Curd vadai

Lentil patties with coconut curd


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes about


Appears in

Lands of the Curry Leaf

Lands of the Curry Leaf

By Peter Kuruvita

Published 2018

  • About

Another great street-food snack, these delicious lentil patties, or vadai, also look great served up at home as a starter, or even piled on a platter for everyone to share.

Preparation 20 minutes + 2 hours soaking
Cooking 5 minutes + 8–10 minutes per batch


  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • coriander (cilantro) leaves, to garnish


Lentil Patties

  • 250 g (9 oz) white urad dhal (hulled dried black lentils)
  • 5 Indian green chillies, chopped
  • 1 small knob of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • ½ pinch of asafoetida
  • iced water (optional)
  • ¼ bunch coriander (cilantro), leaves chopped

Coconut Curd

  • 250 g (9 oz) Greek-style yoghurt
  • 150 ml (5 fl oz) milk
  • 50 g ( oz/ cup) fresh grated coconut

For Tempering

  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 2 teaspoons brown mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon asafoetida
  • 2 dried red chillies, broken in half
  • 10 fresh curry leaves, chopped


For the vadai, soak the lentils in 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) water for 2 hours.

Drain and place in a blender, then grind until the lentils form a thick paste, like a very thick fritter mixture that is quite wet, but pliable enough to form a shape.

Just before you stop grinding, add the chilli, ginger and asafoetida. If you need to add a bit of water, make sure it is iced water. Stir in the coriander and set aside.

In a bowl, combine all the coconut curd ingredients.

For tempering, heat the ghee in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the spices, chillies and curry leaves and cook for a minute or two, until the mustard seeds start to pop and the mixture is aromatic.

Stir the tempered spices through the yoghurt curd mixture and set aside.

To cook the lentil patties, pour about 10 cm (4 inches) of vegetable oil into a heavy-based saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat to to 180°C (350°F), or until a small bit of batter sizzles when added to the oil.

Wet your hands, take some batter and shape it into a small doughnut, about 3 cm (1¼ inches) wide.

In batches, carefully add the patties to the oil, making sure not to overcrowd the pan. Cook for about 2–3 minutes, then scoop them out of the oil. Leave to rest for 3–4 minutes to allow the heat to penetrate, then add them back into the oil and cook for another 2–3 minutes, or until cooked through and golden all over. Drain on paper towel and keep warm while cooking the remaining patties.

Arrange on a serving platter, garnish with coriander and serve hot, with the spiced yoghurt.