Dahi Vada: fluffy, melt-in-mouth lentil dumplings (Vada), dunked in creamy yogurt (Dahi), and topped with classic Indian chutneys is undeniably a treat for the palate. Dahi-Vada, also known as Dahi-Bhalla or Dahi-Bada, is an indispensable dish for street food, party menu, or even just a dinner for special ones. Dahi-Vada will make its appearance on every menu. This no deep-fry recipe of Dahi-Vada would leave you amazed in every bite. Being so popular and loved by all, this recipe makes a popular recipe for any festive celebration.
Is Dahi-Vada, Dahi-Bhalla and Dahi-Bada same?
Dahi-Bhalla, Dahi-Bada and Dahi-Vada is same dish. It is famous as Dahi Bhalla or Dahi-Bada in northern parts of India. Dahi Bhalla is a quintessential delicacy of North India’s street food scene. It is commonly known as ‘chaat.’ In a household environment, it is famous as Dahi-Bhalla. These Dahi Bhalla are so delicious that you won’t be able to stop at one!
Is Dahi-Vada healthy?
Davi-Vada is a protein-rich and gluten-free recipe. Traditionally Vada are deep-fried, which makes them high on oil content. Since in this recipe, Vada are cooked with minimal oil, the nutritional value of Dahi-Vada remains immense because lentils and yogurt are the main ingredients. Lentils are rich in protein, and yogurt is an excellent source of calcium, vitamin B-12, magnesium, potassium, vitamin B-2, and several other nutrients. In fact, the addition of spices and chutneys made this recipe an excellent delight for improving metabolism.
How to serve Dahi-Vada?
Dahi-Vada is often made for special occasions and festivals but can also be enjoyed anytime for a snack. I usually make a big batch of Vada and freeze them to enjoy and relish whenever my family and I feel like having them.
For parties, this can be served on a big platter or served in individual portions in small dessert cups.
How to store/freeze Vada?
Cooked, unsoaked Vadas can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for a week. Longer than that, Vadas can be frozen safely without changing in texture and taste. To keep, first let the Vadas cool down to room temperature. Then store in ZipTop containers, Ziplock bag, or in a freezer-friendly container.
When ready to serve, take few frozen pieces of Vada out in a bowl, pour over boiling hot water, cover them with a lid and let them soak for an hour. Then proceed like you would do with fresh Vadas.
Tips to make soft and fluffy Vada without deep frying
- In this recipe, split-skinned urad dal can be used, but Urad Gota Dal yields better results.
- Make sure dals are well soaked for a minimum of 6 hrs.
- Grind with minimum water required to facilitate the grinding. (I have used a total of 5 tablespoons of water to grind 1 cup urad dal +1/4 cup moong dal)
- Aeration is essential to make Vada’s fluffy. Don’t skip on it. Do batter floating test to make sure that batter has enough aerated.
- Don’t skip on adding herbs, aromatics, and nuts for enhanced flavor and texture.
- Cook on low to medium heat, and start flipping them when the center part of Vada is sill wiggly for perfect round shape Vadas.
- Soak the cooked Vadas in hot water for at least one hour. Make sure Vadas remain submerged in water.
- Vadas in seasoned yogurt can be prepared in advance for up to an hour to 3 days. Just add chutneys and spices before serving.
Dahi Vada / Dahi Bhalla – Healthy No Deep-Fry Recipe
To make Vadas:
- Transfer Urad Gota (Skinned Black whole lentil) and Mung dal in a deep bowl and rinse thoroughly 2-3 times with water or until water starts running clear.
- Soak it in enough water for 6-8 hours or overnight. Well-soaked dal yields softer Vada.
- Strain the soaked dal in a strainer.
- Grind the soaked dal in 2-3 small batches with just a few spoons of water. Add water gradually only if needed to facilitate the grinding. Grind into a thick, smooth paste-like batter.
- Transfer the ground dal batter into a large bowl, and whisk vigorously to aerate the batter for 8-10 minutes in one direction only. Aerating the batter ensures that the resulting Vada are soft and fluffy.
- Do a lightness test of batter by dropping a little batter in the water-filled small bowl to check if the batter has been aerated enough. If it sinks, then aerate more for few minutes. If floats, then move to the next step.
- Add chopped green chilies, minced ginger, broken cashews, chironji, raisins, salt, and cumin seeds, and mix well. (You can also add chopped cilantro)
- Heat the paniyaram/appe/aebleskiver pan on medium low heat. Add a few drops of oil in each cavity and add 1 tablespoon of batter.
- Add little oil around each Vada.
- Start flipping Vada when the center part of the batter is still wiggly, using a chopstick to make perfectly round Vadas. Don’t wait to cook them through.
- Push back the batter back to cavities, if any comes out while flipping.
- Keep turning and flipping for even browning.
- Remove the cooked Vada’s from the pan when golden brown from all sides.
- Repeat the process until all the batter is used.
- This quantity of dal would yield 45-50 pieces depending upon the size of the pan’s cavity.
- In a big bowl, take enough hot water, add a little salt, and stir.
- Soak the cooked Vadas in this hot water for an hour.
- Meanwhile, in another bowl, whisk yogurt. The consistency of whisked yogurt should be thick and creamy, not watery at all.
- Season the yogurt with salt, sugar and mix well.
- Take the soaked Vada from the water one at a time, gently squeeze all the water out by pressing them between palms.
- Place all squeezed Vada in whisked yogurt, make sure all the Vadas are properly coated/dipped and covered with yogurt.
- Cover the bowl with cling wrap and store in the fridge until ready to serve.
Steps to serve Dahi Vada
- Transfer Vada with yogurt one by one in a serving platter.
- Sprinkle roasted cumin seeds powder and red chili powder on top of Vada.
- Topped with some green cilantro mint chutney and Meethi chutney/ Saunth.
- Garnish with some pomegranate kernels, crunchy masala boondi, and mint/cilantro leaves.