Dahi Vada, Dahi Bhalla or Dahi Bara are fried lentil dumplings, topped with curd, variety of chutney and spices. It’s a famous Indian Chaat recipe and very popular street food. Learn to make super soft Punjabi Dahi Bhalla at home.
There is something about Chaat recipes, that you just can’t say no to any of them!
I have not come across a single Chaat recipe that I don’t like.
Be it a Bhel Puri, Dahi Papdi or even an Aloo Chaat, each and every chaat has its own uniqueness in terms of taste and flavour.
There are a variety of Chaats depending upon which region it belongs to, but there is one Chaat recipe that is made in almost every Indian household.
It is DAHI VADA or DAHI BHALLA.
Soft lentil dumplings topped with sweet and spicy chutneys, curd and some everyday spices, this dish absolutely has my heart.
This popular dish is always on my menu during festivals, especially during Holi and Diwali.
The best part about it, you can make them a day before and keep ready!
And therefore they make an apt snack to serve to your guests and everyone loves relishing it too.
It is also popular street food and you will find many street-side stalls selling it in different parts of North India, especially Delhi.
So, next time you have a festive meal coming up, make sure to include this Dahi Bhalla in your menu. I assure you, your plates will be wiped clean!
What is Dahi Vada?
It is fried lentil dumplings, topped with curd, variety of chutneys and spices.
It’s famous Indian Chaat recipes and very popular street food.
These soft as cloud Dahi Bara and that chilled creamy curd on top, this description itself is good enough to make me drool. Don’t you think?
You can skip the chutney and just sprinkle some spices on top.
Just experiment with the topping and see which fits your taste the best.
Some people make the Dahi Bara using only Urad dal but some use a mix of Urad and Moong dal.
The vada with moong dal is lighter for the stomach.
Also, there is some difference in how the vada is made in North Indian and South India. I will explain it below. So do read it.
Vada is the only thing that takes a little effort and time in this recipe.
For Vada, you will need to soak Urad Dal, Ginger, Green Chilli and Salt.
I have used only Urad Dal, But you can even use Moong Dal. Just take an equal amount of both the Dals to make the Vada.
Once your Vada is done, you will need whisked yogurt.
Add in a little sugar and salt in the whisked yogurt, it adds a nice sweet-salty taste to it, that goes very well with the Vadas.
Top it with Sweet Tamarind Chutney, Mint Coriander Chutney and everyday spices such as cumin powder, red chilli powder and salt.
You can make the chutneys beforehand and store in the fridge for about 4 to 5 days in an airtight container.
I also make Dahi Vada Masala at home to sprinkle on top.
It is easy to make, the recipe is given below. This is optional, you can skip adding it too.
How long can you store the Vadas?
If you want to use the vadas later, just keep them in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
Before using, dip them in soaking water for 20-25 minutes and then top them with curd.
Pro Tips by Neha
To make soft Dahi Bhalla recipe with a soft centre, the trick is to whip the lentil paste until it is very light and fluffy.
After grinding the lentils to a fine paste in a grinder, whisk it using your hands for 2-3 minutes.
Add a little baking soda while whisking it. Then take a bowl filled with water and drop a small ball of the batter in it.
If the drop immediately starts to float on top, the batter is ready to fry.
A pro tip to whisk your dahi bhalla batter is to use an electric mixer to whisk the batter until it light and fluffy.
It saves a lot of muscle work and the batter is soft as a cloud.
After experimenting this trick on my Indian Style Coffee Recipe, I now use it for anything that needs good whisking.
Another tip to check if the Dahi Bara batter is whisked properly, you can turn the bowl in which you are whisking the batter upside down and the batter should not fall down.
This is a little tricky because if the batter is not whisked well, it will fall down and you will have a lot to clean up 🙂
While frying the Dahi Bhalla, fry them on medium heat and as soon as you drop them in oil, keep pouring oil over them using a ladle to seal the air inside.
To make fabulous Dahi Vada, soak them in lukewarm water.
Soaking in water makes the dahi bade super soft and aids in soaking up some of the flavours from the curd.
Just press them lightly to remove excess water before putting them in the serving plate and topping with curd.
You can also add moong dal in the Dahi Bada but I prefer to use only Urad dal to make this lovely street food.
Dahi Vada Masala
Dry roast 1 tbsp Coriander Seeds, 1 tbsp Cumin Seeds, 8-10 Dry Red Chillies, 1 tsp Black Peppercorns, 2 inch Cinnamon and 2-3 Black cardamom until slightly browned and fragrant.
