I love eating vaddee and these are like precious white gold in temple. Everybody watches the aunty that walks around with the dish that contain the vaddee and when she comes around we all try to attack her in the vain hope we can get more than the measly 2 she dishes out.

My mother of course has the aunty wrapped around her finger and tends to get 2 extra but my mother is too generous for her own good and instead of giving it to her only off spring that she is supposed to love with all her heart, she gives to other people sitting at the table, people in my opinion who do not I repeat do not deserve them.

We only tend to make vaddee when we pray for our ancestors and when we do our July prayers and maybe maybe as an oil cake to celebrate Diwali, other than that I never make it.

Not that it is a difficult thing to make, it is just a tedious task, there is the soaking of the two different types of dals overnight, ensuring that you have a bruised banana and then the onion, that needs to be chopped extremely fine so that it doesn’t burn as you fry.

As soon as my parents see the dal sitting on the kitchen counter soaking they know straight away that there is going to be vaddee in the morning… I am soo predictable I tell you.

I recently purchased the second Durban cookbook with a whole lot of new recipes and I thought my dad would be happy, but apparently because there are more non-Indians in the cookbook than there are Indians, he keeps muttering that the you can see the dish was not made by an Indian person, as he would say, which Indian puts coconut cream in curry? I tend to adapt the recipes so that they are more authentic to his palate.

This recipe he was happy with and both parents were excited. Although I seriously cut down on the salt, 2 tablespoons of salt… geez who was Ann trying to kill? I opted for 1 teaspoon and then added an extra half in but I think the half was a bit too much because the vaddee batter was not overly salt but you could taste the salty after taste, so I think when I make this recipe again I will rather stick with the 1tsp and not 2 tbsp if you catch my drift.

I grew up with the inside of vaddee having colour, this recipe left out the addition of any spices so yet again I adapted but adding some curry powder and turmeric powder, can you just imagine the horror when my parents broke it open to see if the middles were cooked and they were faced with an anaemic vaddee, they would never let me life it down…NEVER EVER.

My mother’s recipe and the recipe I have been using for the past years contains a banana and baking powder, this recipe does not, which I like about this recipe is that it is a little ingredients and no banana, I hate having to mix banana in. It is just such a messy procedure.

Anyway after my parents were finished eating the vaddee, I asked for their opinions, other than it being a bit too salty my dad kept hinting that there was something missing and my mother kept telling me that I maybe must add more banana because the vaddee is too crumbly when you break it apart, only for me to chime in and proudly mention that there was no banana and it still tasted delicious.

This however did not go as planned in my head, all of a sudden both parents were on the same team and they kept telling that there has to be a banana to help bind everything together, oh well, they enjoyed it when they thought there was a banana in. Sometimes I can seriously put my foot in it without thinking.

Oh well there is always next time to retry this recipe and I will definitely add a banana for the parentals sake.


  • 500g x pea dhal.
  • 5 x dry chillies.
  • 5 x green chillies, finely chopped.
  • 1 x bunch coriander, finely chopped.
  • 2 x onions, finely chopped.
  • 2 x tbsp. cumin seeds.
  • 1 x tsp curry powder.
  • ½ x tsp turmeric powder.
  • 1 x tsp salt.
  • Oil for deep frying


  • Soak the dal in boiling water for 2 or more hours.
  • Drain the water off the dal and place in a food processor.
  • Add in the dried chillies, green chillies and blend till a firm paste is achieved.
  • You can add a little water but not a lot to help create the paste.
  • Place in a mixing bowl and add the remaining ingredients except the oil.
  • Using your hands, mix everything together.
  • Lightly oil your hands and break off a little of the mixture and shape into ball and then lightly flatten the ball.
  • Deep fry in the oil till lightly golden brown on both sides.
  • Remove from the oil and drain on kitchen towel.

Tell me what you think of this recipe