the lentil have a bitter after taste? I have tried the air fryer before but never turns out like the deep fried ones. I love the healthy option though but comes with a taste compromise.
Alpa Jain says
It should not have a bitter after taste if you air fry them. Was it overcooked by any chance? It might happen if lentils are old or if you store the batter in the fridge with onions in it.
Hope this helps.
Christine Taylor says
Alpa Jain says
Thankyou, glad you liked it.
Simply Delicious Fritters Alpa !!! I love it !!!!!
Alpa Jain says
Thankyou for the feedback, glad you liked it 🙂