A revised and edited archived recipe reposted with love!
Being born and bought up in Northern India, I was exposed to a variety of dishes.I had South Indian food at home(which subsequently became “Northernised” over 2 decades.Outside I loved the food..all comprised of rotis(Indian bread).subzis(vegetables) and meetha(sweet dishes).One dish I have loved since childhood is Dahi Vada or what the Punjabis say as Dahi Bhalla.This is one dish which is relished by almost all cultures.In Lucknow we have a famous sweet store – Chaudhury’s located in the most famous shopping area called Hazratganj.There the Dahi Vadas are melt in the mouth – Uber delicious soft Vadas filled with dry fruits,soaked in a delicious thick and creamy yoghurt which has chopped coriander leaves and pomegranate pearls.Over the Wadas are drizzled 2 types of chutney – one a coriander and chili and the other sweet tamarind chutney.The chef expertly crushes papdi(deep fried flour chips) on top and yummm!!You could go on for eternity!!
For Eid,a most significant part of the feast is Dahi Vada.Without that the feast is incomplete.Says my good friend Sobia Khan…after the heavy Biryanis and Mutton Kormas we need something to digest the food.Dahi Vada does just that.
In Delhi if you go to Parliament Street and Chandni Chowk where food gets a new dimension,you find competition for the best tasting ware.There they lovingly call it Dahi Bhalle.
Even in South India,it is called Thayir Vada and eaten with a lot of gusto.
So here is the recipe which will surely win hearts hands down!
Preparation Time : 1 hour
Makes : 15 Vadas/Fritters
For the Vadas :
2 cups Urad Dal(white lentils) – soaked overnight
1 tsp Salt
For the Yogurt/Dahi :
4 cups thick and fresh plain Yogurt
3 tbsp powdered sugar
1 tsp Salt
Other Ingredients :
2 tbsp Raisins – soaked in water for 2 hours(optional)
1/2 cup thick Tamarind Chutney
1/2 cup Nylon Sev(the thinnest variety of Sev available)
2 inch piece Ginger (chopped into juliennes)
1/4 cup Green Chutney(coriander and mint)
2 tbsp Coriander Leaves(finely chopped)
2 tbsp roasted Cumin seed powder (jeera)
2 tbsp Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder (optional)
2 tbsp Chaat Masala
For the Wada :
Grind the lentils with 2-3 tbsp water to a very thick and semi-coarse paste.Empty into a bowl and add salt.With your hands or a whisk,beat the batter well till it is light and airy.Keep aside.
Prepare the Yogurt :
Add salt and sugar to the yogurt and whisk well till thick and smooth.Add 1 tbsp raisins and keep aside.
Prepare the Wada :
Heat Oil for frying in a pan on medium heat.Add the remaining raisins to the prepared lentil batter and whisk again.Form batter into small balls and drop into hot oil.Fry till the Wadas are cooked both from outside as well as inside(this will take 3-4 minutes on medium-low heat).Remove on an absorbent paper and keep aside till serving time.
Serving Dahi Wada :
Choose attractive snack plates or use “dona” or plates made from hardened palm/banana/coconut leaves as shown in the picture.Place 2 Wadas and top with 3 tbsp of the prepared Yogurt.Top with 1/2 tbsp Green and 1/2 tbsp Tamarind Chutneys respectively.Sprinkle Nylon Sev and Coriander Leaves and top with 3-4 Ginger juliennes!