Dahi vada (lentil dumplings in yogurt) is standard fare at our place during the festive season. Come Diwali or Holi, dahi vadas are made in big batches and laid out as snack for visitors during the day, along with chhole and sweets. At night, dahi vada is had on the side with poori sabzi. Dishfuls that stock the fridge in the morning are seldom left over for the next day.
The traditional way to make the batter for vadas is by soaking and grinding urad dal (white lentil) with spices. This recipe uses the quick method – a pre-made vada mix – which works well when you are pressed for time.
- MTR Vada Mix* – 200 grams
- Homemade yogurt – 400 grams
- Salt – 1/2 teaspoon (adjust to taste)
- Sugar – 1/2 teaspoon
- Roasted cumin powder – 1 teaspoon
- Red chili powder – a pinch
- Coriander leaves – finely chopped, for garnishing
- Oil – for deep-frying
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How To Make Dahi Vada:
1. Make the vadas
Follow the vada mix pack instructions to make batter. My pack says: mix vada mix with water in a 1:1 ratio.
The batter should be thick and have no lumps.
Let the batter stand for 30 minutes.
Take balls of ~1.5 inch circumference of the vada batter, flatten slightly and deep-fry them till golden-brown.
Soak the fried vadas in water at room temperature. Let them soak till the vadas soften and swell (around 15 minutes).
Gently press out the water from the vadas. Be careful not to break them.
2. Prep the yogurt
Whisk plain yogurt or pass it through a strainer to smoothen it. Blend salt and sugar into the smooth yogurt.
3. Put it all together
Line the soaked vadas in a wide serving dish.
Do not layer or overcrowd the vadas in the dish – this will prevent the vadas from breaking when you serve them.
Pour the whisked yogurt over the vadas. Let the vadas rest for at least 30 minutes in yogurt to absorb the flavors. Refrigerate if planning to serve it later.
Sprinkle roasted cumin powder, red chili powder and finely chopped coriander leaves over the dahi vadas.