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Baked Olive Lentil Fritters aka “Dal Vada”

By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by California Ripe Olives and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

Baked Olive Lentil Fritters aka Dal Vada

Growing up in Sri Lankan, “Dal Vada” or Lentil Fritters were a popular snack in our home. My mom used to soak and grind up lentils along with a whole slew of spices and green chilies. She would then form them into little discs and fry them. Today, I figured I would attempt to make a baked version of my mom’s dal vada! And, instead of green chilies, I added in California Black Ripe Olives for extra flavor!

Olive Lentil Fritters

Now, these baked fritters contain ground up oats. But, when my mom used to make these, it always blew my mind how soaked and ground up lentils can be formed into pretty much any shape and fried – without any eggs or flour to bind them! Even when chopped up onions are added to the mix!

Dal Vada

For these fritters, I ground up ginger and garlic along with the lentils and cumin to distribute their flavor throughout each fritter. The chopped up onion and olives so enhanced the flavor and texture of these baked fritters that my mom gave them a thumbs up, even though they were not fried!

Dal Vada Baked Oliv Lentil Fritters RunninSrilankan

These Baked Olive Lentil Fritters are a fusion of Sri Lankan and Mediterranean cuisines. California Black Ripe Olives are so versatile and are cholesterol free – containing monounsaturated fat (the good fat) and no trans fat (the bad fat). I adore black olives for their unique flavor, texture and color. And, the fact that they contain .25 mg of vitamin E, .49 mg of iron, 60 IU of vitamin A and 0.5 grams of fiber per serving makes them the icing on the cake, or should I say the olives in the dal vada!

[Tweet “Baked Olive Lentil Fritters aka “Dal Vada” #TheRecipeRedux @RunninSrilankan”]

Baked Olive Lentil Fritters aka Dal Vada

Baked Olive Lentil Fritters aka "Dal Vada"

3 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 12
Author: Shashi
A delicious, baked fritter packed with lentils and black olives - crispy on the outside and so tasty on the inside! These would make a healthy and wonderful appetizer as well as protein and oat packed breakfast!


  • 3 tablespoons rolled oats
  • 1 cup dry lentils - lentils need to be soaked for 1-4 hours. Once they are soaked I used red, they double in quantity and 1 cup dry lentils yields about 2 cups soaked lentils
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger
  • 1 small onion chopped about 4 tablespoons
  • 2/3 cups chopped California Black Ripe Olives
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 jalapeno chopped seeds removed according to your love of heat
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Olive Oil - for brushing


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Add the oats, soaked lentils, ginger, garlic, cumin, salt into a food processors and pulse till lentils are like powder almost.
  • Stir in the chopped onion, California Black Ripe Olives, jalapeno and baking powder
  • Form into circles
  • Flatten each circle
  • Brush with olive oil
  • Bake for 20 minutes
  • Eat while still warm with ketchup or sambal oelek.
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Recipe Rating

  1. Iman says:

    Hi! I’d love to make these but I’d need to have them gluten free.. can I just substitute the oats for gf flour?

  2. […] boy-o-boy are lentils versatile! From using them in these Chocolate Lentil Pancakes to these Lentil and Olive Vada’s to a myriad of stews and curries, lentils have been adorning my breakfast, lunch, and dinner table […]

  3. Mariaan says:

    Made these this afternoon. Had to add lentil soak water and olive oil to get it to bind. Less oats perhaps?
    Flavour is good but a bit stodgy inside.

  4. […] powerhouses. Whether canned or dried, I enjoy using lentils in everything from pancakes to vada to […]

  5. […] turmeric, and a can of lentils. I usually prefer using dried lentils (like I’ve done in these lentil vada, lentil patties, and these lentil pancakes). But, as I had some cans of lentils in the back of my […]

  6. Cathleen @ A Taste of Madness says:

    I love recipes that pretty much come together all in a food processor 🙂

  7. I’ve never heard of soaking lentils…I am going to have to try this. These look like a delicious and healthy snack! Pinning for later 🙂

  8. I like the idea of baking these! Yum!

  9. I stopped right away when I saw these fritters. They look so so so lovely! Love this share a million times over, looking like dinnertime next week 🙂

  10. spicedblog says:

    I love that you made lentil fritters and packed ’em full of olives! There was a time when I wouldn’t have gone for a recipe like this, but lentils + olives are definitely on my good side now…and I’m pretty sure I would devour all of these fritters. And then I would ransack your kitchen looking for more. I apologize in advance for the mess I’m about to create!

