Dahi Vada | Dahi Bhalla

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March 22, 2024
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Dahi Vada is a North Indian treat featuring soft lentil fritters dunked in creamy sweet yogurt and topped with yummy sweet and spicy chutneys. Whether you call it Dahi Bhalla or Dahi Bara, it’s a hit with everyone and fits perfectly into any festive spread!

This dish isn’t just popular in India, but all over the world. It’s super versatile too – you can serve it as a snack, appetizer, or alongside your main course.

It’s totally veggie-friendly and gluten-free! You can even make it vegan by swapping out the yogurt with a plant based yoghurt.

Growing up, Dahi Vada was a family favorite in my house. My mom’s recipe was the best – those lentil fritters were like clouds in your mouth! And topping them with Tamarind Chutney? Absolute perfection. Even after moving away, I’ve kept up the tradition, sharing this tasty treat at every party and potluck.

Today, I am sharing my mom’s recipe with you.

Dahi vada
Dahi vada

Ingredients

For Vada Batter:

  • 1 cup split black gram lentils (urad dal)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped ginger
  • 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon asafoetida
  • 10-15 raisins (optional)
  • 10-15 cashews roughly chopped (optional)
  • Salt to taste

For Frying:

  • Oil for frying

For Yogurt Sauce:

  • 2.5 cups yogurt (curd)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For assembly:

  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon Chaat masala
  • Red chili powder as needed
  • Black salt as needed
  • 1 tablespoon Tamarind chutney or as required
  • 1 tablespoon Mint chutney or as required
  • 1/4 cup Boondi or fine Sev
  • Salt to taste
Dahi vada
Dahi Vada

Instructions

For Making Batter:

  1. Start by rinsing the lentils thoroughly for about 3 to 4 times in water to remove any debris. Place the rinsed lentils in a large bowl and cover them with enough water. Allow them to soak overnight or for at least 4 to 5 hours.
  2. Once the lentils are soaked, drain all the water and transfer them to a blender or mixer-grinder. To this, add chopped ginger, cumin seeds, a pinch of asafoetida, and salt according to taste. Gradually add water to the lentil mixture in parts and grind until you achieve a smooth, thick, or medium-thick flowing batter consistency. Transfer the ground batter to a bowl.
  3. Now its time to aerate the batter. Briskly stir it for a couple of minutes. This process aerates the batter, making it lighter and fluffier.
  4. Finally, add chopped raisins and cashews to the batter, and combine well. Set the batter aside for further use.

Deep Frying Vada:

  1. Heat a kadai with oil over medium heat for deep frying.
  2. Once the oil is adequately hot, using a spoon, carefully drop spoonfuls of the batter into the oil.
  3. Allow the vada to fry without turning them immediately. When you notice the vada turning pale golden from the base and sides, gently flip them over.
  4. Continue frying the vada until they turn golden and crisp on all sides. Once done, remove them from the oil and place them on paper towels to drain excess oil.

Prepping Dahi Vada:

  1. In another bowl, take some water. After 2 to 3 minutes, while the vada are still hot, carefully place them in the water and let them soak for 12 to 15 minutes. During soaking, the vada will release some oil and absorb water, resulting in a slight increase in size and color change.
  2. After soaking, take each vada and gently press and flatten them between your palms to remove excess water. Arrange the squeezed vada in a serving bowl or tray.

For Yogurt Sauce:

  1. In a bowl, whisk together yogurt, cumin powder, salt and sugar. Keep it in fridge for 20 minutes to cool it down.

Assembly:

  1. Pour yogurt sauce evenly over the vada, covering them completely.
  2. Top the vada with green chutney and tamarind chutney as per your preference.
  3. Sprinkle a pinch of red chili powder, roasted cumin powder, chaat masala, and black salt over the vada.
  4. Finally, garnish the dahi vada with boondi or fine sev for a burst of color and flavor.

Serving Suggestions

  • Dahi Wada is best served chilled, making it a refreshing choice for hot summer days.
  • Enjoy it as a standalone snack or as a side dish alongside your favorite Indian meal.
  • It pairs beautifully with dishes like biryani, pulao, or even simple dal and rice.
Serving Dahi vada
Serving Dahi vada

Tips and Tricks

  • Ensure that the lentil paste is ground to a smooth consistency for fluffy and light dumplings.
  • Soaking the fried dumplings in water helps to remove excess oil and makes them softer.
  • Adjust the seasoning of yogurt according to your taste preferences. Experiment with different seasoning options for the yogurt, such as adding a pinch of roasted cumin powder or finely grated ginger for an extra kick of flavor.
  • Prepare the lentil dumplings in advance and store them in an airtight container. Just soak them in water before assembling to soften.
  • If you prefer a healthier version, you can steam the lentil dumplings instead of deep frying them. This reduces the oil content while retaining the authentic taste.
  • Leftover Dahi Wada can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1-2 days. However, it’s best enjoyed fresh to retain the crispiness of the dumplings.
Serving Dahi vada
Serving Dahi vada

FAQs

Q: Can I make Dahi Wada in advance?

A: Yes, you can prepare the lentil dumplings and yogurt separately in advance and assemble them just before serving to maintain the crispiness of the dumplings.

