Masala Vadai with Green Yogurt Chutney

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Skill Level
Preparation Time 10 minutes (+ 3 hours soaking time) Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 (4 masala vadai per serving) Cost Per Serving $1.65
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Masala Vadai
1 cupChanna Dal (split black chickpeas)
2 tbspFlour (Chickpea Flour or Regular All-Purpose Flour)
1/2 cupRed Onion, roughly chopped
1 tbspFresh Ginger, roughly chopped
1Red Chili (optional)
1/2 cupFresh Herbs (Cilantro, Mint, Parsley), roughly chopped
1 tsp eachGround Cumin Seed, Ground Fennel Seed, Cinnamon
1 1/2 tbspGrape Seed Oil
To tasteSea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Green Yogurt Chutney
1 cupFresh Cilantro or Parsley
1/2 cupFresh Mint
1 cloveGarlic
3 tbspPlain Yogurt
2 tbspLemon Juice
1 tspOlive Oil
1 tspHoney
1Green Chili (optional)
To tasteSea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper


  1. Soak the channa dal in water ahead of time for about three hours.
  2. Drain the dal well and add to a food processor. Pulse until very crumbly, similar to bread crumbs. Empty into a bowl.
  3. Add onion, ginger, chili, ground cumin, ground fennel, and cinnamon to the food processor and pulse a few times to combine. Add to the dal. Mix well and season.
  4. Form the batter into small (1–inch) balls with your hands, and gently flatten into ¼ inch thick discs.
  5. Add the oil to a cast iron or non-stick pan over medium high heat. Once the oil begins to shimmer, add a few of the discs and cook for about 3 minutes per side.
  6. For the chutney, add all ingredients into a food processor and pulse until pureed. Serve with the masala vadai.


  • ​Red and green chilis contain capsaicin, an antioxidant. The hotter the pepper, the more antioxidants it contains. Capsaicin may help to reduce appetite and raise the metabolic rate, which may be helpful for people trying to lose weight. Researchers in this area caution that the effect is modest. As such, diet and exercise are still essential tools in the weight loss battle.
  • If you aren’t used to spicy food, it can take some getting used to. Eventually nerve cells on the tongue become desensitized to spicy food and endorphins, hormones associated with feelings of pleasure, are released.
  • Legumes such as chickpeas are rich in folate, phosphorus and manganese. Diets rich in folate are associated with a lower risk of esophageal, pancreatic and colorectal cancers. Phosphorus is needed for healthy bones, and manganese is needed to stabilize blood sugar levels.