Sundaikkai Masaal Vadai recipe with stepwise photos. These delicious vegan and gluten free fritters are made using chana dal and sundakkai also known as turkey berry or eggplant berries in English.
These are so crisp and crunchy on the outside but soft and supple on the inside.
They make a very good side dish to go with sambar or rasam rice and they also make a great evening tiffin or snack when served with coconut or mint chutney.
This sundakkai vadai is a very traditional Chettinad recipe and my Grandma used to make it often for our evening snack when ever we visited her during the school holidays.
She had so many sundakkai plants in her garden that we always had an abundance of produce during the season time.
Most of the produce will go for making sundakkai vathal to be sun dried for longer storage to last us through out the year.
You can make Vathal Kulambu using those sun dried berries or simply deep fry them and eat it as a side dish with curd rice.
The rest will be used up in making sambar, poricha kulambu and most often into this vadai.
Benefits of Sundakkai
Sundakkai by nature is a bit bitter tasting which makes it good for our body. It helps in regulating the secretion of bile and helps to balance "Pitha Dosha".
It works as a great deworming ingredient especially for Children. Continuously adding sundakkai in any form in our diet helps to keep our stomach clean.
It is also a great home remedy to treat mouth and stomach ulcers.
Best way to use Raw Sundakkai
The seeds present in the sundakkai makes them bitter which might also make your dish taste bitter. So when using raw, it is always better to smash them lightly with a stone pestle just to pop it open.
Then proceed by washing them in plenty of water while squishing them with your fingers to get rid of most of the seeds. You can use these berries now in any dish of your choice.
Note: Once sundakkai is smashed, it tends to become dark in color, so always keep them immersed in water to prevent discoloration.
What is special about this sundaikkai Masaal Vadai?
Unlike getting rid of the seeds which are actually good for us, that step is skipped. If you are worried that would make the vadai bitter, then chill.
The vadai is not going to taste bitter which is special about this recipe.
How to make Sundaikkai Masaal Vadai (stepwise Photos)
- Soak chana dal for 1 to 1-½ hours.
2. Grind the whole spices together to a coarse paste
3. Grind chana dal to a coarse paste & transfer to a bowl.
4. Grind sundakkai to a paste & add to the same bowl.
5. Add rest of the ingredients to the bowl and mix well
6. Shape them into vadai using your palm.
7. Deep fry to golden brown & crisp
8. Sundaikkai vadai is ready.
Can I avoid deep frying?
Yes, instead of deep frying you can air fry them in an Air Fryer or bake them in your regular oven @180 deg for 20-25 mins till they are done.
You can grill them for few mins after they are baked to get a crispy and crunchy outer layer.
More Chettinad Recipes
see more Chettinad Recipes
Sundakkai Masala Vadai Recipe
- Chana dal or Kadalai paruppu - 1 cup
- Raw Sundakkai - ½ cup
- Sambar onions - ½ cup finely chopped
- Green chillies - 2
- Dry red chillies - 2
- Fennel seeds - ½ tsp
- Garlic - 6
- Curry leaves - 1 sprig
- Coriander leaves - ¼ cup
- Salt - to taste
- Oil - for deep frying
- Rinse and soak channa dal for 1 - 1-½ hour. Drain the water completely. Remove 3 tbsp and keep it aside.
- Remove the sundakkai from the stalks and rinse well under water. Drain and set aside.
Make the dal paste:
- Take fennel seeds, green chillies, dry red chilllies together in a mixer jar and grind to a coarse paste without adding water.
- Add rest of the drained chana dal and grind everything together to a coarse paste without adding water.
- Add all the garlic pods, 2 tbsp of chopped sambar onions and pulse the mixer jar few times so that they are crushed and combine well with the chana dal. Transfer to a bowl.
- To the same mixie jar, add sundakkai and pulse at regular intervals till they are crushed & become coarse. Transfer to the same bowl.
- To the bowl add the 3 tbsp chana dal you had kept aside earlier, sambar onion, chopped coriander leaves, curry leaves, salt and mix well to combine. Make small lemon sized balls and set aside.
Make sundakkai vadai:
- Heat oil in a kadai. Wait for it to get hot. Take a ball, slightly flatten it between your palms making sure that they are atleat 1 inch thick and slip them one by one into the hot oil. Cook only 3 to 4 vadais at a time leaving enough space for it to cook and do not overcrowd the pan.
- When sizzling subsides, gently flip them over for the other side to get cooked as well. Once the vadai have cooked fully, turned to a golden brown and become crisp, remove on to a plate.
- Serve this piping hot sundakkai vadai with any chutney of your choice.