Dahi Vadas are lentil dumplings dipped in yogurt and topped
with spicy savory tamarind chutney. These are perfect as a
side dish for a formal dinner, as an appetizer, or served as a
• ¾ cup washed moong dal (available in Indian grocery stores)
• ¼ cup washed urad dal (available in Indian grocery stores)
• Oil to fry
• 1½ cup yogurt (Dahi, curd)
• 1 teaspoon salt
• ½ teaspoon red chili powder
• ½ teaspoon roasted cumin seed powder (jeera)*
• 3 tablespoons tamarind chutney
METHOD TO MAKE VADAS
1. Mix both dals and wash.
2. Soak dal in four cups water for at least six hours.
3. Drain the water. In a blender, blend the dal to a very creamy texture. Use only as much water as needed to blend. Using too much water for blending will not give the desired creamy texture.
4. Whip the dal batter, stirring with a spoon in a circular motion two to three minutes, until batter is light and fluffy. Add a few spoonfuls of water as needed.
5. Use a flat frying pan, pan should have about ½ inch of oil and heat over medium high heat. Test the oil by dropping a little batter into it. When the oil sizzles, it is ready.
6. Place 1 tablespoon of batter into the oil. The oil should not be deep enough to cover the batter; the vadas will be softer if they are shallow-fried. The vadas will begin to expand slowly, without changing color.
7. Fry the vadas in small batches, until golden all around.
8. After you have made all of the vadas, place them in lukewarm water and soak for about 20 minutes.
9. Squeeze the vadas gently to remove the water, being careful not to break the vadas.
TO MAKE YOGURT TOPPING AND GARNISH
10. Mix two cups of yogurt until smooth. Add a little milk as needed to make the consistency similar to pancake batter or lassi. Add about one teaspoon salt, to taste.
11. Soak the vadas in the yogurt batter for at least half an hour, giving the vadas time to absorb the yogurt.
12. Slowly pick up each vada and transfer it to a serving dish. Pour a few spoons more yogurt over the Vadas.
13. Just before serving, sprinkle some salt as needed, ground roasted cumin seeds, red chile powder, and finish off with a drizzle of tamarind chutney.
Change the proportion of dals, or use only urad dal.
As an alternative, you can add chopped green chilies and crushed coriander seeds to the dal batter just before frying.
Instead of serving with tamarind chutney, you can sprinkle chopped cilantro over the dahi vadas.
If you are vegan, you can soak the vadas in tamarind chutney instead of yogurt and sprinkle some chopped cilantro or chopped mint leaves.
You can make the dahi vadas in advance and freeze them before soaking in water.
When ready to use, soak as many as needed in hot water for about half an hour, then change the water to room temperature and soak for another ten minutes.
Now proceed according to the recipe.