Monday, August 29, 2011

Vella vadai, the sweet Indian donuts!

"Athai, how much uzhundu (urad dal) shall I add to make vella vadai?"             (Athai = ma in law)

"Hmm may be kal padi"                                                 (Kal padi - the 250 ml traditional measuring cup)

"And vellam?"                                                                                                             (vellam = jaggery)

" have to add it along until you can shape them into vadais.."


Ma in law makes 'Vella vadai' really well. Ask her the recipe, she stammers!

The most difficult source to extract a recipe from, is thus her! ;) Hope she doesn't read this! ;)

I am not at all a fan of these sweet vadais but had wanted to try this and blog for quite some time. These cuties are traditional and probably disappearing from our tea tables ! I had googled to find the recipe a while ago but was not happy with the results.

Just 2 major ingredients and all you have to be careful is with the measurements and the consistency, meaning more chances of a mess up!

So, how did I make them, finally?

 Ma was off to the nearby town for a couple of days and I was asked to take care  of ammayi and the house..
On another note, I dint utter a word about her Godhumai jira  put up in the site but I knew Ammayi simply loves these vadais.

Our maid Azhakamma, fondly addressed as Aggu, who serves my in-laws for the past 2 decades, came to my support..:). But she was again confused with the measurements but we decided to do it together and amaze Athai ( for me, a chance for a loud evil laugh, contented to have taken that sweet revenge) when she got back home ;)

Aggu asked me to soak a cup of urad dal, crush a ball of jaggery and weigh, while she grinds in the Aattu kal or the grinding stone. She'll keep on adding as ma in law mentioned, and I should weigh the remaining jaggery finally after the grinding. That way, we could measure the right amount of jaggery that went in.
Love you Aggu! :)

Here's how we made, that yielded 20 medium sized vadais.

 Vella Vadai / Urad Dal Jaggery Dumplings


Whole urad dal / Uruttu uzhunthu- 1 cup or 150 gms
Jaggery/Vellam- 120gms or 3/4 cup after ground coarsely and measured
Pinch of salt
Oil- to deep fry


Wash and soak urad dal for not more than 1/2 an hour.

Drain water completely. Spread on a dry towel and wipe gently to remove water sticking to it.

The Aattu kal (grinding stone) was washed and wiped with a towel to remove moisture.
The urad dal and the jaggery was ground together without adding even a drop of water!

Half way through..

Salt was added and the stone was rolled for a few more times for the final sticky sweet dough.

which was transferred to a flat bowl.

Now, shape them one by one into vadais with fingers dipped in water.

And deep fry in hot oil.

The oil should not be smoking hot. Keep the flame to minimum and

 fry 1 or 2 at a time. The vadais cook very fast and attain the brown colour. So take care not to over cook / brown them.

They look almost like medhu vadai or the spicy urad dal vadais but have a deeper brown hue due to the added jaggery, if you can't make out the real colour here.

A peep into the soft insides.

Obviously Aggu did the grinding part. She never let me try in a mixie and I really have no idea how these vadias would turn out if done so. Would appreciate if anyone would try the grinding part in a mixie and let me know about the outcome.

Preparing this post demanded 2 whole days as I had to do the editing, uploading and typing whenever I could grab some time in the system at my in law's place, amidst the commitments.

Clicking the publish button while Athai is savouring my vadais....of course me with those devilish grins ;)
(if you don't understand the reason of these wicked smiles, you have missed the intro, please scroll up and read again)



  1. This is the best looking vadais that I have seen for a very long time. The Jaggery has made it stand out as compared to conventional vadas. Also , the 1st photo with a combination of color and B & W photo looks superb! Could you please tell me how did you create such a beautiful snap ?

    Hamaree Rasoi

  2. lol...enjoyed your write up...the vadas look amazing...hvn't heard of them before...

  3. Ooooh, these are gorgeous! I've had them before, and I love the jaggery coming through. Great pics! Healthy Indian donuts!

  4. This looks fab my in-law place they make it with flour ...this must be real yum

  5. Wow! I've never even heard of these. They look gorgeous :)

  6. taken your cue...will try grinding in my wet grinder and in the mixie alternatively. Thank you for a wonderful recipe.

  7. Bharathy- Never heard of this ! Sweet vada-So lovely looking ! Congrats on finding the recipe :)

  8. Delicious. Absolutely new to me and I have fallen for the pics too :) Semma edit I say :)

  9. Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous!! And soooo mouthwatering! By the way I know what Aggu may have meant when she asked u not to try the mixie...its dead hard as it is - attempted making medhu vada and it was tough not to add water as the mixie wont budge!

  10. Super gorgeous pictures bharathy...absolutely fell in love with all shots.

  11. Perfect, tempting vadais!! And awesome clicks :)
    Prathima Rao
    Prats Cornerner

  12. Gorgeous clicks!!! Loved the last one especially. Love the indian donuts :-)

  13. it is the first time i am hearing about these vadas and i didnt know there was a sweet vada, looks crunchy yumm. And also grinded the traditional way, and i love the pic.

  14. looks yummy.. I like the shape. I have never heard of these vadas before..

  15. Wonderful recipe and very happy to see the attukal after a long time.I just loveeee ur narration with humourous touch.

  16. Hmmm! I am going to attempt this .. not in a aatuu lets see the outcome....yummy post as usual!

  17. Clicks are so good Bharathy....the vadais look yum

  18. Such a nice variation to the usual vadai. These look fab.

  19. My fav recipe.. we call them "Teepi Garelu".. yours looks simply awesome and perfect.. beautiful pictures too.. thanks for sharing dear :)
    Indian Cuisine

  20. wow this aatu kal aracha vadai batter shd taste so so grt ..i remeber my granny makes but first time to hear abt this ..vella vadai..

  21. Never tasted this but have this in a recipe book I have , time to try it out I think, looks so so delectable! :)

  22. gorgeous clicks! never heard of sweet uzhunnu vadas .... but they sure look tempting!

  23. Heard lot about this vella vadai but never tried it,thanks for sharing..

  24. my mom used to prepare these vadas replacing jaggery with sugar n i luv it....adding jaggery also enhances the taste n color...definitely gonna try it n report my mom abt that...thnx for sharing this recipe....Meena's Kitchen

  25. The vadais look absolutely delicious:) Jaggery in vadai is new to me but looks yummy. The first pic is simply superb:) Absolutely breath taking..

  26. Another interesting story and recipe. I wanted to taste them:(:(.

  27. I love these vadais n crave for this coz i will have a chance to eat this only once in a year during diwali :) Can you believe that? Finally you did it with your own efforts that's great, those vadais are so incredible. Loved the brilliant pics bharathy.

  28. I always cry and stay away from frying and when it come to vadai i'm pathetic! I just throw them in oil as little balls, which i know is even more dangerous, making them look so beautiful can only be in my dreams. next time i try shall keep ur pic in mind to see if i can get inspired! Just gorgeous! and adding jaggery is new to know.

  29. Searched this recipe for quite a while and finally made it for Pongal today.

    Tried it first time using mixie/blender and my hubby loved it as it tasted almost same as Original version.

    Awesome, gorgeous and lovely vada.

  30. Super-yummy!!! Wow, u have an aattukal in your kitchen! Reminds me of my ammamma's!


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