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Monday, June 8, 2020

Moong Daal Vadas/Pakoras | A Recipe from Arisha Syed

This spring, we are sharing stories and recipes throughout the region. This week's recipe for Moong Daal Vadas/ Pakoras comes from one of our former interns and Walking the Walk alumna Arisha Syed. If you have a recipe you'd like to share, please email Lia Hyman at or Ana West at

Growing up in an Indian and Pakistani Muslim household, my family has traditionally served these vadas/pakoras to break our fast during the holy month of Ramadan. Vadas can be made with all sorts of lentils, but my family has always loved the green lentil version since they're extra crispy and delicious! Not only are green lentils high in fiber and protein, but these are deep you truly can't go wrong! Sit back and enjoy with a cup of masala chai! 

Moong Daal Vadas / Pakoras (Green Lentil Fritters) Recipe: 

  • 2 cups whole or split green lentils
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 bunch of cilantro
  • 2 tbsp ginger
  • 4 green chili peppers
  • 1 cup scallions
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds, toasted and coarsely ground
  • ½ tsp coriander seeds, toasted and coarsely ground
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 sprigs of curry leaves (optional)

To fry:
  • 2 cups vegetable / canola oil (any neutral flavored oil will do)


Soak green lentils for 4-5 hours. 

Toast cumin and coriander seeds in a pan until aromatic (about 3-4 minutes). Make sure to keep moving around the seeds to avoid burning. Let spices cool, then coarsely grind in a coffee grinder or mortar and pestle. 

Wash and drain lentils completely. In food processor, blend lentils with all remaining ingredients into a coarse batter.

Heat oil on medium-high heat in a deep frying pan. Make small fritters with a tablespoon, carefully drop into oil, and fry until golden brown and crispy (about 3-4 minutes). When fully cooked, lay them on a paper towel to absorb excess oil.

Serve with green coriander chutney, tamarind-date chutney, or yogurt dip (available at traditional Indian stores or Amazon).

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