Ambode/Masala Vada

December 2, 2019mayurisjikoni
Blog post


THEME: #223 

What are Ambode/Masala Vada?

Ambode are masala vada made from chana dal with a few other ingredients added. Also known as Masala Vada or Dal Vada, Ambode is a famous street snack in Karnataka. Ambode is also served as a tea time  snack with filter coffee in many homes. Besides chana dal (chickpea lentil) being the main star of this crunchy, crispy, mouth watering  snack, chopped fresh dill, fresh coriander, onion, curry leaves, rice flour, green chillis, ginger and a bit of coconut is added. All these different ingredients makes them taste so different from Vatidar Bhajia which are quite popular with my family as a tea time snack. I took the liberty of adding a tablespoon of urad dal (split black gram lentil) to make them softer and yet crunchy.


Group Theme

This week on FoodieMonday/Bloghop Group the theme suggested by Aruna who blogs at Vasusvegkitchenwas any snack made from dal, lentils, legumes that is served mainly at tea time. The more crunchier the better. Talking about crunchy munchies, Aruna has this awesome recipe of fritters made from Jackfruit seeds, yes you heard or rather read it right..jackfruit seeds. Check out the recipe here. I’d love to try out her bhakarwadi recipe.

Dals or Lentils and Snacks

It is no secret that loads of snacks made in India to be enjoyed as mid morning snacks, tea time snacks or even in between meals snacks are made from dals or lentils. Snacks like Amiri Khaman and Besan Pudla made from chickpea flour (besan). Moong Paniyaram, Moong Dal and Spinach Handvo are excellent recipes where moong is used to prepare a healthy snack. Panchmel Bhajia/Vada is a good example of including at least five different lentils to create a crunchy snack. Have you ever considered using Puy lentils to make  veggie kebabs. Check out my Lentil and Carrot Kebabs recipe. Bafauri though not a crunchy snack is a famous Chhattisgarh tea time snack. 


My Ambode Experience

As some of my regular followers know, I had spent four years in Bangalore with my daughter when she was in college. At that time HSR Layout was a quiet residential area, with lots of trees and hardly any buildings. The Agara   Market just across our apartment was the place where I’d go for my veggie shopping. Occasionally I would stop at a small stall that sold ambode or masala vada and mirchi bajji (chilli fritters). My ears would go all red, tears rolling down my hot flushed cheeks as the fritters were too chilli (hot) but occasionally one needs that sort of kick. Modern construction of buildings and homes ‘stole’ the stall’s spot.  Some years later ambode was served in Montreal… yes all the way in Montreal. My son’s friend is a very good cook. We had gone to her place to meet her husband, her new born and her mother. Over Ambode and coffee we bonded like a long lost family. 


Dietary Tips:

  • Definitely gluten free if you don’t add asafetida.
  • Vegan friendly
  • For a satvik friendly snack, omit the chopped onion in the vada and garlic in the chutney

Go make this delicious crunchy snack for your family over the weekend and make sure you serve it with an equally tongue tickling chutney. I made Tomato Garlic Chutney to go with Ambode.

ambode 3

ambode 4

ambode 7

ambode 9


Makes about 16

1 cup chana dal (split chickpea)

½ cup chopped fresh dill or coriander

2 tbsp urad dal

3 tbsp rice flour

3 tbsp fresh grated coconut

1 medium onion, finely chopped

¼ tsp asafetida 

1 tsp salt

2-3 finely chopped green chillis

1 tsp ginger paste

10-12 curry leaves, chopped

oil for deep frying

  1. Soak chana and urad dal in warm water for 3 – 4 hours.
  2. Drain out the water, wash the dal in a strainer or sieve.
  3. Grind the dal coarsely without any water. Leave about a tablespoon of the soaked dal whole.
  4. Transfer the coarsely ground paste to a bowl.
  5. Heat oil in a wok, kadai, karai over medium heat.
  6. While the oil is getting hot, add the remaining ingredients.
  7. Mix the batter well.
  8. Drop a small piece of the batter in the oil. If it sizzles the oil is ready.
  9. Take about a tablespoon full of the batter and roll it into a flat circular shape.
  10. Put it in the hot oil to fry, add some more vada, depending on how many your wok or karai can hold.
  11. Fry the vada turning them over frequently till they are golden brown. If you want them even more crunchier then fry them till they turn brown.
  12. Serve ambode with your favorite chutney and filter coffee.

ambode 8

ambode 10


makes about 1 cup

3 medium ripe tomatoes

12-15 cloves of garlic

4-8  whole dry red chillis

½ tsp salt

2 tbsp oil

½ tsp mustard seeds

1 sprig curry leaves

  1. Grind tomatoes, garlic and red chillis in a food processor without any water.
  2. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat.
  3. Add mustard seeds. As soon as the seeds begin to crackle add the curry leaves.
  4. Add the pureed tomato garlic mixture.
  5. Add salt and mix well.
  6. Let the tomato mixture cook till mixture is cooked. This will take about 7-10 minutes.
  7. The raw aroma of the tomatoes will disappear and the oil will begin to separate from the mixture.
  8. Take the pan off the heat. Let the Tomato Garlic Chutney cool down before serving.


