Thursday, November 25, 2021

Cranberry Pepper Vada and A Vegan Thanksgiving Meal

Vadas (deep-fried legume fritters) are always an amazing deep-fried snack and this cranberry pepper vada is an amazing one with flavors of tart cranberry perfectly balanced with spicy pepper. 

This is a protein rich snack with all the goodness of cranberries too! This can also be served for a festive meal, like Thanksgiving or Diwali too! 

I served this in my Thanksgiving Lunch and this is an amazing snack all through the day. The Thanksgiving lunch thai  had pumpkin sambhar, cranberry garlic rasam, potato fry, Araichuvita Keerai, Cranberry pumpkin chole, Coconut Sabudana Kheer, Chapathi, appalam, and this vada, This vada easily feeds the crowd as a snack. This is a vegan lunch and check here for another Thanksgiving Thali, the Indian way!

This vada is easy to make but just make sure to drain the dal and then grind. Add one or tablespoons of water only if necessary. The fresh cranberries added will also add to the wetness. In this way, the vada will not be oily. 

This can be served with Vegan Almond, Coconut, and Cranberry Chutney too for an amazing combo! If you are a Medhu Vada or Keerai Vadai/Xaak Vada lover, then this is going to be on your list too! The flavor profile is amazing in this vada. This vada is like Hanuman vada with the pepper flavor but more like Keerai Vada in texture.

This is best when served hot or warm. The room temperatures ones taste good too. If there is leftovers, just reheat in the oven and serve warm.

Makes about 26

Whole urad dal - 1/2 cup
Split urad dal - 1/2 cup
Fresh cranberries - 1/2 cup
Salt - 3/4 tsp
Whole black pepper - 1/2  to 1 tsp
Pepper powder - 1/4 tsp
Dried red chilies - 2 to 4
Ginger - 1 tsp, chopped
Curry leaf - 1 sprig
Cilantro - 2 tbsp, chopped
Asafetida - 1/4 tsp
Cumin - 1/2 tsp


Soak the dals separately for 2 hours.

Drain the dals. Grind the whole urad dal along with cranberries, red chilies, whole black pepper, and ginger to a coarse paste. Add the split urad dal reserving a couple of tablespoons and run a couple of times. It should have a little coarse and grainy texture. Add one ot two tablespoons of water only if needed.

Transfer to a bowl, add the reserved dal, pepper powder, asafetida, salt, curry leaves, and cilantro. Mix thoroughly.

Heat oil in a pan. Take about a tablespoon of the ground dal mixture and flatten to a quarter inch thick disc. Make a hole in the center. To make it easier, do this with wet hands. Slowly and carefully transfer to the hot oil and deep fry till golden brown on both sides, flipping once or twice. Drain the oil. Repeat with the remaining batter.

Serve as such or with chutney for a snack. This can be served as a side for a meal too.


  1. The vadas sound interesting and that thali is tempting me - it looks fantastic . I haven’t seen fresh cranberries here in India - but I am sure the cranberry vadas must be top notch!

  2. Wow the thali looks out of the world!..everything looks so inviting..and these vadas are so innovative!..

  3. The tart berries must add a nice tang to the vadas. The thanksgiving thaali looks amazing.