How to Make Sri Lankan Street Food – Parippu Vada (Dhal Wade)

How to make Parippu Vada in 7 Easy Steps

parippu vada

Sri Lankan Street Food at its Best

I noticed that there’s a common theme that foreigners like to talk about after coming back from their first trip from Sri Lanka. They will talk about the beautiful landscapes, mention how warm and kind the Sri Lankan people are, then all of a sudden their eyes light up and they get to mention their experiences with the street food in Sri Lanka. If you’ve never been to Sri Lanka before, take it from me: You WILL fall in love with the incredible street food of Sri Lanka. Today I will show you how to make parippu vada (පරිප්පු වඩේ in Sinhala), a fried small cake out of lentils.

Parippu vada (or wade) is sometimes called dal vada, but don’t let that confuse you. Parippu and dal are just different words for “lentils”. Street food vendors are preparing vada, kottu roti, egg hoppers, string hoppers, samosa and many more tasty meals and snacks on the spot where ever you go in Sri Lanka. Some of the recipes, like kottu roti, take considerable skill and experience to get right. Other Sri Lankan short eats can be prepared quickly and easily, even by someone who never cooked Sri Lankan food before. You will be surprised by how easy it is to prepare a delicious vada!

Not all Lentils are the Same

My parippu vade has been one of my friends’ favorites, so I decided to share my recipe here. Parippu vada is prepared out of dal (dried and split lentil pulse). There are different kinds of dal, such as masoor dal and Indian dal. For this recipe we’re going to use both Indian dal and masoor dal. You will be able to find both sorts in pretty much any Asian grocery store. Indian dal is easy to recognize, as it has much bigger pieces. To make sure you know which kinds of dal to look for, here are two pictures for reference:

indian dal masoor dal

Now that we’ve sorted this out, you should be able to prepare this yummy street food recipe quite easily.


500 g Indian dal

100 g masoor dal

1 large onion

2 branches of curry leaves

2 tsp ground chili pieces

salt to taste

vegetable oil

Cooking Instructions:

Note: Prepare the dal the night before you plan to cook vada by putting the dal in two separate bowls filled with water and leave it overnight to soften up.

1. Wash the dal and remove the water from the bowl.

2. Remove the curry leaves from the branches and cut them into small pieces. Cut the onion into small pieces as well.

3. Put Indian dal into blender with up to 3 tbsp of water and blend into small pieces.

4. Take the Indian dal out of the blender and put in back in the bowl. Add chili pieces, salt, onion pieces and curry leaves to the Indian dal and mix everything together.

5. Form the mixture into small, 1 inch wide balls and flatten them.

6. Sprinkle masoor dal on both sides of each vada.

7. Heat about 1/8 of a one-liter bottle of vegetable oil in a frying pan and fry the vada on medium flame until they’re light brown. Flip the vada halfway through to make sure both sides are equally gold brown.

Enjoy 🙂

Recipe Name
Parippu Vada
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5 Based on 22 Review(s)
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