Parippu Vada – Lentil Fritters, A Savory Snack from Kerala Yum

Have you ever wondered about the kind of relationship you will share with your spouse a few years down the line, when you are old? After many years of togetherness, will there be anything left to talk about, or will a perpetual silence prevail to be occasionally broken by visiting children and grand children? Will outings be as much fun as they are now, or will you be too tired and grumpy to move out of your reclining chairs?

In my family, uncles and aunts seem to be enjoying retired life in luxurious homes with their pets and gardens, large flat screen plasma TVs for the latest movies and all the “mega” serials, comfortable cars to take them to marriages and engagement ceremonies, exhibitions and sales. I just can’t wait to get retired! A part of my maternal uncle’s daily routine is a game of cards in the evening at the “Elder’s Club”. Though the name suggests a unisex club, women are a big no-no here (they surely don’t want anyone telling them off when their gossip goes over the limit or the card game gets too noisy). I think this must be one of the rare activities of the day that my uncle engages in, that does not involve his wife. Probably as compensation, he often gets her parippu vada from a chaaya kada or tea shop on the way back, to be enjoyed together on their porch, surrounded by lush greenery on all sides.

“Aliyambal kadavil anu arakku vellam,

annu nammal onnayi thuzhanjille kodumbu vallam?

Nammude nenjillake anuraga karikkin vellam…”

Do you hear that, or is it my imagination going into over drive? Seriously, after years of hardwork and struggle that life brings along, could there be anything more blissful than sharing hot, fried parippu vada and a cup of steaming tea on a cool breezy evening with that someone who has been with you all the way through?

Moving on to the recipe for parippu vada

  • Servings: 4-serving
  • Time: 30 mins
  • Difficulty: medium
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  • Cuisine: indian
  • Course: snack
  • Cooking Time: 30 mins


1/2 cup yellow lentils (thuvara parippu/toor dal)
1 small red onion , chopped finely
3 green chilis , chopped finely
1” piece ginger , chopped finely
pinch A asafoetida
sprig 1 curry leaves , finely chopped .
To taste, salt
to fry Coconut oil ,


  1. Soak the yellow lentils in water for three hours. Drain out the water properly. Grind the lentils coarsely. It is important that the lentils are ground coarsely, and not into a smooth paste.
  2. To the ground lentils, add the remaining ingredients except oil, and mix well.
  3. Shape into small discs as shown in the picture. The vadas should not be more than a cm thick in the centre.
  4. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Place the shaped dough into the hot oil without overcrowding the pan. When one side is brown, flip over and fry the other side. Be sure not to fry over high heat, else the outside will brown and the inside will remain uncooked.

You can also use split bengal gram (chana dal/kadala parippu) or a combination of bengal gram and yellow lentil to make parippu vada.

Parippu vada tastes great with bananas and a cup of tea.

Enjoy maadi!

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