Mathanpoo vadai | pumpkinflower fritters

pumpkin flower vadai

Enjoy this deep-fried lentil fritter with pumpkin flowers for tea time or that breakfast add-on. The mathanpoo vadai is a crunchy and savory protein-rich snack you can meal prep easily.

Does the garden yield as much as to sustain all your food needs?

No, it certainly doesn’t.

Then why do you keep the kitchen garden going?

The simplest answer to this is it gives so much peace and a sense of achievement with the few bits that we get from the garden. I bet maybe a few leaves, pods, carrots eggplants or some fruit. All are valuable lessons that we have learned by planting them. The pumpkins are still a bit stubborn. They give leaves and flowers, but no sign of fruits yet. As the long wait continues, we cook the leaves and the flowers. We cook the leaves into a good stirfry or raita
The flowers get batter dipped and fried if we do get a few of them together, but it doesn’t make sense when there is only one or two. So this week, we are making mathan poo vadai | pumpkin flower lentil fritters

Ingredients for matan poo vadai

Split green peas: the main ingredient of this vadai recipe is the split yellow peas. These are the mature cotyledons of regular green peas. They are commercially available without the peel. These are easy to soak and fry up crispy. Moreover, they are easier to procure in general grocery aisles when you are not in India. These are great for making a quick spinach dal too. If you don’t have it, you can use a mix of two portions of channa dal with one portion of urad dal.

Spices and seasonings: since it is a savoury fritter, salt is used as the seasoning agent. Regular cooking salt is perfect. To this flavour additions red chillies, curry leaves and ginger can be added. I have used chilli flakes, as I did not have dry red chillies. If you prefer just the colour, not the heat, add paprika.
A pinch of asafoetida, hing, is added to lentil dishes as it helps in better digestion.

Pumpkin flowers: fresh pumpkin flowers are bright yellow and big. The female flowers have a small pumpkin-like attachment at the base that won’t be there if it is a male flower. Usually, we pick the male flowers towards the evening so it would have completed the job of pollination. The flower petals are used fresh. They are available in gourmet grocery stores too. Alternatively, zucchini blossom also can be used.

Oil to fry: I have used sunflower oil to deep fry. Any neutral oil can be used. 

Let’s make pumpkin flower fritters

It does take a bit of prep work when you are making these pumpkin flower fritters.

Soak the lentils: the split yellow lentils need to be washed and soaked for 2 to 3 hours. Once they are plump and do not have a hard bite to them, they are ready.

Drain the lentils using a colander: Usually, I discard this liquid and add fresh water if I need it for grinding. 

Clean and chop the pumpkin flowers:  the brightly coloured petals of the pumpkin flowers are what we are interested in.

Make the batter: the batter for lentil vadai is more like a coarse mix. Into the blender add the yellow split peas that have been soaked and drained, fennel seeds, red chillies and curry leaves. pulse this into a coarse mix. Remove the mix into a bowl and set it aside. 

Fix the pumpkin flowers: Peel the petals and give it a quick rinse. Finely chop the petals and add to the vadai mix. Mix well and the vadai batter is now ready.

Shape the fritters: pinch off small balls of the batter. Press them gently to make a small flat disc. Immediately place it in the hot oil.

Deepfry the fritters: As soon as the batter is ready, ensure you place the oil to heat up. test the batter by putting a small piece of the batter to sizzle in the oil. if the batter floats up immediately the oil is ready. Once the batter is place in the oil and one side is golden flip over and roast the other side too. When the bubbles on the batter are reduced considerably, the vadai are crispy and ready to be removed. Drain and the vadai are to be served.

What other vegetables can be added to this fritter?

Since the base of this recipe is a classic parippu vada mix, you can add chopped onions, grated carrots, grated bottle gourd, chopped amaranth leaves moringa leaves etc to the mix. You want to ensure that the vegetable mix is not a lot in quantity as the lentils can then no longer hold the mix together in the oil.

What if my batter is too watery?

Upon grinding, if you add a bit of excess water you may be able to fix it. Firstly, drain the entire soaked lentils using a colander and collect the drained water. This prevents the water from getting excessively added to the blend. Further, if you added more than enough water, add a tablespoon of rice flour and pulse again. Check if this helps to hold the batter. If you added too much water, grind the mix into a smooth paste, stir in some rice flour (1:2 ratio) and proceed to make some yummy adai dosas.

Why does the vada break-in oil?

Vadas when placed in oil disintegrate and spread into little pieces in oil if the binding of the batter is poor. This can be because the batter has too much water in it or because it is too coarse that it cannot hold together. To avoid the former case, pulse the lentils together as much as possible after draining the water of soaking. Then as the mix grinds add only a tablespoon of water at a time to bring it together. Always remember that the flowers do add to the water content. If the batter is too coarse, grind it back again to a smoother blend to avoid the latter being the issue. Along with this use the batter as soon as it is ground to avoid water seepage.


Mathanpoo vadai

Prep Time 15 minutes
soaking time for the split pea dal 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine gluten free, Indian, South indian
Servings 12 vadais


  • deep fryer
  • blender


  • 1 cup split peas yellow
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seed
  • salt to taste
  • 1-2 dry red chillies
  • 10 curry leaves
  • 3-4 pumpkin flowers


  • Wash and soak the yellow split peas for two hours.
  • After two hours, drain the beans.
  • Add this to the blender with fennel seeds, salt, dry red chilli and curryleaves,
  • Blend this to a coarse mix.
  • Mix well and remove the mix to a bowl.
  • Chop the pumpkin flower and chop the petals fine.
  • Mix it well into the mix.
  • Heat oil in a deep pan.
  • Make a small ball of the dough.
  • Slightly flatten the mix to make the shape.
  • Gently drop this in the hot oil.
  • As it sizzles turn over gently and cook on the other side.
  • Drain when golden brown and crispy.
  • The vadai are now ready to be served.
Keyword beans and legumes, diwali snacks, Ganesh chaturthi recipes, pot luck recipes
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


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Mathan poo vadai |pumpkin flower lentil fritters is a simple recipe that we created to use the flowers that grow in our garden. You can add the floral petals to stir-fries, rice mixes or deep fry using a bajji mix too. Let us know if you make something special with pumpkin flowers. Hope you like this recipe and will try it out. Leave us a comment so we know if you liked it or not.

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vadai made with lentils and pumpkinflower.

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