J is the king of strategy and timing. After frying something in the appam / aebleskiver pan, he will leave it on the stove instead of wiping it and putting it away. He knows that if I see the leftover oil, I will try to use it up by frying something else. And that’s exactly what happened.

Yesterday, I got multiple reminders on this site of how “lucky” I am because J was making those psychedelic things when I returned from the gym. I agree, it was exceptionally chivalrous and heroic on his part – being male and all – to fix himself a snack and offer me some.

But, well… my gratitude gene is either dormant or underwent a mutation ages ago and doesn’t kick into gear so readily. (For the record, J is as baffled at the response to his “achievement” as I am.) Now go on, tell him how lucky he is that I didn’t empty that stupid appam pan over this head, and how grateful he should be that I made this.

I used sage and parsley instead of the usual curry leaves and coriander (cilantro).

Sage (Salvia officinalis) is fantastic in this, and is much easier to grow in our climate than curry leaves. These south Indian fritters are much like the west Asian falafels. The Indian version uses either just chana dal (split bengal gram, quite similar to yellow split peas) or a combination of lentils, while falafels are made with soaked chickpeas.

I used equal parts of chana dal, moong dal (split , skinned ming beans) and toor dal (split, skinned pigeon peas). If you don’t have any of these lentils or cannot access an Indian grocery store, use just yellow split peas or a combo of yellow and green.

You can fry them up as regular fritters, but if you use the appam / aebleskiver pan, you need a total of 3.5 tbsps of oil. BTW, we got some queries about sources to buy that pan. While checking them out, we found a similar contraption called a takoyaki pan – also cast iron and priced about the same, but with 12 slots.


(Makes about 20 cocktail vadas)
1/4 cup each chana dal, moong dal and toor dal, soaked together for 2 hours
2 tbsps chopped red onion/shallots
2 to 3 chopped serrano or Thai bird chillies
1 tsp chopped ginger
salt to taste
1 tbsp each chopped curry leaves and cilantro (we used sage and parsley)
3.5 tbsps vegetable oil

1. Drain the lentils and save the water. Separate out 1/3 of the lentils. Blend everything (except the herbs and salt) to a coarse paste in a blender adding no water, or as little as possible (use the reserved lentil water).

2. Add the remaining lentils and blend a little more until 2/3 of the mixture is almost smooth and the remaining 1/3 is coarse. Add the herbs and salt.

3. Heat oil in the appam / aebleskiver pan on medium-high – with about 1.5 tsps vegetable oil per slot.

4. Gently drop heaped teaspoons of the lentil mixture into the oil.

5. Fry until golden brown on one side, then using a skewer or fork, gently turn them over.

6. Fry till golden brown on the other side, remove and put on paper towels to drain.

7. For the second and third batches, reduce the heat to low.

8. If you let the vadas sit on the paper towel for about 5 minutes after frying, they will crispen further.

These Cocktail Lentil Fritters with Sage go to Andrea @ Andrea’s Recipes for the anniversary edition of Grow Your Own.


We had them at teatime yesterday. I also ate them for lunch today wrapped in a sourdough roti (flatbread) with some baby chard and tomatoes from our garden along with Tarator bi Tahina.

Tarator/Taratour is an Arabic sauce commonly served with Falafels. It is made various ways with breadcrumbs / pine nuts / walnuts / sesame needs or a combination. The common ingredients in all the versions are lemon and garlic.

Tarator Bi Tahina is made with sesame paste (sesame butter/tahini). You can use store-bought tahini, or grind up white sesame seeds with light sesame oil or vegetable oil.

Here’s our version.


Makes about 2/3 cup
1/3 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
2 tbsps lemon juice
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves crushed or very finely minced garlic
salt to taste
a pinch each of cumin and paprika

Mix this all together and thin it out a tad with 2 tbsps water (or yogurt for a non-vegan version). Stir in some chopped parsley if you like.

This vegan wrap sandwich goes to Michelle @ Greedy Gourmet for SnackShots: Sandwich

and for the Nourishing Portable Food Challenge @ The Nourishing Gourmet.

- b.

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  1. Jude says:

    I’m always looking for recipes for my underused aebelskiver pan. Thanks for this idea.

  2. Jeanne says:

    Oh I *love* these! Not only because I love lentils but also the super-adorable size. Beautiful pics as always – I’d love that wrap sandwich for lunch!

  3. kate says:

    thats a nice twist on the traditional vadas. I ‘m sure they taste so aromatic, specially with the sage … hmmm all that fresh sage …wonderful … i wish i could get my hands on some … i have some curry leaves growing in my house though, i could trade with that !

  4. I have never seen a pan like that before, Bee. How neat! And that last photo is stunning. It makes me want to dig right in!

  5. Sunshinemom says:

    I love that bouquet! a….Ok what ever that pan is, looks like an appam mould! Nice one:)

  6. Vaishali says:

    Thanks, Bee, for this lovely recipe. I was pleasantly surprised to see you used sage which is never used in traditional Indian cuisine, at least to my knowledge. I can imagine its strong fragrance would work beautifully in something like this.

  7. [...] this nifty little kitchen utensil called the appa patra…. The jugal bandits use their’s extensively….so does my namesake….see her version of no fry pakoras… and nupur dished out this kofta [...]

  8. [...] – bookmarked by 2 members originally found by flattop100 on 2009-01-13 Comment on Sagely yours … Parippu Vadas (Lentil Fritters) and a… http://jugalbandi.info/2008/08/sagely-yours-parippu-vadas-lentil-fritters-and-a-wrap-sandwich/ – [...]

  9. [...] So I ground up some sprouts with some seasonings to make fritters for dinner. Much like these Lentil Fritters (Parippu Vadas). You can make these with any soaked or sprouted [...]

  10. [...] when I came across Bee’s smart way of making fritters I wanted to try it  for my favourite food. It reduces the amount of oil by great extent without [...]

  11. [...] jugalbandi Sagely yours Parippu Vadas Lentil Fritters and a Posted by root 17 hours ago (http://jugalbandi.info) Log in middot wordpress middot xhtml a takoyaki pan also cast iron and priced about the same but with 12 slots this nifty little kitchen utensil called the appa patra originally found by flattop100 on 2009 01 13 comment on sagely yours copyright 2007 2009 Discuss  |  Bury |  News | jugalbandi sagely yours parippu vadas lentil fritters and a [...]

  12. [...] use my aebleskiver / appam/ paniyaram pan, as outlined HERE and HERE. 3/4 cup soaked lentils give me about 21 fritters – three rounds of frying. By the third [...]

  13. [...] Great for appam, paniyaram, dumplings, and the best for deep-frying fritter, bondas and vadais. (We’ve used it here and here) [...]

  14. [...] Lentil Fritters in Sesame Oil GHEE Clarified butter, known as ghee, contains the conjugated linoleic acid which has anti-cancer properties. Casein which is a harmful protein is removed by this process. You take the butter, slowly heat it until butter solids precipitate on the top and then you filter it through a cloth and you will have a liquid that can be stored at room temperature. This is the best combination of different fatty acids for human consumption. Safflower oil and most vegetable oils get oxidized and damage the liver and heart. Clarified butter does not cause this damage. [...]

  15. Roopa says:

    Hello :) making parippu vada in paniyaram pan is a splendid idea ! I would love to try it soon. Just wanted to confirm about the spoons of oil that needs to be poured in each home. Is it 3.5 tablespoons or 1.5 teaspoons? Thanks in advance !

  16. [...] in Hindi = hot, spicy pickle. Vada = fritter, usually fried. These are [...]

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