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Pesaru garelu on a paper with a cup of butter on the side

Pesaru Garelu

Pesaru garelu are moong dal vada, a spicy donut shaped fritters with green gram.
Course After School Snack, Breakfast
Cuisine South Indian, Telangana Cuisine, Telugu Cuisine
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Soaking Time 6 hours
Servings 2
Calories 432kcal
Author Usha Rao


  • Colander or a strainer
  • Food Processor, Blender or a Mixie
  • Pan for deep frying
  • Slotted Spoon
  • Knife & Cutting Board


  • 1 cup Split Moong with husk husked moong dal also works
  • 6 Green Chilies
  • 1 tablespoon chopped Ginger
  • ¾ teaspoon Cumin Seeds
  • ¼ cup chopped Onion
  • 1 Scallion chopped
  • ½ cup chopped Cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon Salt adjust to taste
  • ¾ teaspoon Chili Powder adjust to taste
  • 2 tablespoon chopped Methi ~ Fenugreek Leaves opt
  • 4-6 Curry Leaves chopped (opt)
  • Spinach Leaves chopped I did not use and it is optional
  • ¼ teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • 1 - 2 teaspoon Coriander Powder I did not use it
  • Oil for deep frying


  • Soak split moong in water for at least 6 hours or overnight.
  • Wash the moong and discard most of the skin. If moong is well soaked, the skin will peel off from split moong when rubbed between fingers. I discarded ⅔ – ¾ of the skin.
  • Transfer moong to a colander or a strainer and let the water drain.
  • Meantime, grind together chilies, ginger, salt and cumin seeds. Onions can also be ground but I forgot and used chopped onion instead. This step is optional. These can be ground with moong dal as well but to get a fine paste, I usually tend to grind these separately in a mini grinder.
  • Transfer ground paste to a food processor or a blender. I would recommend a food processor for garelu or vada as it would not require too much water when grinding. Then add washed and drained moong dal, keeping aside ¼ – ⅓ cup of dal.
  • Grind everything to a paste. It need not be a smooth paste. If necessary, add about 1 – 2 tablespoon water and no more than that. I used 1 tbsp. water. Also, if onion is ground, water is not required and moisture from ground onion is sufficient to grind the dal.
  • Transfer ground dal to a bowl, add chopped onion (if not used in previous step), scallion, cilantro, methi leaves, spinach if using, and chili powder. Add the moong dal that was kept aside and mix well.
  • Taste the dal mixture and adjust chili powder and salt to taste.
  • Heat oil in a pan for deep frying.
  • Take a Ziploc bag and place small lime sized dal mixture on it. Press it into a disc using fingers and make a hole in the middle using the index finger.
  • When oil is hot, gradually drop the garele in oil. 4 – 5 garelu can be deep fried at a time, depending on the size of the pan.
  • Deep fry on medium to medium high heat until garelu are light brown and cooked inside.
  • Remove from oil and drain on paper towels.
  • Repeat the process with rest of the dal mixture.
  • Serve garelu with butter.


  • Green Chilies – Only green chilies can be used. If using only green chilies add more chilies and do not add chili powder.
  • Onion – ground onion paste or chopped onion or ½ ground and ½ chopped onions can be used. I prefer chopped onions or a combination of ground onion paste and chopped onions.
  • Dal – I used split moong with skin but regular yellow moong dal can also be used. Whole moong can also be used though that needs to be soaked for at least 24 hours.
  • Substitute – Bobbarulu or black eyed peas can be used instead of moong dal.
  • Leftovers - If you have any leftovers, you can make garela pulusu.
  • Nutrition - Values mentioned in the label are approximate measures.


Calories: 432kcal | Carbohydrates: 80g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1647mg | Potassium: 1443mg | Fiber: 24g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 756IU | Vitamin C: 66mg | Calcium: 247mg | Iron: 9mg