Cool and grind to make a smooth powder.
Sprinkle a little bit of Dahi Vada Masala over your Vada and store the remaining in an airtight container.
You can also sprinkle this masala over raita.
South Indian Style Dahi Vada
To make South Indian Style Dahi Vada, make the batter for the vada in the same manner as mentioned below.
While shaping the vada, just make a hole in the centre of the vada and then fry as mentioned.
Soak the fried vadas in hot milk.
For the curd mixture, whisk the curd until smooth. Add ginger and green chilli paste, chopped coriander, salt and sugar and whisk well.
Take out the vada in serving plate and top with curd mixture.
Make a tempering of vegetable oil, curry leaves, urad dal and hing and pour it over the Vadas.
Bread Dahi Vada
I have a fabulous recipe to make Dahi Bhalla using bread slices.
They taste just like the dal ones but are much easier to make. Click here to get the recipe of Bread Ke Dahi Vade.
Dahi Bhalla using Moong Dal
Moong dal is easier to digest than urad dal.
By replacing half of the urad dal with moong dal, you can make these vada in a similar manner but they are much lighter and easier to digest.
Do try and let me know 🙂
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Step By Step Recipe
Wash the dal and soak in 3-4 cups of water for 4-5 hours.
Drain the water and add the dal in a blender along with ginger, green chilli and salt.
Blend the dal to make a thick paste. Add just add 2-3 tsp of water while grinding the dal.
Use your hands and whisk the dal for 4-5 minutes until it is very light. Cover the bowl and keep aside for 15 minutes. Add the baking soda and whisk for another minute.
Take a bowl filled with water and drop a small drop of batter in it. If the batter immediately starts to float on top of the water, the batter is ready. If not, then whisk it some more.
Heat oil for frying in a pan.
Wet your hands with water and take out a small portion of the batter in your palms. Shape it into a flat round vada.
Drop the vada in hot oil. Simmer the heat to medium-low and fry all the vadas until they are golden brown.
Drain on a plate.
Add the fried vada in soaking water and let them soak for 15 minutes. Press the vada lightly between your palm and arrange them in the serving plate.
Top with whisked curd.
Top with coriander mint chutney and tamarind chutney. Sprinkle dahi vada masala, red chilli powder, roasted cumin powder, salt and fresh coriander. Chill for a few hours in the refrigerator. Serve chilled.
Dahi Vada Recipe
For the Vada
- 1 cup Urad Dal
- 1 tsp Ginger (Chopped)
- 1 tsp Green Chilli (Chopped)
- 1 pinch Baking Soda
- Oil for frying
For soaking water
- 1/4 tsp Hing
- 1 litre Water
- 1 tsp Salt
- 3 cups Curd (Whisked)
- 1 tsp Sugar
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/4 cup Coriander Mint Chutney
- 1/4 cup Tamarind Chutney
- 1 tsp Dahi Vada Masala
- 1/2 tsp Red Chilli Powder
- 1/2 tsp Roasted Cumin Powder
- Salt to taste
- 2 tbsp Fresh Coriander (Chopped)
- Wash the dal and soak in 3-4 cups of water for 4-5 hours.
- Drain the water and add the dal in a blender along with ginger, green chilli and salt.
- Blend the dal to make a thick paste. Just add 2-3 tsp of water while grinding the dal.
- Use your hands and whisk the dal for 4-5 minutes until it is very light.
- Cover the bowl and keep aside for 15 minutes.
- Add the baking soda and whisk for another minute.
- Take a bowl filled with water and drop small drop of batter in it.
- If the batter immediately starts to float on top of the water, the batter is ready.
- If not, then whisk it some more.
- Heat oil for frying in a pan.
- Wet your hands with water and take out small portion of the batter in your palms. Shape it into a flat round vada.
- Drop the vada in hot oil. Simmer the heat to medium low and fry all the vadas until they are golden brown.
- Drain on a plate.
For the soaking water
- Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and keep aside.
- Whisk the curd with sugar and salt and keep aside
- Add the fried vada in soaking water and let them soak for 15 minutes.
- Press the vada between your palm lightly and arrange them in the serving plate.
- Top with whisked curd.
- Top with coriander mint chutney and tamarind chutney.
- Sprinkle dahi vada masala, red chilli powder, roasted cumin powder, salt and fresh coriander.
- Chill for a few hours in refrigerator.
- Serve chilled.