Craving for evening snacks, why not try this popular deep fried ulli vada made with onions, chillies, ginger, curry leaves and gram flour. Ulli vada also known as onion vada or vengaya bonda is popular all over South India & Kerala. Easy to make ulli vada recipe in 3 easy steps is shared in this blog post with stepwise pictures and video. Don't forget to serve your onion vada with coconut chutney & masala chai.
There is a small tea shop in our native. Around 4’O clock in the evening, people (mostly mens) gather in front of this shop and enjoy their cup of tea along with this deep fried delicacy. The supplier wrap this in an old newspaper right from the oil. That newspaper will absorb all the excess oil when they are ready to eat. It is hot, crispy and delicious. The interior of this vada is soft and fluffy. Can you imagine the fried onions and green chilles aroma just wafting from this.
I have been longing to make this vada. This vada reminds me my childhood memories. My uncle bought us hot ulli vada quite often, whenever he visits our house.
About Ulli Vada
Ulli vada also known as onion vada, ulli vadai or vengaya bonda is a popular South Indian snack recipe also popular in Kerala. This is made with sliced onions, green chillies, ginger and spices. The flour which is used to bind is gram flour and sometimes has an addition of rice flour to make it crispy. The taste of ulli vada is similar to onion pakora but the texture varies a bit. it is soft and fluffy inside unlike crispy pakoras.
Even though ulli vada is easy to make. It has few tricks to get it crispy and fluffy. I have shared all the tips and tricks in this recipe post.
Ulli vada is usually served during evening tea time along with Indian masala chai, ginger cardamom tea or sulaimani tea. If you are looking for more snack recipes, Check out these two popular vada recipes. Masala Vadai & Ulundu Vadai.
Watch Ulli Vada Video
Ulli vada Ingredients
Onions - I used sliced red onions for making ulli vada. But any variety of onions can be used.
Green Chillies & Curry Leaves - you have to be careful when adding chilli powder, because green chillies add some spicy kick too.
Ginger & Garlic paste - adds flavour to the ulli vada also helps with the digestion.
Fennel seeds - This is my special touch, sprinkle in some whole fennel seeds for aroma.
Gram flour - gram flour also known as besan or chickpea flour acts as the binding ingredient and helps creating texture.
Rice Flour - small amount of rice flour provides crispy texture to the vada.
Spice powders - sometimes i skip adding the spice powders entirely. in here it is mainly for flavour.
How to Make Ulli Vada (3 Steps)
Pre-preparation- Slice onions, green chillies, coriander leaves and curry leaves.
Ulli vada mixture - Take all the ingredients in a bowl. Mix gently without adding any water till thick mixture forms.
Frying - Heat oil and drop small portions of vada in oil, fry till golden. Strain and serve.
How to Make Ulli Vada (stepwise pictures)
1)Peel skins from the onion. Wash them well, cut them in half and slice them thinly. You can use a mandoline slicer to slice the onions or use a sharp knife. Chop green chillies, curry leaves and coriander leaves.
2)In a mixing bowl add sliced onions, green chilli, curry leaves, cilantro, salt, turmeric powder, chilli powder, baking soda, fennel seeds and mix well by your hands.
3)You should mix this really well so that the water from the onions start to come out. After mixing this leave it aside for 5 mins.
4)Add gram flour & rice flour a spoonful at a time and mix well. This vada don’t need any additional water, the moisture in this onions is enough for making the batter. If you need just sprinkle few drops of water.
5)The mixture should be thick. If it feels runny, sprinkle more gram flour and mix.
6)Now heat a tsp of oil and pour it in the batter and mix well. This batter should be a think one, so that you can form dumplings out of it.
7)When you take the mixture in your hands, you should be able to form small balls easily.
7)Heat oil for deep frying. Make small balls out of this mixture and drop in hot oil. Fry this till golden on a medium flame. This will take around 5-10 mins.
8)Once golden brown, strain this onto a paper towel and serve hot.
9)Ulli vada or vengaya bonda taste best when served hot with a cup of tea or coffee.
Ulli vada mixture
Mix the spices, salt with the onions really well and leave aside for 5 minutes. This step brings out the water from the onions. After this you can add the gram flour. When making ulli vada mixture, don't add water for making the dough. The water from the onions should be enough.
When making large batch
If you are making big batch of ulli vada. You can mix the onion with spices in a bowl and set aside. Just before frying, take some amount of the onion mixture in another bowl, sprinkle with gram flour and rice flour, mix till thick and fry. Doing this in batches will prevent the vada mixture getting watery.
make sure you fry onion vada on medium high heat and not super hot oil. Because if the oil is too hot then the vada gets burnt on the exterior before the centre is cooked.
More Vada Recipes to Try
📖 Recipe Card
Ulli Vada | Onion Vada
- Peel skins from the onion. Wash them well, cut them in half and slice them thinly. You can use a mandoline slicer to slice the onions or use a sharp knife. Chop green chillies, curry leaves and coriander leaves.
- In a mixing bowl add sliced onions, green chilli, curry leaves, cilantro, salt, turmeric powder, chilli powder, baking soda, fennel seeds and mix well by your hands.
- You should mix this really well so that the water from the onions start to come out. After mixing this leave it aside for 5 mins.
- Add gram flour & rice flour a spoonful at a time and mix well. This vada don’t need any additional water, the moisture in this onions is enough for making the batter.If you need just sprinkle few drops of batter in this.
- Now heat a tablespoon of oil and pour it in the batter and mix well.This batter should be a think one, so that you can form dumplings out of it.
- Heat oil for deep frying. Make small balls out of this mixture and drop in hot oil.Fry this till golden on a medium flame. This will take around 5-10 mins.
- Now drain this in a paper towel. Serve hot with chutney or as it is.
- Make sure you slice the onions thinly.
- Don't add water when making the mixture. The water from onion mixture is enough to make the dough.
- Fry the vada in medium high heat till golden so the inside cooks evenly.
If you have any questions not covered in this post and if you need help, leave me a comment or mail me @[email protected] and I’ll help as soon as I can.
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