Q: Can I use store-bought yogurt for this recipe?

A: Absolutely! Store-bought yogurt works just fine, but homemade yogurt adds a special touch to the dish.

Q: Can I make Dahi Wada gluten-free?

A: Yes, Dahi Wada can be made gluten-free by ensuring that all the ingredients used are gluten-free. Substitute chaat masala with a gluten-free alternative, and ensure the yogurt and chutneys are gluten-free as well.

Q: Can I use a different type of lentil for the dumplings?

A: Traditionally, split black gram lentils (urad dal) are used for Dahi Wada. However, you can experiment with other lentils like moong dal (split mung beans) or masoor dal (red lentils) for a variation in flavor and texture.

Other Recipes to try

Dahi Vada

Dahi Vada or Dahi Bhalla

Dahi Vada is a Indian treat featuring soft lentil fritters dunked in creamy sweet yogurt and topped with yummy sweet and spicy chutneys. It's totally veggie-friendly and gluten-free! You can even make it vegan by swapping out the yogurt with a plant based yoghurt.

Ingredients
  

For Vada Batter:

  • 1 cup split black gram lentils urad dal
  • 1 teaspoon chopped ginger
  • 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon asafoetida
  • 10-15 raisins optional
  • 10-15 cashews roughly chopped optional
  • Salt to taste

For Frying:

  • Oil for frying

For Yogurt Sauce:

  • 2.5 cups yogurt curd
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For assembly:

  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon Chaat masala
  • Red chili powder as needed
  • Black salt as needed
  • 1 tablespoon Tamarind chutney or as required
  • 1 tablespoon Mint chutney or as required
  • 1/4 cup Boondi or fine Sev
  • Salt to taste

Instructions
 

Making Batter:

  • Start by rinsing the lentils thoroughly for about 3 to 4 times in water to remove any debris. Place the rinsed lentils in a large bowl and cover them with enough water. Allow them to soak overnight or for at least 4 to 5 hours.
  • Once the lentils are soaked, drain all the water and transfer them to a blender or mixer-grinder. To this, add chopped ginger, cumin seeds, a pinch of asafoetida, and salt according to taste. Gradually add water to the lentil mixture in parts and grind until you achieve a smooth, thick, or medium-thick flowing batter consistency. Transfer the ground batter to a bowl.
  • Now its time to aerate the batter. Briskly stir it for a couple of minutes. This process aerates the batter, making it lighter and fluffier.
  • Finally, add chopped raisins and cashews to the batter, and combine well. Set the batter aside for further use.

Deep Frying Vada:

  • Heat a kadai with oil over medium heat for deep frying.
  • Once the oil is adequately hot, using a spoon, carefully drop spoonfuls of the batter into the oil.
  • Allow the vada to fry without turning them immediately. When you notice the vada turning pale golden from the base and sides, gently flip them over.
  • Continue frying the vada until they turn golden and crisp on all sides. Once done, remove them from the oil and place them on paper towels to drain excess oil.

Prepping Dahi Vada:

  • In another bowl, take some water. After 2 to 3 minutes, while the vada are still hot, carefully place them in the water and let them soak for 12 to 15 minutes. During soaking, the vada will release some oil and absorb water, resulting in a slight increase in size and color change.
  • After soaking, take each vada and gently press and flatten them between your palms to remove excess water. Arrange the squeezed vada in a serving bowl or tray.
  • For Yogurt Sauce:
  • In a bowl, whisk together yogurt, cumin powder, salt and sugar. Keep it in fridge for 20 minutes to cool it down.

Assembly:

  • Pour yogurt sauce evenly over the vada, covering them completely.
  • Top the vada with green chutney and tamarind chutney as per your preference.
  • Sprinkle a pinch of red chili powder, roasted cumin powder, chaat masala, and black salt over the vada.
  • Finally, garnish the dahi vada with boondi or fine sev for a burst of color and flavor.

Notes

**Serving Suggestions**
  • Dahi Wada is best served chilled, making it a refreshing choice for hot summer days.
  • Enjoy it as a standalone snack or as a side dish alongside your favorite Indian meal.
  • It pairs beautifully with dishes like biryani, pulao, or even simple dal and rice.
 
**Tips and Tricks**
 
  • Ensure that the lentil paste is ground to a smooth consistency for fluffy and light dumplings.
  • Soaking the fried dumplings in water helps to remove excess oil and makes them softer.
  • Adjust the seasoning of yogurt according to your taste preferences. Experiment with different seasoning options for the yogurt, such as adding a pinch of roasted cumin powder or finely grated ginger for an extra kick of flavor.
  • Prepare the lentil dumplings in advance and store them in an airtight container. Just soak them in water before assembling to soften.
  • If you prefer a healthier version, you can steam the lentil dumplings instead of deep frying them. This reduces the oil content while retaining the authentic taste.
  • Leftover Dahi Wada can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1-2 days. However, it’s best enjoyed fresh to retain the crispiness of the dumplings.
Author: Trupti Deo
Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Dahi Bara, Dahi Bhalla, Dahi Vada, healthy, North Indian Snack, Probiotic Snack, South Indian Snack

Did you make this recipe?

Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and tag @amusingcooker on Instagram and hashtag it #amusingcooker.

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