The Dahi Vada is a lentil ball that is softened in water and served with yogurt, spices and chutneys. The dish is served in a slightly different variations across the country. In the south of India, the Vada is made of split black urad daal with a little onion, asafoetida and curry leaves added to the batter. In the west of India, the yogurt is served slightly sweeter. In different places, the garnishes differ, ranging from coconut, coriander and mint leaves, grated carrot, sweet & sour Tamarin & Date chutney or a spicy, bright coriander chutney.
Dahi Vada with it’s fun play on textures, savoury, sweet and sour flavours, and the freshness of yogurt and herbs, is a fun snack and also a tasty side to include on a lunch or dinner party menu. This particular Dahi Vada recipe was a little experiment of ours to combine two daals to yield a marginally faster recipe and the results are a great,fresh tasting dahi vada that is perfect with a dollop of yogurt, sweet & tangy chutneys and bright herbs.
Makes about 25 vadas
For the Vada:
100 g Split Green Mung daal
100 g Split Black Urad daal
1 inch Ginger
2-3 Green Chilis
Salt to taste
50 ml Oil
A large bowl of Water
100 g Yogurt
1 tsp Oil
Pinch of Mustard seeds
Pinch of Jeera seeds
1 tsp Coriander powder
1 tsp Cumin seeds, roasted and powdered
1/2 tsp Red Chili powder
Tamarind chutney, to taste (about 3-4 tbs)
Soak the split green mung daal and black urad daal in two separate bowls for about 8 or 10 hours.
Rub the daals between the palms of your hand to remove the skin. Rinse repeatedly till the daals are skinfree.Grind the ginger and chili to a paste and set aside. Grind the daals to a thick smooth paste and add the ginger and chili paste along with salt to taste and stir well to make a smooth batter.
In a large kadhai heat the 50 ml oil. Set the large bowl of water at an accessible distance.
Use a spoon or your hand to drop a little of the daal batter into the oil. Deep fry on medium heat till all sides are evenly done and pale brown in color. You want to keep the heat at a medium level because any higher, and the outside will get crispy while the inside will remain a little raw.
Drop the cooked vadas in the bowl of water and let them soak for around 20 minutes. While the vadas are soaking, whisk the yogurt with a little bit of water.
In a small kadhai, heat 1/2 tsp of oil pop the cumin and mustard seeds in. Once they crackle, pour the oil and seeds over the yogurt.
Take the vadas out of the water and press them between the palm of your hands and squeeze the water out. They will be flat and disc shaped now. Lay them in a serving dish and pour the yogurt over them and let them soak in the yogurt for an hour or so if you like the vadas soft, less if you like them with a bit of a bit.
Sprinkle the coriander, cumin and chili powders over the yogurt and spoon the tamarind chutney before you serve.
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