Dahi Vada
North Indian Snacks

Dahi Vada

Dahi Vada (Dahi Bhalla) is a Indian recipe made with fried lentil dumpling fritters, dunked in creamy whipped yogurt and topped with both spicy and sweet chutneys along with sprinkles of spice mix.

It is also known as “Dahi vade” in Marathi, “Dahi Bhalla” in Punjabi, Thayir Vadai in Tamil, Thairu Vada in Malayalam, Perugu Vada in Telugu, Mosaru vade in Kannada, Dahi bara in Odia and Doi bora in Bengali.

It was believed that in the 18th Century, the Mughal Khansamas prepared this delight in the Mughal Kitchens using curd, herbs and spices to improve the digestion. Lentils are rich in protein and curd is an excellent source of calcium, vitamin B-12, magnesium, potassium, vitamin B-2, and several other nutrients.

This recipe is as simple as its name but full of exotic flavor which can suffice your craving for chaat’s or street food. What can be better that munching on flavorful side-dish which has health benefits.

A perfect Dahi Vada recipe starts with tender and puffy homemade fried lentil fritters that are soaked in water, drained, and then drenched in seasoned yogurt and garnished with various chutneys and spices.

Dahi Vada And Memories To Cherish

Me and my brother have childhood memories attached to this dish. When we were young our Dad used to bring Dahi Vada from famous place known as Itia Thok town which was around 20 km from our home. I can still imagine the taste of those famous melt-in mouth Dahi Vada from that restaurant.

I started making Dahi Vada around 8 years back when I was living in Vadodara. My brother was coming to visit my  so to surprise him I thought of making his favorite Dahi Vada. In the morning I soaked dal and made some spice mix. I was nervous and under pressure as those were my Initial days of cooking and wanted my Dahi-Vada to taste similar to what we used to have in the childhood soft silky, flavorful and melt in the mouth textured Dahi-Vada.

Tips for making soft, melt-in-your-mouth Dahi Vada/Bhalla recipe:

  1. Soaking Dal: Let the dal/lentils soak for atleast 6 hours or overnight.
  2. Grinding Dal: After soaking, blend the Urad dal with very minimum amount (2-3 tablespoon) of chilled water until you get thick, smooth, light, fluffy batter. The batter should be of dropping consistency to achieve that add very small amount of water at a time.
  3. Aerate the Batter: This very important tip for making perfect Dahi Vada. After blending, aerate the batter very well using your hand in a circular motion for around 8-10 mins. I know this is tedious process, but believe me this is worth to achieve the fluffy and soft Dahi Vada.
  4. Deep Frying: While frying dumpling the oil should be medium hot. To test the temperature, drop a small amount of batter and it should quickly come up on the surface.
  5. Soaking in warm water: Once the fried vada’s are cooled down a bit dip them in a warm water, this will help them absorb water from inside keeping them soft and moist. After 10 mins they will double in size. Then gently squeeze them and dip them in whisked yogurt.

The dish is sweet, savory, spicy, soft all at the same time. You need to try to really understand what I mean. My mouth is watering just by thinking about it. Give it a try you will definitely love this recipe.

Do try other snacks recipes :

Preparation Time: 10mins(+Soaking Time)  ∏  Cooking Time: 25mins  ∏  Servings: 14-16 vadas

Level: Intermediate(Medium)  ∏  Measurement: 1 Cup ≡ 250 ml ≡ 250gm

Ingredients Checklist:

For Vada

For Soaking Vada

Other Ingredients

How to make Dahi Vada:

Soaking Dal

Step1: Wash and clean the Urad dal in a deep bowl and soak it in enough water for 5-6 hours or overnight. Make sure you use a large bowl to soak the lentils as they will double in size.

Step2: Drain all the water and transfer soaked dal/lentils to a food processor or blender, add 2 tablespoons chilled water.

Step3: Pulse it into medium-thick flowing batter. Do not add all the water at once add it in batches.

Step4: Transfer the ground batter in a large place. Meanwhile heat oil in a kadai/wok on medium flame as you whisk the batter.

Step5: Beat the batter well with your hand in circular motion for 8-10 minutes. This aerates the batter making it more light and fluffy. Then take a small portion of the batter and drop it in a bowl of water. If it floats on top, you are all set, but if it sinks, then you need to whisk for a few more minutes until you attain that texture.

Step6: Add finely chopped ginger, green chili, fresh coriander leaves, 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds, black pepper power and salt to taste.

Step7: Mix everything very well. You may also add raisins and cashews if you like.

Frying Vadas

Step8: To check the right temperature of the oil, drop a small portion of batter to the oil, it has to start floating immediately without turning brown. Also while the oil is getting hot, in a pan warm 2-3 cups of water, turn off the flame and add little salt and 1/4 teaspoon of Hing. Keep it aside.

Step9: Once the oil is medium hot using a spoon or hand drop the batter one by one into the oil. Do not over crowd the kadai with the Vada. Add depending on the size of the kadai/wok/pan.

Step10: When one side is golden and crisp, gently turn over with a slotted spoon and fry the other side. Fry the dal pakoras (fritters) for 3-4 minutes on both sides or until they are golden brown and cooked from inside. Stir occasionally.

Step11: Remove the Vada with a slotted spoon and drain them on paper towels. Then after 5 minute transfer them to the bowl/pan of warm water.

Step12: Cover and let them soak for about 15-20 minutes. By soaking vada they will double in size and become soft and moist from inside. While the vada’s are soaking prepare the remaining by frying them in batches.

Step13: Take each Vada out of the warm water and gently press it between your palms or fingers to remove excess water.

Step14: Set it on a plate/bowl. Repeat this process with all the vadas.

Assembling Dahi Vada

Step15: In a bowl add 2 cup of fresh curd and whisk it until smooth.

Step16: Add 1/2 teaspoon black salt, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 teaspoon cumin powder, 1/2 teaspoon chat masala, 1/4 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder and some salt to taste. Make sure that curd is not very thin or very thick it should have medium consistency.

Step17: Whisk it until sugar melts and spices gets evenly mixed.

Step18: Pour the curd over the vada evenly all over covering them.

Step19: Let them soak in curd for 30-45 mins before serving. You may also keep them in refrigerator.

Step20: Top with the green chutney and tamarind chutney as needed. Sprinkle a few pinches of red chili powder, roasted cumin powder, chaat masala and black salt along with pomegranate or sev. Dahi Vada is ready to be served. Enjoy!

Dahi Vada

Tips:

  • While grinding batter try not to add water otherwise the batter will turn watery.
  • Whisk batter for atleast 8-10 minutes in one direction so that batter will become soft and fluffy.
  • Do not keep the batter too thick. This is because very thick batter produces somewhat hard and dense dumplings. Similarly, if the batter is thin then the pakoras would absorb a lot of oil. So, keep a medium consistency.
  • Fry the Vada on medium heat for best result.
  • For this recipe use fresh yogurt. I always use homemade curd. Do not use yogurt which has become sour.
  • In this recipe you may also add 1/4 cup of moong dal along with urad dal.
  • Fried vadas can also be soaked in buttermilk instead of warm water.

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