Ulli Vada Recipe with step by step pictures. Ulli Vada is a crispy and crunchy onion fritter popular as a street food snack in Kerala. Since all the ingredients used in this easy, homemade preparation are plant-based, this recipe is also vegetarian. It is also a wonderful South Indian twist on the typical North Indian Onion Pakora or Maharashtrian Kanda Bhaji. Try it, you will definitely like it.
Ulli vada was their regular evening snack with tea in the hotels we stayed in during our Kerala trip.
Onion fritters are a popular tea-time snack across India and are prepared in a variety of ways. I have shared one more South Indian variation Vengaya Bhaji The recipe, in which onions are cut into rings, coated in batter and deep fried.
The taste and texture of Ulli Vada is different from the regular classic Onion Pakora. What makes these Ulli Vadas special is that they are crispier than their North Indian counterparts, as they use rice flour.
The ingredients that go into this ulli vada are pretty minimal and basic, which doesn’t require you to run to the store to source the ingredients. Apart from onions and gram flour, other ingredients in this recipe are rice powder, asafoetida, red chilli powder and curry leaves.
Ulli Vada can be served with coconut chutney or green chutney or tomato ketchup or mint chutney or any green chutney of your choice. The recipe can be easily scaled according to your needs.
Step by step guide
How to make Ulli Vada Recipe
1. Peel, wash and then thinly slice 1 large onion. You will need 1.25 cups of thinly sliced onions. Take chopped onion in a mixing bowl.
2. Add ½ cup besan (besan) and 2 tbsp rice flour.
3. Now add 2 pinches of hing (asafoetida) and ¼ teaspoon red chili powder.
4. Next add 10 to 12 curry leaves (chopped) and salt as needed.
5. Mix very well and keep aside for 15 to 20 minutes.
6. By this time the onions will release their juices and the vada mixture will be soft. Mix again. If the butter mixture looks dry, add a few teaspoons of water and mix well.
7. Heat oil for deep frying in a kadai or pan. Once the oil is hot, keep the flame to medium and carefully drop the batter into the oil.
8. Start frying onion on medium heat.
9. When one side turns light golden, flip it using a slotted spoon and fry the other side.
10. Continue frying till the uli vada becomes crisp and golden.
11. Flip as needed during frying.
12. When the uli vada is crisp and golden, drain the excess oil and remove it with a slotted spoon.
13. Place fried onions on kitchen paper towels to absorb excess oil. Fry the remaining batches of Uli Vada in the same way.
14. Serve Ulli Vada hot with any chutney of your choice like coconut chutney or mint chutney or mint coriander chutney.
More delicious pakora recipes
Please be sure to rate the recipe on the recipe card or leave a comment below if you’ve made it. For more vet inspiration, sign up for my email or follow me on Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter.
Ulli Vada | Onion vada
Ulli Vada is crispy and crunchy fried onions. Popular as a street food snack in Kerala.
Q. Time 20 minutes
cooking time 20 minutes
total time 40 minutes
Prevent your screen from going dark while making the recipe
Making Ulli Vada Bata
Peel, rinse and then thinly slice 1 large onion. You will need 1.25 cups of thinly sliced onion. Take chopped onion in a mixing bowl.
Add ½ cup gram flour and 2 tbsp rice flour.
Now add 2 pinches of hing (asafoetida) and ¼ teaspoon of red chilli powder.
Then add 10 to 12 curry leaves (chopped) and salt as required.
Mix very well and keep aside for 15 to 20 minutes.
By this time the onions will release their juices and the vaad mixture will be soft. Mix again. If the butter mixture looks dry, add a few teaspoons of water and mix well.
Heat oil for deep frying in a pan. Once the oil is hot, keep the flame on medium and add spoonfuls of batter to the oil.
Start frying uli bhaja on medium flame.
When one side becomes light golden, flip and fry the other side.
Continue frying until the fries are crisp and golden.
Flip as needed during frying.
When the uli vada is crisp and golden, remove with a slotted spoon.
Place fried onions on kitchen paper towels to absorb excess oil. Fry the remaining batches of Uli Vada in the same way.
Serve Kerala Style Ulli Vada hot with any chutney of your choice.
- You can add a little carom seeds (ajwain) if you want.
- Green chillies can also be added.
- Some finely chopped ginger can also be added to the batter.
- The recipe can be halved or doubled.
- No need to add water while making Uli Vada Bata. Add water only if the batter mixture seems dry.
- You can use any neutral flavored oil for frying.
Ulli Vada | Onion vada
No. per job
calories 556 Calories from fat are 486
% Daily Value*
thick 54 grams83%
5 grams of saturated fat31%
Sodium 13 mg1%
potassium 129 mg4%
carbohydrates 14 grams5%
2 grams of fiber8%
Sugar 1 gram1%
Vitamin A 195IU4%
Vitamin C 73.8 mg89%
calcium 26 mg3%
iron 0.9 mg5%
* Percent Daily Value is based on a 2000 calorie diet.
This Ulli Vada post from the archives, originally published in July 2017 and republished in January 2023.