  11. These vadas look super crisp, tempting and mouth-watering. I am loving these healthy bites! 🙂

  12. Omg! I love lentils so there’s my ‘yes’. And another ‘yes’. And once again ‘yes’! How couldn’t I approve so delicious lentil fritters, indeed?! Well done, Shashi!

  13. cottercrunch says:

    hello fiber and all the flavor! great choice of fritters. I don’t think i could stop at one!

  14. I love lentils and really should cook with them more. Will have to try these fritters! They look delicious. 🙂

  15. mila furman says:

    OMG this looks awesome! I love how they come together without the aid of eggs!!!! This gives me tons of ideas 🙂

    • Shashi says:

      I know right?! Soaked lentils are so versatile – the possibilities are endless! Looking forward to seeing what you come up with and Thanks so much Mila

  16. The fritters are really wonderful, best of luck in the contest and let us know if we can vote for you. I love that you added olives, a real fusion and explosion of flavor.

  17. These sound great, Shashi! Two thumbs up for being vegetarian/vegan!

  18. hotlyspiced says:

    What a great blend of cuisines. I do love the sound of all the spices flavouring the lentils. And the addition of black olives is brilliant xx

  19. These fritters sound perfect Shashi, and since your mom gave them a thumbs up, so do I!!! I’ve never had anything quite like this before and would love to try these. Maybe it’s time for ME to get on the jet plane….

  20. Mike says:

    I’m really ashamed to admit that I never had Dal Vada in my life…how provincial am I?
    Time to make amends then. These bad boys will happen in my kitchen in the near future, Very near future!

    • Shashi says:

      Now I am stupefied! You seem to have tried just about everything from India and Sri Lanka Mike – well, it’s not too late to get on the dal-vada bandwagon! BTW – When you use soaked channa dal, these work out even better – I was out and that’s why I used red dal/lentils.

  21. Mira says:

    These fritters look so good! Love them! I just made lentil soup! Pinning to try this recipe!

  22. Serena Ball says:

    Never thought about how lentils are more ‘packable’ than beans….no egg needed. I want to make these now. “Love the stories of how you grew up eating such yummy foods!

    • Shashi says:

      Thanks so much Serena! Yes – lentils are so “packable” when soaked – some other lentils like channa dal works better in vadas but I wanted a pop of color and I also happened to be out, so I used red lentils instead.

  23. Melissa Falk says:

    Shashi, this is a very cool recipe. Thanks for the share. Lots of my favorite flavors!

  24. Yum! I love lentils. Although I am not a huge fan of olives, so I may leave them out 😉 Pinning for later!

  25. Joanne says:

    I’ve never seen fritters made like this before! Very cool. Love how high protein and big on flavor they are!

  26. Marye says:

    Oh wow, these sound amazing! I definitely need to try these!

  27. I adore vada and I am so excited that these are baked and not deep fried!! Wooohooo! I must give this a try. 🙂 You really got some good color on them too… at first glance they definitely looked fried… lovely color. Kudos!!

  28. I am amazed by this recipe.

    I’ll have to look about to see if I can get California black ripe olives, but the combination and twist of the flavours – Sri Lankan and Mediterranean cuisines together is an eye opener. You’re making my mouth water here and it’s only 9am!

    I love how these are baked too, rather than fried. So much more healthier. Oh and the spices….. I could go on.

    Now wouldn’t these be delicious as a “starter” to compliment my latest curry recipe? 😀

    • Shashi says:

      Neil – these would be an amazing starter to your curry recipe!!! You know, my mom would have vada for breakfast some mornings – talk about a plant based protein kick to start the day with!
      BTW Thanks so much – your kind and supportive words are always so welcome

  29. Khushboo says:

    Awesome twist on Dal Vadas, Shashi! I love the addition of olives too- definitely not an ingredient I would usually think to add :)! This recipe is proof that almost any dish can be made more nutritionally with just a few simple swaps e.g. oats for all-purpose flour which is usually used!

  30. Angie@Angie's Recipes says:

    Simple yet so gorgeous! I would eat the whole batch at one go.