Monday, October 12, 2020

Xaak Vada / Keerai Vada

Any festival occasion is always enjoyed with family and friends, and of course with a great feast. And great feasts always include deep-fried vadas or pakoras and desserts. No feast is complete without them. these deep-fried items and kheers are always part of the offering to God or Neivedhyam. Bajji, medhu vada, paruppu vada are often made on such occasions.

Keerai (aka amaranth) vada is a very common snack in many homes as well as restaurants. This vada is a slight variant of the medhu vada. It is neither as fluffy as the medhu vada nor very crunchy like the Hanuman vada (the one made with black urad dhal). It is in between these two, but quite an enjoyable snack. These are a little thicker than the Hanuman vada but less crunchy. I had these at the ID restaurant in Vadapalani, Chennai maybe 6 years ago with my school friends where we met after so many years. I tried to recreate it and started liking this version. I make a bit softer than the restaurant version as my kids are not fond of the crunchy form. Adding spinach also increases the nutritional value of the protein-rich snack. Since this recipe doesn't use onion or garlic, it is perfect for Neivedhyam in our homes. I have been trying to post this for quite some time. For the blogging marathon #117, I had to post Neivedhyam recipes in X, part of the A-Z series. In Assamese, xaak means greens. Amaranth greens are always used in our traditional keerai vada and hence a perfect choice for the post as well as neivedhyam. So the opportunity is perfect to post my style of keerai vada or xaak vada. I used the tender amaranth greens growing in my backyard for this recipe (not to mention that this is the third time I am making keerai vadai in this growing season :-)). This vada is a little crispy on the outside with a little chewy and soft inside. They are flat with a prominent hole in the middle, can compare to a very thin savory doughnut:-). The batter should be thick and hence care must be taken not to add much of water while grinding the dhals. 

Tender Amaranth Greens 


I am posting this for A-Z Neivedhyam recipes Blogging Marathon. Check here to see what others are making for the #117 Blogging Marathon. 

Makes 24 3-inch vada

Whole urad dhal - 1 cup
Split urad dhal - 1/2 cup
Salt - 1 tsp
Ginger - 1/2 tsp, grated
Green chilli - 2 or 3
Curry leaf - 1
Amaranth leaves - 1 and 1/2 cups, chopped, firmly packed
Oil to fry about 2 cups
Asafoetida - 1/4 tsp
Water - 2 or 3 tbsp


Soak the dhals separately for about an hour. Drain the water completely after soaking. Add the whole urad dhal, 2 chopped chilies, and 3 tbsp water. Grind to a coarse mix. Add 3/4 of the soaked urad dhal, run a couple of times taking care not to make a smooth batter. It should be coarse. 

Add the ground mixture to the reserved 1/4 cup of the soaked split urad dhal. Add the salt, ginger, finely chopped green chilli, curry leaf, asafoetida, and amaranth leaves. Mix thoroughly. 

Heat oil on a medium flame. Wet your left palm and right fingers. Scoop about 1 -2 tbsp of the batter. Flatten it into a 3-inch disc with 1/4 inch thickness in your left palm, make a hole in the center. Transfer it to your right and with care slowly drop it into the oil.  Fry till golden brown, maybe around 3 mins., flip and cook the other side till golden brown. 

Repeat for the remaining batter.  Serve hot or at room temperature. 


You can increase the leaves if you want more greens, but this is optimal, I guess.

Make a little bit more flatter for a thin and crispy version. For this version, use 2 tbsp water only. 

Vada with red and green amaranth leaves

I have made these vada with the red/purple and green leaf amaranth and that tastes perfect too.



  1. I like that Assamese word for greens , such a life saviour it is !
    And the vadas , they sound super nutritious and tempting as well !

  2. Wow! The word xaak is a superb find for the letter X. it is always so difficult to find dishes starting with the letter X. Super looking vadas.

    1. Thanks Harini. Yeah, exactly! I felt happy too when I found the name xaak.

  3. Wow vada looks so yummy and beautiful. Perfect snack for rainy season.

  4. What is not to love about those vadais, filled with green goodness! I love these crunchy goodnesses with a cup of hot coffee...
    I love how tactically you utilized this difficult alphabet!

  5. This vada is quite interesting and man miss those Hanuman vada malai vadas... Nothing can beat the temple prasadam. And this one is indeed yum and healthy.

  6. These vadas sure are delicious and that is an excellent way of using the word xaak. It gets tricky when it comes to alphabet X and finding Indian dishes.