Rasam Vada is a South Indian snack that has a crisp fritter and a tangy soup. The unique combo is served for breakfast and sometimes even as an evening snack.
Rasam and Vada are two individual dishes that are served by themselves or as a combination.
What is Rasam?
Rasam is a clear spicy South Indian soup. It is served as a soup by itself or served as a part of the South Indian Thali meal. Rasam Rice forms one of the courses of South Indian meal. The combo of Rasam Vada is served as a breakfast or an evening snack. The vada is dunked into hot spicy Rasam.
What is Medu Vada?
Medu Vada is a lentil fritter that is made with black lentils. It is crisp on the outside and soft inside and resembles a doughnut. Serve Medu Vada as a snack or a starter with South Indian meals or even otherwise. I also serve it by itself or with Sambar or Rasam. The crisp vadas are a delight to eat and I enjoy them with a simple chutney too.
Ingredients for Rasam
Tomato: I use fresh ripe tomatoes to make this Rasam. Chop them roughly as we will grind them.
Garlic: Garlic lends a wonderful flavour to Rasam. My thumb rule is to add 1 clove of garlic per tomato.
Whole Spices: I add peppercorns and cumin seeds to Rasam. Use 2 peppercorns per tomato, if you want the Rasam to be spicy, use more.
Curry Leaves: Curry Leaves impart a lingering aroma and a delicious flavour. I add 3-4 leaves while grinding, and a few when tempering.
Tamarind: Tamarind adds tanginess to Rasam, alternatively I use lemon juice too.
Ingredients for Medu Vada
I like to use herbs and seasonings in Vada, but the simple ones, with just salt, taste good. Feel free to add or omit any of the ingredients in this vada.
Black Gram: I use urad dal to make Medu Vada. I wash and soak it for a minimum of 2 hours. You can soak it for a longer time too. After 2 hours I grind it in a mixer blender to a fine paste.
Green chilly: I either use finely chopped green chilly or grind them along with dal.
Ginger: Ginger acts as a digestive aid and lends an excellent flavour to the vadas.
Peppercorns: Coarsely grind them, if you do not like the flavour you can miss them put too.
Coriander leaves: Coriander leaves impart a wonderful aroma.
Onion: I love the crunch from the onion, add them if you like, else skip them.
How to make Rasam Vada
How to make Rasam
Add tomatoes, garlic, peppercorns, cumin seeds, tamarind and curry leaves to a blender. Grind to a fine paste. Now transfer this mix to a pot. Add water to the blender and blend once again, use this water too.
Now add salt and let it boil. Once it comes to a rolling boil, simmer the gas and boil for another 5-7 minutes. Remove from fire and strain the soup.
Once again boil the strained soup, add Rasam Powder and roughly squeezed tomato. Tomato is optional. I like these chunks, as they give a body to the soup.
Now heat ghee, add mustard seeds, let crackle. Add asafoetida and curry leaves. Pour the ghee over the prepared Rasam. Garnish with coriander leaves.
How to make Medu Vada
To make Medu Vada, first, wash and soak the dal for at least 2 hours. After 2 hours wash again and drain all the water. Now add green chilly and ginger, along with dal to a grinder. Grind the dal to a fine batter using very little water.
Add onion, coriander leaves, peppercorns, salt and a few torn curry leaves. Mix well, beating with hands. All these ingredients are optional, you can make a simple plain vada too.
Heat oil in a deep frying pan.
Now wet your hands, and flatten a ladle of batter into a round 2” patty. Make a hole in the centre and slip gently into the hot oil. Similarly make other vadas, making sure not to overcrowd the pan.
Fry vadas in batches, flipping frequently, till crisp and golden.
Serving Style of Rasam Vada
I like to bring Rasam to a rolling boil and then add the hot vadas. The vada soaks up the juices from Rasam and makes it nice and soft. A bite of the juicy vada and a spoonful of the tangy Rasam taste super delicious.
Types of Rasam
There is a big variety of Rasam that South Indian Cuisine has to offer. I have tried a couple of versions, but this Tomato Rasam beats all. Let us check some of the most popular variations.
Pineapple Rasam (I will post the recipe soon )
Store Rasam as well as Vada individually. Store Rasam in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. The flavours will change after that. Whenever storing I bring it to a rolling boil, before serving.
Place the fried vada in an airtight container and place it in the fridge. Store for 2 days. I have never tried storing it in the freezer, but my friends do. If stored in the frig, refry it or heat it in an air fryer.
Popular South Indian Breakfast
There is a long list of South Indian Breakfasts, but some of my favourites are-
Rasam Vada | South Indian Style Rasam Vada is my post under the Theme Snacks.
- Pan / Kadai / Wok
- Mixing Bowl
- Slotted Spoon
Grind to a Paste
- 4 Tomato large
- 4 cloves Garlic Garlic
- 8-10 Peppercorns
- 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
- Marble sized Tamarind Ball
- Few Curry Leaves
- 1/4 tsp Rasam Powder store bought
- 1/2 Tomato roughly squeezed
- 1 tsp Ghee
- 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
- Pinch Asafoetida
- 4-5 Curry Leaves
- Coriander leaves
- 2 cups Urad Dal
- 2-4 Green Chilly
- 3-5 Peppercorns coarsely ground
- 1 tsp Ginger finely chopped
- 1 Onion roughly chopped (optional)
- Coriander Leaves few
- Salt to taste
- Oil to Fry
- First grind finely all ingredients under paste.
- Transfer the paste to a pot.
- Add 2 cups of water and let the mix come to a rolling boil. Now simmer and cook for 4-5 minutes.
- Next, stain the mixture.
- Place it on the flame again, add rasam powder, half a tomato. Squeeze it roughly with hands.
- Let the rasam till the tomato is soft.
- Heat ghee. Add mustard seeds, asafoetida and curry leaves.
- Pour the ghee over the rasam.
- Wash the Dal very well. Drain and soak in water for 2 hours.
- After 2 hours, drain the dak completely. Add green chillies and ginger.
- Grind to a smooth batter, gradually adding a1-2 tbsp of water.
- Add onion, coriander leaves, peppercorns, salt and a few torn curry leaves. Mix well, beating with hands.
- Heat oil in a deep frying pan.
- Now wet your hands, and flatten a ladle of batter into a round 2” patty. Make a hole in the centre and slip gently into the hot oil.
- Similarly make other vadas, making sure not to over crowd the pan.
- Fry vadas in batches, flipping frequently , till crisp and golden.