Maddur Vada: A Century-Old Fried Snack From Karnataka

Train journeys are always memorable and the best part about the experience is relishing snacks from the local vendors. Amid the crowd and chaos, it’s a great feeling to relish samosa, chai, bread pakora and peanuts sold in small packets. These delights are available at very low prices and are a great time-pass to cover long routes. Most of the treats sold at railway stations are common ones but a place named Maddur in Karnataka is renowned among the travellers for serving a special crispy fried fritter called maddur vada. 

Located 85 kms southwest from Bengaluru, this small town is the top spot in the country for this popular snack. Being a century old, it is not like your regular urad dal vadas that have a hole in the centre. Maddur vada is made from the dough of rice flour, sooji and maida that is mixed with chopped onions, coriander leaves, green chillies, curry leaves, salt and asafoetida. This snack is deep-fried in oil until brown and crispy but are still soft on the insides.   

Though it is paired with coconut chutney or tomato ketchup, you can also enjoy it without any accompaniments. Now coming to its origin - as the name suggests this snack is a gift from the town of Maddur and is said to be created by Ramachandra Budhiya, an entrepreneur from Kundapura, Karnataka. According to the legend, in the year 1917, Budhiya had just started a restaurant in the town’s only railway station which was a pit-stop for steam-powered trains to fill up their tanks. He used to sell idlis and pakoras to the passengers but one day the train arrived a bit early and the pakoras weren’t ready. 

So, instead of shaping the fritters, he took a shortcut to save his business for the day. To cook the pakoras faster, he flattened the mixture into small discs and deep-fried them. This tiny culinary catastrophe turned out to be his masterpiece that came to be known as maddur vada. Today, this snack can be commonly found in Bengaluru, Mandya and Mysuru region apart from its birthplace. 

Maddur Vada Recipe  


  • 1 cup rice flour  
  • ½ cup rava  
  • ¼ cup maida   
  • 2 green chilli, finely chopped  
  • 2 tbsp coriander leaves, finely chopped  
  • few curry leaves, chopped  
  • pinch of asafoetida  
  • ½ tsp kashmiri red chilli powder   
  • 1 onion finely chopped  
  • ½ tsp salt  
  • 2 tbsp oil hot  
  • water as required to make dough  
  • oil for deep frying  


  • In a bowl combine rice flour, rava and maida along with chilli, coriander leaves, curry leaves, hing, chilli powder, onion and salt.  
  • Now heat 2 tbsp oil and pour over prepared the mixture. Then add water and combine well.  
  • Now grease hands with oil and pinch small ball sized dough and flatten it with palm. Repeat the process with the remaining dough.  
  • Deep fry in hot oil, stirring occasionally. Fry until golden and crisp. Finally, serve maddur vada with coconut chutney or green chutney.