Dahi vada Recipe in detail with step by step photos and video.
This is tasty and melt in mouth Indian chaat made of deep fried lentil dumplings topped with seasoned chilled creamy yogurt, various chutneys and spice mix.
It is one of the most popular Indian street food loved by one and all.
Chaats are weakness to we Indians. So, you will see them in most Indian homes during parties or Iftar and festivals like Diwali, Eid, Holi.
Chaats recipes like Samosa, Samosa Chaat, Ragda Pattice, Aloo Chaat, Aloo Tikki, Dahi Vada, Dahi Pakodi Chaat, makes a good snack servings during Indian Festivals.
And the one which is common that makes to almost every menu is this super soft and melt in mouth Dahi Vada.
People of all ages enjoy this delicious dahi bara to the core. At least, I haven’t come across any such person who dislikes it.
Though it requires prep work, but, it is easy to make and tastes amazing. Plus, you can make these vadas ahead, say like a day or two.
Or you can even freeze the vadas. That’s what most of the time I do. Because, I am crazy dahi bara fan, and any time this craving hits me. And, this way, assembling takes barely any time.
In our home, Indian festive meals never complete without this super soft and porous dahi bara. We make it often and is always a huge hit.
Today, I shall be sharing my family favourite no fail dahi bade recipe you will adore. And I mean it!
About the recipe
Dahi = Yogurt.
Vada = Deep fried lentil fritter.
Dahi Vada is a popular North Indian street food snack that no one can resist. It is a delicious, soft and porous snack with spicy, tangy and sweet hint.
Deep fried dumplings are first soaked in lukewarm water and then dressed with seasoned yogurt mixture and spices.
Some people like to add both Sweet Tamarind Chutney and spicy Green Chutney, while few others love to eat without it.
We always sprinkle our special homemade Dahi Vada Masala over it before serving. This masala adds so much flavor and zing making it super tasty and appealing.
It has various names in different parts of India.
Call it dahi baray in Marathi. Or Doi bora in Bengali while dahi bara in Odia.
It is Thayir Vada In Tamil, whereas Perugu Vada in Telugu and Mosaru Vade in Kannada.
I have learnt these South Indian version Dahi Vada names from my house help here in Bangalore. :).
Further, the South Indian versions has a tempering of curry leaves, hing (asafoetida), mustard and green chilies. And it is often topped with some crisp boondis as well.
Although it is known as Dahi bhalla in Punjabi, you will see a slight difference in both.
Dahi bhalla batter has a mix of moong dal lentil along with urad dal. While vada batter has only urad dal in it.
However, many people make dahi bhallas without moong dal lentil as well. So, it’s all up to personal liking, you may add it or you may skip it. No harm !
As this recipe involves series of steps, I will list down the elements in sequence.
For Preparation : Vada batter needs soaked urad dal, cumin seeds, green chilies, water and salt. And enough oil to fry the vadas.
In North India, people usually stuff the batter with chopped dry fruits. If you love the crunch, richness and the taste, then go on ahead with adding it.
Dry fruits that generally goes in the stuffed Dahi Vada are chopped raisins, chopped cashew nuts, chopped almonds and pistachios.
You can either use a mix of all of them or go for whatever dry fruits you like. If you find it difficult to stuff these nuts in the centre, then, just mix it in the batter itself and fry.
To Soak Vadas : This step needs, enough lukewarm water, Dahi Bara Masala, a bit of tamarind pulp and black salt.
For Assembly : Once the soaked vada is ready, you will need chilled whisked yogurt.
To add into yogurt, you will need roasted cumin powder, a bit of sugar and black salt. A combination of these three elements in yogurt give a perfect balance of taste.
Roasted cumin powder gives nice earthy aroma and flavour, black salt imparts tang and sugar balances it.
I do not like to add green chutney and tamarind chutney for myself, a personal choice. It’s a personal choice.
But, as you guys like it, go on ahead with both the chutney topping.
My favourite is sprinkling lots of homemade Dahi Vada Masala and coriander leaves on it.
But, you can add chaat masala, roasted cumin powder, black salt and red chilli powder instead.
