Baked and Healthy, Festival Recipes

Baked Paruppu Vadai & a mini Pongal feast | How to make Baked Masala Vadai

As mentioned in yesterday’s post, Pongal meal is a rather elaborate affair. Sankranti, Pongal, Uttarayan, Lohri – various names given to the festival celebrated over 13th/14th of Jan every year to mark the end of the harvest season and salute the Sun God as he enters the Makar (Or Capricorn) sun sign. Its also a farmers festival in which the sun of the soil pays homage to the soil and so most of the feasting is done using local produce.

Pongal as its celebrated in Tamil nadu is known for both the name of the festival and the sweet & savoury versions of the dish. Rice being the principal crop of the region, the eats are made primarily with rice. Similarly, Til (sesame) is used in Northern India & Maharashtra in the form of Gajak / Til Tikki & Til Gud respectively, while the same oil seed – Ellu (in kannada) / sesame seed is ostensibly used in a wonderful trail mix called “Sankranti Ellu Bella” in Karnataka region, more so Bangalore – Mysore regions. 

Today’s is a mini meal we generally make for Pongal & Ugadi too. Only difference is noMor Kozhambu(veggies in spiced yoghurt gravy) or Rasam (spiced lentil broth) is made on Pongal. On Pongal in fact, we make7-kari kootu ( a medley of 7 veggies in a spiced lentil stew),  along with this mini meal.

Lets get to today’s mini festive meal with Baked (and non fried) Masala Vadai (baked spiced lentil fritter). It surely added a zing to the usual Paruppu Vadai. I didnt add any onion-garlic to this baked vadai as it was for a festival meal, but one could add in if preferred. The baking time would differ then.


Check out how to make Masala Vadai as part of this festive meal, which included:


Ingredients for Baked Masala Vadai:

  • Kadalai Paruppu / Channa Dal  – 2 cups
  • Tuvaram Paruppu / Toor Dal – a handful
  • Red chillies – 4 to 6 (not Kashmiri Variety) – adjust spice
  • Salt – to taste
  • Ginger grated – 2 tsp
  • Grated coconut – 3 TBSP (optional but recommended)
  • Turmeric – a dash
  • Coriander and curry leaves – a handful (chopped fine)
  • Oil – for basting the vadas – approx 3 TBSP



1) Wash and soak the dals separately with the red chillies for 45 mins – 1 hr.
2) Drain completely. 

3) Now keeping aside a handful or two of the soaked dal, grind the rest of the dals with turmeric, grated coconut, ginger, chillies to a coarse paste without ANY water. Remove to a bowl.

3) Now to the pulsed paste, add the whole soaked dals, salt, coriander and curry leaves and mix well. Do not add water at any stage, except while soaking as the vadais will go runny as well as absorb extra oil.

4) Cover the lentil dough with cling wrap and refrigerate for a max of 20 mins (this helps me every time as the salt coagulates under refrigeration and the vadais turn very crispy).
5) Divide into equal lemon sized balls and pat gently into a small patty. FLatter vadais make it easier to bake. Makes 20- 25 approx. 

6) Meanwhile pre-heat oven to 190 C. Spray oil on the prepared sheet & bake for 12 mins, flip and bake again for 6-7 mins till they are crisp around the edges. 

7) Serve immediately or store in an airtight container.



1) This will have a different texture from the fried vadas, so dont look for the golden brown colour, you can ‘smell’ the dal baking  after 10th min so keep an eye to avoid being burnt

2) Oven baking time differ from oven to oven depending on the moisture of the batter and thickness of the vadai, so reduce/increase time accordingly.

Sending this to BM # 72 under “Festival Recipes” Theme




  1. vaishali sabnani

    The masala vadas look wonderful, baked version is tempting..else it is a no no..and your platter just want to sit down and have my lunch.

  2. Gayathri Kumar

    That is a great healthy option. The whole spread looks so inviting..

  3. Baking it makes it so interesting..such an inviting spread you got there!

  4. MySpicyKitchen

    Delicious mini thali and baked vadai are tempting.

  5. Smruti Ashar

    I love baking all the recipes that are generally fried. Your Masala Vada looks awesome!!

  6. Priya Suresh

    Baking vadas is definitely guilt free, that mini thali looks fabulous.

  7. cookingwithsapana

    The whole spread looks so yummy. Baked vadas sounds healthy.

  8. They look just as the regular ones. I would love to eat these guilt free ones. But my husband who is a fan of strictly fried stuff, can smell the baked ones from miles away 🙂

  9. wow!Baked vadai….That looks tempting!!

  10. Sandhya Ramakrishnan

    What a lovely feast that is and the baked vadai is just amazing. I should buckle up and try baking them sometime soon.

  11. Chef Mireille

    wow – all baked – definitely making a healthy twist to the traditional meal

  12. Baked vada looks really good. Healthy too.

  13. Wow, your baked vada look sooooo good. Will have to try your low cal version some time.

  14. preeti garg

    Awesome recipe

  15. Priya Srinivasan - I Camp in My Kitchen

    yummm spread kalyani!! baked vada, delicious reason to enjoy one more !!!

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