Dahi vada recipe with step by step photos – dahi vada is a popular North Indian snack which is made during special occasions and festivals. This tasty snack consist of fried urad dal dumplings dunked in a creamy whipped yogurt topped with spicy and sweet chutneys.
Dahi vada are a craze at home and I do make them at times as they require some prep work to be done beforehand. Like making both the spicy green coriander chutney and sweet tamarind chutney, preparing the vada etc.
The North Indian dahi vada is made slightly differently than the South Indian version. In the North Indian version of dahi vada, we just add the green chutney, saunth chutney (tamarind chutney) sprinkled with some spice mixes. in the South Indian version, the curd (yogurt) is spiced with a coconut+green chilli paste and then tempered. The South Indian dahi vada is called as thayir vada. At home we prefer both the versions and the dahi vada get over really quickly.
In north India, there is another version of dahi vada And they are called as dahi bhalla. Dahi bhalla are again slightly different from dahi vada. In dahi bhalle, papdis (fried flour crispies), boiled potato cubes and cooked chickpeas are added which add different textures, taste and flavor to the dahi bhalla.
Both dahi vada and dahi bhalle are popular North Indian snacks as well as street food. They can also be served as a starter dish. They are also made during festive time like Diwali or Holi or any other special occasion.
How to make dahi vada
1. Soak the urad dal overnight or for at least 4-5 hours. Drain them.
2. Grind the urad dal, green chilies, ginger, cumin and asafoetida with little water to a smooth fluffy batter.
3. Take the ground batter in a bowl. Stir in chopped raisins & cashews. Optional ingredients and you can just skip them if you want.
4. Briskly & vigorously stir the batter for a minute or two with a spoon or spatula. This makes the batter more fluffy and light. As a result, you get softer and porous vada. A pic showing the consistency of the batter. Add salt also.
Preparing vada for dahi vada
5. Heat oil for deep frying. Either drop the batter with your hands or with a spoon in medium hot oil. Fry the vada in batches till crisp and golden.
6. Drain the vada on paper towels.
7. When they are still warm, add the vada in water (at room temperature) and let them soak for 18-20 minutes.
8. You can see from the pic, that the vada has increased a bit in size as well as their color has changed.
9. Press each soaked vada between your palms to remove water. Gently press or else you might end up breaking them.
10. Press all the soaked vada this way and keep them aside in a plate.
11. Beat the chilled curd/yogurt till smooth.
Making dahi vada
12. In a large serving bowl, arrange the vada.
13. Pour the beaten curd.
14. Pour the green chutney and sweet tamarind chutney.
15. Sprinkle with red chili powder, roasted cumin powder, chaat masala and black salt.
16. Garnish dahi vada with coriander leaves & then Serve dahi vada immediately or you can refrigerate and then serve them.
Tips for making dahi vada
- To get a good soft urad dal vada, remember to soak the lentils overnight. Grind the batter really well with little water.
- Also remember to use fresh yogurt. I used homemade yogurt.
- The chutneys can be made at home or brought ready made.
- You can also make the dahi vada with just the sweet tamarind chutney and yogurt. The leftover green chutney and tamarind chutney can be refrigerated and served with other Indian snacks.
- To make a no onion no garlic version dahi vada, just skip the garlic & onion in the green coriander chutney.
Few more tasty recipes for you
- Sev puri – a spicy, sweet and tangy street snack from Mumbai.
- Bhel puri – popular chaat snack made with puffed rice mixed with onions, tomatoes, assorted chutneys etc
- Papdi chaat – popular North Indian street food recipe made with papdis, boiled chickpeas, potatoes, pakoris and curd
- Pav bhaji – a popular street food recipe from Mumbai consisting of spiced smooth mashed mix vegetables, served with lightly toasted buttered bread.
- Aloo tikki – a popular North Indian snack of spiced, crisp potato patties.
for making vada - makes about 35-38 small vada
- 1 cup urad dal
- 1 green chili - chopped
- ½ inch ginger - chopped
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 pinch asafoetida (hing)
- 3 tablespoon water for grinding the batter or as required
- ½ tablespoon raisins
- 8 to 9 cashews - chopped
- salt as required - i added ⅔ teaspoon rock salt (sendha namak)
- 2 to 2.25 cups curd (yogurt) - i made homemade curd made from 500 ml organic milk
- ½ to 1 teaspoon chaat masala or as required
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon red chili powder or as required
- 1 teaspoon roasted cumin powder
- black salt or regular salt as required
for tamarind chutney
- ½ cup seedless tamarind - tightly packed
- 1.75 cups water
- ½ teaspoon ginger powder (saunth)
- 1 pinch asafoetida (hing)
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- ¼ teaspoon red chili powder
- 7 to 8 tablespoon jaggery or as required - adjust as per your taste
- rock salt or black salt or regular salt as required
- 1 teaspoon oil
for green chutney
- 2 cups coriander leaves
- 1 or 1.5 teaspoon anardana (dry pomegranate seeds) or ½ to 1 teaspoon amchur powder (dry mango powder)
- ½ tablespoon chopped onion (optional)
- 1 or 2 garlic cloves
- salt as required
- water as required
making sweet chutney
- Soak tamarind in water overnight or for 4-5 hours in a small bowl or pan.
- With your hands, squeeze the pulp from the tamarind in the same bowl or pan. strain the pulp and keep aside.
- Heat oil in a small pan. lower the flame & add cumin seeds and let them crackle.
- Add ginger powder, red chili powder, asafoetida.
- Stir and add the strained tamarind pulp. cook for 2-3 mins.
- Add the jaggery and salt and cook for 4-5 mins more. the mixture would thicken. let the saunth chutney mixture cool.
- When cooled, store the saunth chutney in an air-tight dry jar or container.
making green chutney
- Grind all the ingredients mentioned under the green chutney list with little water.
- Remove and keep aside in a small bowl.
making batter for dahi vada
- First pick and then rinse the lentils for 3-4 times in water.
- Soak the lentils in enough water overnight or for 4-5 hours.
- Drain and add the lentils in a wet grinder.
- Also add chopped green chilies, chopped ginger, cumin seeds and asafoetida.
- Add water in intervals and grind to a smooth batter.
- I used about 3 tbsp of water added in intervals while grinding the lentils.
- Take the ground batter in a bowl. stir the batter briskly for a couple of minutes. this makes the batter more light and fluffy.
- Add the raisins and chopped cashews along with salt. stir and keep aside.
- Heat a kadai or pan with oil for deep frying.
- When the oil becomes medium hot, add spoonfuls of the batter in the oil.
- Don't be in a hurry to turn them.
- When you see the vada becoming pale golden from the base and sides, you can turn them.
- Fry the vada till they become golden and crisp. drain on paper towels.
making dahi vada
- In another bowl take water. and add the vada to the water. soak them for 18-20 minutes.
- Take each vada and flatten and press between your palms to remove excess water.
- Place these vada in the serving bowl.
- Whisk yogurt till smooth. pour the yogurt over the vadas.
- Top with the green chutney and tamarind chutney as required.
- Sprinkle the red chili powder, roasted cumin powder, chaat masala and black salt.
- Garnish it with chopped coriander leaves.
- Serve dahi vada immediately or refrigerate and serve later.