Ensure, you are using fresh stock of urad dal to make vadas. An old stock might fail to give that light and fluffy vadas.
Always, soak the urad dal for good 6-7 hours for best result. For, this will ease the blending giving good vada batter.
Grinding the lentil
Second, I always prefer using chilled water while grinding this urad dal. This prevents the heating of both, blender and the batter.
Further, Do not add too much water a time while grinding. Do it in batches.
Adding all the water at a time will give runny batter and we do not want that. You will need only few tablespoons of water to grind the dal.
The consistency of the batter should be smooth enough that holds the shape of vada. It should not be too thick nor too thin. So, be careful in adding the water while grinding the lentils.
Inflating the batter
Do you love light and fluffy dahi vada? Then, here comes the key part for making the vadas.
Always, whisk or beat the batter well for good 5 minutes.
You can either use hand whisk or electric beater, both will do great job.
In olden days, people use to whisk the batter using palm. I still do this and believe me, it will give the fluffier and perfect batter each time. But, yes there is a bit of muscle work involved into it.
You can follow whatever suits you well. Electric beater will save your time and effort.
Even the stand mixer works amazing when you plan to make the vada batter in good quantity.
Whichever method you follow, keep in mind to beat it well for at least 3-4 minutes.
How to check if the batter is ready for frying?
Once the whisking is done, take little water in a bowl and drop small portion of batter into it. Batter should FLOAT.
If it sinks, then you need to whisk it further for few more minutes. Again, do the water test and if the batter floats, go on ahead with making vada.
Frying the vadas
First, you can either shape the vada like a donut with a hole in centre. Or you can just make it like a ball. There is no such rule to follow in shaping them.
Personally, I love shaping them into donut shape and so I do this way always. 🙂
Second, whether you shape it like donut or in rounds, always wet your palm with water before taking out the batter portion. This will ease the sliding of shaped vadas into the oil while frying.
Always fry the vadas on hot oil on medium heat. Avoid frying them on low flame or high flame. Low flame with harden the vadas and high flame will them raw and uncooked within.
Soaking the vadas to soften it
Delicious soft Dahi Bade tempts me like nothing. And softening happens when hot golden brown fried vada is soaked in water or buttermilk.
I prefer to soak vada in lukewarm water. In fact, I tend to keep the temperature of warm water slightly hot. But, not boiling hot. It should be easily bearable to touch.
Further, whether I soak it in water or buttermilk, I prefer to flavor either of them with seasoning. Dash of tamarind pulp, a bit of Dahi Vada masala and black salt imparts great flavors.
Addition of tamarind pulp is totally your choice. But, I would still insist you to use teaspoon of it to see the wonders it does to Dahi Bade.
Vada soaks up all the flavors from water giving it a really nice aroma and taste. Try this yourself! I am sure you’ll love it.
Use chilled yogurt for topping. Always, choose to use fresh yogurt. And, avoid using curd that is too sour in taste.
Whisk the chilled yogurt well with seasonings and then proceed with the assembly.
You can either make green chutney and tamarind chutney freshly, or make it a day ahead and refrigerate it.
How to Store it?
You can store Dahi Vada in a clean air tight box up to 4 days max. Well, these curd vadas never stay in my fridge beyond a day or two max. I lick it off clean like nothing. 🙂
But, in this case, what you can do is, carry out the steps until soaking and squeezing the vadas.
Then, place it in a clean box and top it with chilled yogurt mixture. Seal the box and refrigerate it.
Do the seasoning and garnishes with spices and chutneys only at the time just before serving them.
If you want to serve them at room temperature then, let them rest on counter for some time. Garnish and then serve. Or you can serve them chilled.
Avoid keeping it at room temperature for too long like for many hours and hours, especially in summers.
Freezing The Vada
I am expert at it. No, I am not boasting here at all.
Why? Because, I have been doing this since many years. If you love Dahi Vada very much and crave for it more often, then this freezing method is for you.
Cool the fried vadas completely. Lay them in a single layer on tray lined with butter paper. Freeze them for 2-3 hours until they are solid.
