Hot n Crunchy Kalmi Vada | Kalmi Vada Recipe, popular street food of Delhi, is a crunchy snack, made with Chana Dal lentils.

 Sharing with you Delhi-style Kalmi Vada, which is crunchy from outside with a soft centre. Deep fry it or make it in air fryer.

If Moong dal vadas are fit for Kanji Vada then this Chana Dal Vada is a perfect party snack.



Kalmi Vada: A Perfect Party Snack

Be it a rainy evening or a get-together or any festival, these spicy and crunchy Kalmi Vada are loved by all. The best thing is that you make it at your convenience and then refry or in the air fryer at the time of serving

What Is Kalmi Vada?

Kalmi Vada is a Chana dal pakoda which has a crunchy outer layer with a soft centre. Different people make it differently and there is no fixed recipe or method to make it.

What I am sharing here is a typical Delhi style Kalmi Vada which is deep-fried and is 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 the 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.

Some other Popular Chaat recipes of Delhi that you may find interesting are:



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.


How To Make Kalmi Vada

  • Normally, Kalmi Vadas are made of Chana Dal (Split Bengal Gram)  by adding a lot many spices, ginger, green chilli etc.
  • But here, I have also added some other lentils along with Chana Dal (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 Chana Dal. 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.
  • Authentic 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.


Kalmi Vada


Easy Recipe Of Kalmi Vada

Making Kalmi Vada is fairly easy. Unlike Kanji Vada, the batter for Kalmi Vada is not beaten for long. Just grind the soaked lentils, add spices and fry roundels. The only thing that you have to take care of is that the batter remains coarse and is stiff and not runny. 

Once you have made the batter then making roundels is fairly easy.

Serving Suggestions

Serve this kalmi vada with green chutney or Kachalu chaat. Another variant is to add these to your Papdi chat along with Bhalle and serve with beaten curd and Meethi chutney.

Read: How to Store Coriander and Make Fresh Green Chutney When Required


Detailed Recipe Of Kalmi Vada Recipe With Step By Step 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. You don’t have to beat the batter.
Kalmi Vada


  • Take little batter on your palm, give it a 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.


  • 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 or Kachalu chaat.
Kalmi Vada

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

Let us Connect!

Hope you have found this post on the difference between baking powder and baking soda useful. I would love to have your views regarding this.

Thank you for reading this post. If you have liked this recipe then do let me know by leaving a comment below. Your feedback fuels my enthusiasm. You may share this post with your dear ones by clicking on the little buttons below. You may follow me on       Facebook   Pinterest  instagram(#samirasrecipediary) too. for latest recipe updates. Thank you!


 Kalmi Vada Recipe


  • 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.
  3. 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.
  4. While grinding add very little asafoetida in it.
  5. Once the lentils are grounded, add reserved lentils in it.
  6. To this add salt, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, coarsely ground fennel seeds, chopped green chilli, ginger, and green coriander.
  7. Mix everything nicely.
  8. Heat oil in a frying pan. When very hot, fry round cakes of the lentils batter.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.
  9. 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.
  10. Increase the flame. Do not touch these for the first 30-40 seconds otherwise, they may break.
  11. Flip it carefully. Reduce the flame to medium.
  12. Cook from both the sides till golden brown.Like this make all the roundels. This much batter will make 7 to 8 roundels.
  13. Let these roundels cool down.
  14. Once cool, wrap in aluminium foil and keep in the refrigerator. You can keep these in the refrigerator for up to a month.
  15. At the time of serving cut thick strips from the roundels and once again fry them till golden brown.
  16. You can fry them in air fryer also. For this, preheat air fryer for 15 minutes at the highest temperature. Put strips and fry for 15 to 20 minutes.
  17. Serve with love, coriander chutney /kachalu chat optional.

Recipe Notes

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.While frying, oil should be very hot. Reduce flame while dropping round cakes. Once added, fry on medium flame.Do not cut strips when the roundels are hot. They may break. Cut only when completely cool.

Not to mention that the deep-fried ones taste great.

Related Recipes

You may PIN this Kalmi Vada recipe and save to try later:

Kalmi Vada


Stay Fit…Stay Happy