1. Soak the chana dal in water for 2 hours.
2. In a blender, add the soaked chana dal, red chilies, salt and little water for grinding. Grind them coarsely and not into a paste.
3. In a bowl, remove the batter from the blender, add in the spinach, onions, ginger, garlic, green chilies, salt,cumin seeds, fennel seeds, curry leaves, cilantro, hing and cornflour (optional). Mix all the ingredients well.
4. Take a small amount of the batter in one hand and make small round shape with the other hand. Flaten it in the centre and the edges.
5. In a deep frying pan, heat the oil to 350 degrees F, for frying the vadas.
6. Gently drop these vada's into the hot oil.
7. Deep fry them in the hot oil for 7 - 8 minutes until they are golden brown.
8. Serve the masal vada with coconut chutney, sambhar or tomato sauce.