Hot n Crunchy Kalmi Vada

Hot n Crispy Kalmi Vada is one of our favourite snacks.

It is a popular party starter served with green coriander chutney.

Crispy Kalmi Vada is my Mom Lakshmi Gupta’s speciality. Passionate about cooking, no party or get together at her place is complete without some of her signature dishes. The caterer may get any number of items but she ensures to make some things herself.

Kalmi Vada is one such item.Here, of course, I am sharing her recipe of Kalmi Vada only.

Slightly deviating from the recipe but I would like to mention here one thing that I am fortunate to be a daughter as well daughter in law of two excellent cooks. Yes, both my mother and mother in law are known in their respective families for their cooking skills.

Kalmi Vada is a snack which has a crunchy outer layer with a soft centre. These are fried lentil dumplings made in two stages.

At the first stage, round cakes are fried. Then at the second stage, these roundels are cut in strips and refried. With time, I have started using air fryer for the second time frying, though Mom still fries them only.

Once the roundels are made you can keep them in the refrigerator even up to a month. Whenever required just take out cut strips, fry and serve. This way it becomes an easy and handy party starter too.

Normally, Kalmi Vadas are made of Split Bengal Gram (Chana Dal) by adding lot many spices, ginger, green chilli etc.

But here she also adds other lentils along with Split Bengal Gram. These lentils are added in very little quantity rendering tremendous crispiness and crunchiness on the outer layer, softness in the inside portion, at the same time retaining the authentic taste of Bengal Gram. Add roughly 1/4th of other lentils for every 1 cup of Split Bengal Gram.

I may not be able to do justice by explaining here in words what difference these lentils add to Kalmi Vada. You need to make it yourself to experience that taste and crunch.

These are extremely easy to make as, unlike other vadas, you don’t have to beat the batter after grinding. Just soak, grind and make.

Lentils are grounded coarsely and not finely. In fact, you can see some of the lentils in the batter too. For this, keep a spoonful of lentils aside and grind the rest of it. After grinding add that spoonful lentils in it. This is because if by chance you grind the lentils too much then you have those whole ones for your rescue. Just a tip, not necessary to do so.

Kalmi Vada

Since the batter is coarse, you can easily keep it on your palm, give it a round shape and leave it in the frying pan. It does not stick to your hands.

Aunthetic Kalmi Vadas are extremely spicy, typical Delhi Chaat style.

But you can adjust spices as per your taste buds.

We make it without onion and garlic. But yes a lot of ginger, green chilli and cilantro are added which imparts its flavour.

Let us see how they are made.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 10-15 minutes

Serves: 4



1 Cup (2oo gms) Split Bengal Gram (Chana Dal)

2 Tbsp Split and Husked Black Gram( White Urad Dal)

2 Tbsp Split and Husked Green Gram ( Yellow Moong Dal)

2 Tbsp Split and Husked Red Gram (Arhar Dal)

Pinch of Asafoetida

Salt as per taste

Red Chilli Powder as per taste

1 tsp Coriander Powder ( Dhaniya powder)

2 Tsp Fennel Seeds Coarsely Grounded (saunf)

1 tsp Turmeric Powder (Haldi)

Finely Chopped Green Chilli as per taste

1 tsp or as per taste Finely Chopped Ginger

2 Tbsp Finely Chopped Green Coriander (Hara Dhaniya)



  1. Clean lentils and soak for around 2 to 3 hours. (See Note 1)
  2. Drain all excess water. Reserve 1 to 2 Tbsp lentils and grind rest of it coarsely. Do not add any water while grinding. If at all you have to, then just sprinkle few drops only.  While grinding add very little asafoetida in it.
  3. Once the lentils are grounded, add reserved lentils in it.
  4. To this add salt, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, coarsely ground fennel seeds, chopped green chilli, ginger and green coriander. Mix everything nicely.
  5. Heat oil in a frying pan. When very hot, fry round cakes of the lentils batter.
  6. To make round cakes, using your working hand (normally right) put a little batter on your non-working hand (normally left hand). Shape it round and slowly and carefully drop it in hot oil. Similarly, make as many roundels as your frying pan can hold. There is a small video in the end showing how to make these roundels.
  7. Increase the flame. Do not touch these for the first 30-40 seconds otherwise, they may break.
  8. Flip it carefully. Reduce the flame to medium. Cook from both the sides till golden brown.
  9. Like this make all the roundels. This much batter will make 7 to 8 roundels.
  10. Let these roundels cool down. Once cool, wrap in aluminium foil and keep in the refrigerator.You can keep these in the refrigerator for up to a month.
  11. At the time of serving cut thick strips from the roundels and once again fry them till golden brown.
  12. You can fry them in air fryer also. For this, pre heat air fryer for 15 minutes at the highest temperature. Put strips and fry for 15 to 20 minutes.
  13. Serve with love, coriander chutney optional.

Kalmi Vada


  1. In winters you may soak it for 3 to 4 hours. But do not soak much else it would become too soft and we want little crisp lentils for making Kalmi Vadas.
  2. While frying, oil should be very hot. Reduce flame while dropping round cakes. Once added, fry on medium flame.
  3. Do not cut strips when the roundels are hot. They may break. Cut only when completely cool.


Detailed Recipe with Pics

Soak lentils for 2 to 3 hours.


Drain water, reserve 1 tbsp lentils and grind the rest lentils coarsely. Do not add water. After grinding add the reserved lentils in it.

Kalmi Vada


Add salt, red chilli powder, fennel seeds powder, coriander powder, ginger, green chilli and green coriander.

Kalmi Vada


Mix everything. Don'”t have to beat the batter.

Kalmi Vada


Take little batter on your palm, give it round shape.

Kalmi Vada


Drop it in hot oil. Fry on medium heat.


Fry all the roundels like this.

Kalmi Vada


Once cooled completely, wrap in aluminium foil and store in the refrigerator.

Kalmi Vada


For serving, cut thick strips.

Kalmi Vada


Kalmi Vada


Again deep fry… in frying pan or in air fryer

Kalmi Vada

Serve hot with a smile, coriander chutney too.


Kalmi Vada                                                                   (the ones on the left are of air fryer and on the right are deep fried)



Not to mention that the deep fried ones taste great.

Related Recipes Pinwheel Sandwiches   Cheesy Croquettes  Make Best Ram Laddoo  Papdi Pizza


If you try this recipe or have tried any of my other recipes, then please leave a comment, with your experience and suggestions, if any.

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