GF Vegan Indian Chickpea Fritters (Vada)

June 22, 2022
A popular street food in India, Vada is a delicious, quick snack to prepare. It is gluten-free as well. It packs a punch in texture and flavor and pairs really well with a steaming, hot cup of chai. Let's get cracking.
vada, a spicy Indian street snack

GF Vegan Indian Chickpea Fritters (Vada)

Recipe Type: Allergen Free Appetizers
utensils YIELDS 10 pieces
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  • 2 cups dried chana dhal (split chickpeas)
  • 1 dried chili
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 bunch (handful) mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup, pressed fresh cilantro
  • 1 onion
  • 2 tsp, mashed ginger
  • 2 tsp, mashed garlic
  • 1 fresh green chili
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 2 cups grapeseed oil
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1. Soak the chana for about 8 hours. If you have time, rinse twice during soak and freshen water.

2. Rinse well then roughly pulse the chana. You want a paste but you want some bits of the dal intact for textural difference.

3. Grind all your spices in a coffee grinder. You can do a course grind or fine grind, depending on your preference.

4. Fine dice the onion.

5. Roughly chop the mint and cilantro.

6. Finely chop the fresh green chili.

7. Combine the chana paste with spices, onion, cilantro, mint, green chili and salt.

8. Shape into 5cm rounds with your hands. You should occasionally wet your hands to lessen the stickiness of the paste.

9. Lay them on baking paper.

10. You can dust them with rice flour if you want extra crispiness, but it isn’t that necessary.

11. Heat the oil up in a narrow, deep pot, and drop a few vada in, making sure it is bubbling right away.

12. Once they are golden brown, set them on a few layers of kitchen paper to absorb the oil.

13. If you have an air fryer, that is the best option for crispy vada.

14. You can enjoy as it or experiment with your favorite dipping sauces. In the picture, I have green onion and macadamia pesto and sundried tomato pesto. Go wild!

Also by Prashantha: Kimchi Avocado Gazpacho

Vegan Palak Paneer With Cultured Nut Cheese

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Photo: Prashantha Lachanna

Prashantha Lachanna hails from the sunny east coast of South Africa, a warm and friendly city called Durban. She grew up with big, slobbery dogs, loved weeding her Mother's garden in her pajamas with sleepy dust in her eyes and could lift the front of her Father's car clear off the ground by the age of 14. Now though, she prefers lifting cups of tea to her lips, writing menus and meandering through the thoroughly dazzling, labyrinthine alleys of Taipei where she is a permanent resident. She works as a chef and teacher and owns a vegan cheese and chocolate company.


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