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Kunuku Recipe - Lentil Fritters Recipe (Lentil Pakora)

Kunuku Recipe or Lentil Fritters is a popular snack made with leftover adai maavu(adai batter), a protein rich batter.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Appetizer / Snacks, Breakfast / Snack
Cuisine: Indian (South Indian)
Keyword: Kunukku, Adai Kunukku, Lentil Fritters, Lentil Pakora, Kunuku
Servings: 4
Author: Padma Veeranki


To Soak For Adai Batter:

  • 1/2 Cup Raw Rice
  • 1/2 Cup Idli Rice
  • 1/2 Cup Tur Dal
  • 1/2 Cup Chana Dal
  • 1 tbsp Moong Dal
  • 1 tbsp Urad Dal
  • 3 Red Chillies
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds

Other Ingredients:

  • A Sprigs Curry Leaves
  • 1/4 tsp Asafoetida
  • Salt to taste
  • Required Oil/Ghee To Deep Fry

Seasoning Batter: Finely Chop & Add

  • 1 Onion
  • 1-2 Green Chillies
  • 1/2 ” Ginger Piece
  • Few Curry Leaves
  • Fresh Coriander


Adai Batter:

  • Soak rice and dals together along with dry red chillies & Cumin Seeds for 2-3 hours.
  • Grind it coarsely along with few curry leaves & add water as required. Make sure it is thick enough to make kunukku. Transfer the batter into large mixing bowl.
  • To this, asafoetida & salt and mix well. Adai batter is now ready. Make sure everything is combined well.
  • Remove required batter to a clean bowl. Do not add any extra water. Store remaining batter in the refrigerator.
  • You can also make the batter a day ahead and store covered in the refrigerator.
  • To the batter, add finely chopped onions, green chillies, ginger, curry leaves & coriander & mix well . Make sure you add all this right before you want to fry.

Making the kunuku:

  • Heat a deep pan required oil for deep frying. To know if the oil is ready, add a drop of the batter into the oil. If it rises and floats to the top quickly, the oil is ready to use. Make sure the oil is on lowest heat before you start to drop the batter into the oil
  • FIRST METHOD – Using hand : Wet your fingers lightly. Using 4 fingers, pick up equal portions of the batter and use your thumb to push the batter and gently drop into the oil. Continue similarly to work with the rest of the batter.
  • SECOND METHOD – Using a small Ice cream scoop – Scoop tiny portions of the batter using the scoop and drop into the oil.
  • THIRD METHOD – Using 2 Spoons: Pick up some batter using a spoon. Use another spoon to scoop out the batter and drop into the oil.
  • Do not overcrowd the pan. Deep fry on medium heat for 5-7 minutes or until the kunukku pieces are crisp and golden brown. The time taken will depend on the size of your kunukku.
  • Remove with a slotted spoon onto a plate with an absorbent tissue paper.
  • Fry some green chillies & curry leaves in the same oil. Remove and add it over the kunuku. This is optional though!
  • Serve with your favourite condiment. I'm serving with coconut chutney.

Recipe Video


  • You can make fresh batter or use leftover adai batter, just make sure the batter consistency is not too thin.
  • If in case the leftover batter is slightly thin, add a little rice flour or semolina (sooji), mix well & make Kunuku.
  • Do not grind the mixture too coarse as it might crumble while frying in oil.
  • Using your hands to pick up and drop the batter into the oil is the quickest method to make the Kunuku. If you are just starting out, you may find this a bit inconvenient. But once you get the hang of it, it becomes very easy. So, use the spoon or ice cream scoop method!
  • If you feel like the Kunukku pieces are too hard, add a couple of tablespoons of water to the batter and mix well.
  • The tinier the Kunukku pieces, the crispier they will be. Soo, don’t use more than 1 or 2 teaspoons of the batter per Kunuku piece!