  • As soon as you mix the coarsely ground dal with the other ingredients make the vada or fritters immediately. Don’t let the batter sit otherwise it will become watery.
  • For extra crunchy fritters fry them till they turn brown.
  • Ambode is best enjoyed while they are hot.
  • The chutney will stay fresh at least for a week if refrigerated.

Pin for later:


tomato garlic chutney

A little request:

If you do try this recipe then please either

  • add a comment below,
  • send a picture to my email
  •  tag me as #mayuri_jikoni on Instagram
  • or tag me on Twitter as #Mayuri1962



  • Batter Up With Sujata

    December 2, 2019 at 2:55 pm

    Vada looks crispy crunchy spicy and mouthwatering Mayuri. I wish I could grab one from the picture. I will try this delicious vada for my friends and family soon.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      December 3, 2019 at 7:45 pm

      Thanks Sujata, please do try them, am sure they will love it. If you get dill add that for a different flavour. Otherwise with curry leaves too it tasted good.

      1. Batter Up With Sujata

        December 3, 2019 at 8:12 pm

        Sure I will. Thanks for the suggestion.

  • poonampagar

    December 5, 2019 at 3:21 pm

    We do make similar vadas with dil leaves ( we refer it as shepu in Marathi ) and chana dal. Your ambode sound lip smacking with that tomato garlic chutney. Would make a perfect starter dish for get togethers.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      December 5, 2019 at 10:20 pm

      Thanks Poonam, and yes they would make a great start dish for a get together.

  • shobhakeshwani

    December 6, 2019 at 3:31 am

    Oh wow.. been ages since I had them. Crispy and crunchy masala vadas are a treat for tea time.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      December 8, 2019 at 4:21 pm

      Thanks Shobha.

  • Madhavi

    December 6, 2019 at 8:15 pm

    Masala Vada looks very yummy. My all time favorite snack.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      December 8, 2019 at 4:21 pm

      Thank you so much Madhavi.

  • preethi76

    December 8, 2019 at 2:19 pm

    Ambode is a regular affair at my place . These ambodes look so crisp and crunchy. Serving with Tomato garlic chutney sounds interesting. A delicious treat for sure.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      December 8, 2019 at 4:17 pm

      Thank you Preethi, we loved them with the tomato garlic chutney.

  • Vasusvegkitchen

    December 8, 2019 at 6:00 pm

    I am big fan of ambode di, one of the regularly prepared snack at home by my mom😍. The wY you prepared and presented these masala Cara’s are super tempting with perfect shape and crunchy texture di , loved it 😋.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      December 9, 2019 at 2:41 pm

      Thank you so much Aruna. We too loved them.

  • simplysensationalfood

    December 10, 2019 at 1:59 am

    Ambode ke vada look realy delicious, I love how crispy and crunchy they look. I would love them with a cup of tea.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      December 10, 2019 at 4:49 pm

      Thank you Nayna am sure they taste equally good with tea too.

  • sizzlingtastebuds

    December 10, 2019 at 12:39 pm

    I literally grew up on these AMbodes in Bangalore.. ur description of HSR layout is what my area (yes!) Jayanagar was in the 80s… so much nostalgia in this post.. we made it without garlic / onion of course on EVERY festival … crunchy, crispy, vadas… yum….

    1. mayurisjikoni

      December 10, 2019 at 4:48 pm

      Thank you so much Kalyani. Good Memories associated with food 🙂

  • MJ

    December 10, 2019 at 2:15 pm

    Tha vadas look delicious with the freshly made chutney. Reminds me of the vati dal bhajias of Nairobi.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      December 10, 2019 at 4:44 pm

      Thanks Mina, however, they taste totally different.

    2. FoodTrails

      December 25, 2019 at 7:14 pm

      These vadas look so crispy and crunchy.. I do make dal vadas but never added coconut or dil leaves.. shall try next time.. perfect snack to be enjoyed with friends and family over a cup of chai.

      1. mayurisjikoni

        December 25, 2019 at 8:25 pm

        Thanks Swaty, they taste good with dill and coconut.

  • Renu Agrawal Dongre

    December 25, 2019 at 10:11 pm

    The vadas look so crunchy and delicious and a perfect tea time snack as well, plus with that red chutney it looks super yum. My husband is drooling over this pic 🙂

    1. mayurisjikoni

      December 26, 2019 at 2:18 pm

      Thanks Renu, they were tasty and next time my hubby wants me to make them darker brown.

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