Now, line the ziplock bag with kitchen paper towel. Gather, all the frozen vadas and place it in ziplock bag.
When you keep them in ziplock bag, first seal it well. Then, open the bag a bit from one end and squeeze out all the air from within.
This will create nice vacuum pack which in turn will keep them from freezer burn. And they keep well for longer time.
Each time you take out the vadas from ziplock bag, follow the same method of sealing it again.
You can also store them in a clean freezer safe box.
Frozen vada stay well up to 4 months in freezer. Just ensure that, you use clean odour free food grade ziplock bag or freezer safe box to store them.
Assembling the Frozen Vada
Whenever you wish to serve Dahi Vada, take out the required number. Bring the water to a boil in pot and season it with mentioned spices, black salt and tamarind pulp. Dip the frozen ones directly into it and cover the pot.
Let it rest for at least 45 minutes, they will become soft. Take out the soaked vada and squeeze to remove excess water.
Then, put together using whisked yogurt and garnish as needed.
Step by step instructions
To begin with, clean, wash and soak urad dal in enough water for 6-7 hours (I soaked it over night). Photo 1.
Strain the water from the soaked urad dal.
Now, add soaked strained dal, cumin seeds and green chilies in to the mixer grinder jar. Photo 2.
Pulse for few seconds to break down the lentils. Then open the jar and scrape off form the side. Then add 2 tbsps of water and grind.
Again, open the jar and scrape the lentils from sides and add another 2 tbsps of water only. Close the lid and grind it to a smooth paste. Photo 3.
Note : Please ensure that you do not add too much water at a time. Also, ensure batter is smooth enough and at the same time it should easily hold the shape of vadas. Batter should not be runny at all. Personally, I like the batter to be slightly coarse but smooth. You can see the batter consistency in the video below.
Then, transfer the vada batter into a large bowl. Photo 4.
Using a hand whisk or a beater, whisk it briskly for 1 minute. Photo 5.
Add salt to taste and then whisk it well for another 3-4 minutes. This is a key step to make fluffy dahi vada batter. Photo 6 and 7.
To check if the batter is perfect fluffy, take a small portion of batter and drop it in a bowl with water. If the batter floats, it is ready to fry. Photo 8.
Note : If batter portion doesn’t float on the top, then whisk it again for 1-2 minutes and check again.
Shaping and Frying the vadas
First, heat oil in a deep pan or a kadhai. Ensure that you have enough amount of oil in pan. Because, while frying, vada should be immersed well in that oil. Photo 9.
Once the oil is hot, reduce the flame to medium heat.
To make vadas, first wet your palm with water. Photo 10.
Depending upon the size of vada you prefer to make, take the amount of batter in your palm.
Now, either you can shape into a ball or make a round shape and make a hole in the centre. Anything is fine, whatever you are comfortable with. Photo 11 and 12.
Gently, slide it into hot oil. Photo 13.
If the batter is whisked well and fluffed, then the vadas will puff up beautifully while frying. Let if fry for minute undisturbed before you flip it. Photo 14 and 15.
Do not overload the pan and fry them in batches.
Now, flip them and fry on medium heat until golden brown and crisp. Photo 16 and 17.
Once they are golden and crisp, take them out and drain onto an absorbent kitchen paper towel. Photo 18.
Soaking and Making Yogurt mixture
Add lukewarm water in a large bowl. Add Dahi Vada masala, tamarind pulp and black salt according to taste and mix. Photo 19.
Now, soak vada in water mixture, cover and keep it aside for 30 minutes. Photo 20.
The vadas will increase in size. Also, soaking vada in warm water makes it soft and porous. Photo 21.
Take the vada and press it gently between the palms to squeeze it to remove water. Repeat the same for all and set it aside. Photo 22, 23 and 24.
To make dahi mixture, In a large bowl, add chilled yogurt, water, sugar, roasted cumin powder, and black salt to taste.
Making it in two ways
Now, arrange the soaked vada on a serving plates. Pour the beaten yogurt mixture over the vadas.
Sprinkle generous amount of Dahi Vada masala over it. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve.
