Chana Daal Appe : Low fat Masala Vada

Update: The mere idea of vada(deep fried lentil dumpling) and Low-fat is contradictory and a typical oxymoron. So if you are looking for a low fat version of the deep fried vada, then use the Appe (Konkani cooking word) Pan/ Skillet. This is also referred to as “Ponganalu/Paniyaram/Uniyappam”. I have found very favorable results by using this pan and this forms a healthier alternative to the deep fired variety. To see how the pan/skillet looks like check here.






Masala vada is an all time favorite snack in our family, but since it is deep fried I don’t make it a lot. I make it during festivals and special occasions but most of the time I tend to look for healthier alternatives. After I made the urad daal appe, this was a natural extension to that idea and I decided to give this a shot. The batter that is used is the same as Masala vada. The final verdict is that, the taste is great, can be made when ever you want to make something healthy, can be used as a finger food, snack for kids etc. However this is no substitute for the actual Masala Vada and there is no reason to throw the deep fryer yet !



  1. 1 cup chana daal

  2. 1 medium onion

  3. 2-3 green chillies

  4. 2-3 pods garlic

  5. Coriander leaves

  6. Jeera

  7. Cloves

  8. Salt


  • Soak the chana daal in enough water for about 4-5 hours.

  • ?Meanwhile dice the onion into small pieces.

  • Grind the soaked chana daal along with green chillies, jeera, garlic, cloves with little water in the grinder to a semi smooth paste. (The batter should be a bit coarse)

  • Add the diced onions and mix thoroughly and keep aside.

  • Check for taste; if necessary add salt, chillies etc.


  • Heat the Appe/ Appam skillet and add 1 tsp oil into each groove.

  • Make sure that the oil has become hot (not smoking hot). Drop a bit of batter to test and if you hear the sizzling sound, the oil is of the right temperature.

  • Add the prepared chana daal batter into each of the grove, so that ? of the grove is covered and then cover it with a lid.

  • ?Reduce the heat a little bit at this time. After a minute or so, open the lid and with a kitchen knife, run it around the edge of the appe, to see if it is browning.

  • Make sure the appe does not turn dark brown or black in color. The one in the middle is the one that gets dark fast.

  • If some of the appe can be easily displaced from the grove turn it on the other side, add oil and cook until done. Let the remaining appe cook correctly and turn them when done.

  • When turned on the other side, add oil again and reduce the heat even further and there is no need to cover with lid. This side gets done pretty fast.

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  1. Asha says:

    Looks like a great snack made without fryer!! Clever girl!!:))
    No scary Halloween stuff here? Check out my Foodies Hope today and listen to the music!!;D

  2. roopa says:

    hi ?? I will definitly try these as I was wondering whether I could use channa dal to make appe ?? …..Thanks a lot for visiting my blog and for the comment! I liked the pics in your blog , they look very yummy:)

  3. jujubs says:

    Hi..Iam a new blogger and i came across your ideas on kids food and i just wanted to applaud you on this recipe especially,a very clever idea..and all your pictures and recipes show how talented you are.I have a blog on lunch ideas for kids and i definitely would give this vada a try.

  4. Pingback: Masala Vada
  5. Kalyani says:

    Hi its a very great idea to do the deep frying ….. where can i find it … (any specific in-store) otherthan amazon … Thanks for a great idea Redchillies …….

  6. Geetha says:

    Thank you so much for this alternative! Tried it out…we all loved it… such a healthy option…Thanks again ??

  7. Reader says:

    Hi, I was bit hesitant at first to try this way of preparing the fritter but tried out, the result was amazing. The fritter tasted exactly like the fried one.Thanks a lot. Really appreciate your healthy way of cooking.

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