Soft Dahi Vada (Lentil fritter soaked in tangy yogurt sauce) is a street food delight enjoyed by most folks back home. The dish gets its name 'Dahi Vada' from 'Dahi' which translates to yogurt and 'Vada' which is fritter in the local language. This dish is a delicious treat to the tastebuds and you can't seem to have enough of it, especially in the hot summers.
The soaked, ground and deep-fried lentils paired with yogurt is a great source of nutrition too. The lentil fritters can be shallow fried in an appe-pan if desired and can appeal to the calorie-conscious as well. In the making process, the fritters are soaked in hot water and squeezed and drained of all the oil. So even if they are deep-fried, you can still enjoy this dish guilt-free. Dahi Vada can make a great appetizer or a meal in itself as they are quite filling.
How to make soft Dahi Vadas?
Dahi Vadas are very tasty and there are certain tips to follow to make them soft, so they melt in your mouth with the first bite. We use two types of lentils split black gram dal and split yellow moong dal in the ratio of 1: ¼ in this recipe. Some folks use split black gram alone which is okay as well. Soak the lentils for about four hours in a large pan. Grind in a mixer with very little water, ginger, and green chilies to a smooth but thick paste. Whisk the batter well with a fork or spoon for about 4 to 5 minutes so it aerates. This is very important to make the Dahi Vadas soft.
What type of yogurt can be used for Dahi vada? Homemade yogurt made with live cultures gives the best taste when used in making Dahi vadas. You can easily make yogurt in an instant pot by adding live cultures and setting it to yogurt mode. If you are unable to make it at home, buy the plain yogurt with live cultures from the groceries. The consistency should not be very sticky it should be thick and a little runny. It is better to use curd that is not sour.
Can you store the batter ?
The batter can be made and stored in the refrigerator in advance and taken out just before using. If refrigerating make sure to add the salt just before frying. Try to use the batter within two days else it can get sour.
Deep fry a spoonful of batter and dish it out into a bowl lined with a paper towel. Once the Vadas or fritters are completely cooled, submerge the fritters in a large container with hot water for about 20 minutes. You can place a heavy container on the top to ensure the Vadas are submerged in water. Keep a bowl with beaten yogurt, salt, and sugar ready. Dish the fritters out and squeeze the water and oil from them by compressing between two spoons. Transfer them to the bowl with sweetened beaten yogurt.
Drizzle with green mint and coriander chutney, tamarind chutney, pomegranate seeds, and crunchy bites of fine sev(crispy bites made with chickpea flour) if you like. The sev and chutneys are available in the grocery aisles or made at home. You can also sprinkle a little red chili powder, cumin powder, and chaat masala if you wish. Hope you enjoyed reading about this recipe and will try it out yourself. Enjoy!
Soft delicious bites of lentil fritters soaked in yogurt sauce drizzled with tamarind and mint sauce topped with fine crispy deep fried chickpea bites.
- 1 cup split black gram dal (urad)
- ¼ cup yellow split moong dal
- ½ inch ginger
- 2 green chillies or as desired
- 4 cups yogurt beaten well
- 5 tsp sugar or more if you prefer sweeter
- 1 tsp salt or to taste
- 2 cups water
- 2 tbsp mint chutney
- 2 tbsp tamarind chutney
- 2 tbsp crispy bites of sev
- ¼ cup pomegranate seeds
- 1 pinch red chilli powder
- 1 pinch chaat masala powder
- 1 pinch cumin powder
- 1 tbsp coriander leaves finely chopped
Soak the lentils for about four hours in a large bowl of water.
Grind the soaked dals with ginger and green chillies with very little water.
Add salt and beat the batter well for about 5 minutes until it aerates well.
In a deep fry pan heat oil and pour a spoonful of batter.
Fry the lentil fritters and drain them into a bowl with paper towel.
After it is cooled transfer the fritters to a large bowl of hot water and keep the fritters submerged with a heavy lid or plate.
Keep a flat bowl of yogurt beaten with water, a little salt and sugar ready .
Squeeze the fritters of oil and water and transfer to the bowl filled with beaten yogurt .
Drizzle with mint chutney, tamarind chutney, pomegraranate seed and top with crunchy sev if desired.
Sprinkle a pinch of red chilli powder , cumin powder and chaat masala all over if desired.