With Green Chutney and Sweet Chutney
Arranged the squeezed vada on serving plate and dress with yogurt mixture.
Drizzle the green chutney and sweet chutney over the Dahi Vada. Sprinkle generous amount of masala over it. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve.
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Dahi Vada Recipe
- 1 cup Urad Dal
- 1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds
- 1-2 Green Chillies
- 100 ml Water
- Salt to Taste
- Oil For Frying Vada
To Soak Vada
- 5 to 6 cups Warm Water
- 1½ teaspoon Dahi Vada Masala
- 1½ teaspoon Tamarind Pulp
- Black Salt or Regular Salt to taste
For Yogurt Mixture
- 2½ to 3 cups Yoghurt
- ¾ cup Water
- ¾ teaspoon Sugar
- 1 teaspoon Roasted Cumin Powder
- Black Salt to taste
For Garnish (as needed)
- Green Chutney
- Sweet Tamarind Chutney
- Dahi Vada Masala
- Chopped Coriander Leaves
Preparation For Vada
Clean, wash and soak 1 cup urad dal in enough water for 6-7 hours.
Making Vada Batter
Strain the water from the soaked urad dal.
Add soaked dal, cumin seeds and green chilies in to the mixer grinder jar.
Pulse for few seconds to break down the lentils. Then. open the jar and scrape off form the side. Then add 3 tbsps of water and grind.
Again, open the jar and scrape the lentils from sides and add another 3 tbsps of water only. Close the lid and grind it to a smooth paste.
Transfer the vada batter into a large bowl. Using a hand whisk or a beater, whisk it briskly for 1 minute.
Add salt to taste and then whisk it well for another 3-4 minutes.
Take a small portion of batter and drop it in a bowl with water. If the batter floats, it is ready to fry.
If not, then, whisk it for another 1-2 minutes and check again.
Heat oil in a deep pan or a kadhai. Ensure that you have enough amount of oil in pan. Because, while frying, vada should be immersed well in that oil.
Once the oil is hot, reduce the flame to medium heat.
To make vadas, first wet your palm with water. Take the amount of batter in your palm.
Now, either you can shape into a ball or make a round shape and make a hole in the centre. Anything is fine, whatever you are comfortable with.
Gently, slide it into the oil. If the batter is whisked well and fluffed, then the vadas will puff up beautifully while frying.
Let it fry undisturbed for 1 minute, before you flip or stir it in oil. Then flip and fry until golden and crisp.
Take them out and drain onto an absorbent kitchen paper towel.
How To Make Dahi Vada
In a large bowl, add lukewarm water. Add Dahi Vada masala, tamarind pulp and black salt according to taste and mix. You can use regular salt as well.
Add fried vadas into warm water mixture. Cover and keep it aside for 30 minutes. The vadas will increase in size. Also, soaking vada in warm water makes it soft and porous.
Take the vada and press it gently between the palms to squeeze it to remove water. Repeat the same for all and set it aside.
To make yogurt mixture, add chilled yogurt in a large bowl. Add water, sugar, roasted cumin powder, black salt to taste and beat well.
Now, arrange soaked vadas on a serving plates. Pour the beaten yogurt mixture over the vadas.
If you like to, then drizzle the green chutney and sweet chutney over it.
Sprinkle generous amount of masala over it.
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves. You can also sprinkle some pomegranate arils and serve.
Always beat the batter well for good 5 minutes. This is key to make fluffy vadas.
Always very the vadas in hot oil on medium heat. Frying on low heat will harden the vadas and high flame will burn the vadas leaving it uncooked within.
You can also soak vadas in thin butter milk instead of warm water. But, do not forget to season it spice powder, pulp and salt.
Tamarind Pulp is totally optional and you can skip it if you wish to. But, I would still recommend you to use it and see the wonders it does to the flavors.
If you want to make sweet Dahi Vadas, then increase the quantity of sugar and sweet chutney as per your liking.
If you do not have homemade Dahi Bara masala, then, you can sprinkle chaat masala, roasted cumin powder, a pinch of black pepper powder, red chilli powder and black salt. Or mix all these powders along with little roasted coriander powder and use it for sprinkling.