How to make light fluffy Dahi Vada/Dahi Bhalla| Learn how to make Punjabi Dahi Bhalle /Dahi Vade
A detailed post on how to make soft, melt in mouth, fluffy Dahi Bhalla/Vada recipe for festivals like Holi, Diwali, Eid and parties.
This is going to be a long post with all the details, tips and tricks to make soft and fluffy Dahi Vada, so do read all the instructions and steps carefully.
- What is Dahi Vada/Dahi Bhalla
- About the recipe
- Ingredients to make Dahi Vada
- Dahi Bhalle Papdi
- How to make super soft melt in mouth Dahi Vada
- Prepare Batter for Dahi Vade/Bhalle
- Aerate the batter
- Fry Vade
- Soak Vada
- Assemble Dahi Vada
- Storing and Shelf Life of Dahi Vada
- More Recipe Ideas for festivals and parties
- Recipe Card For Dahi Bhalla/Dahi Vada
What is Dahi Vada/Dahi Bhalla
Dahi is Yogurt/Curd
Vada/Bhalla is lentil fritters
Dahi Bhalle/Vade (plural reference of Dahi Bhalla and Vada), is a popular street food from the North India and come under Chaat category. There is hardly any Indian (especially North Indians) who won't love Chaats. These are especially made during festive and special occasions and parties or get togethers.
My Mom always made and still makes melt in mouth Dahi Vade on Holi and Diwali and for our birthday parties. I still try my best to make these and many other things like her(like Chole Masala, Kadhi Pakodi)but somehow miss that special taste. I think that is what called "Mom's Magic" or as they said in our language "Maa Ke Haath Ka Jaadu".
About the recipe
Dahi Bade/Vade or Bhalle are made with Dhuli Urad (Split Black Lentil-husked or skinned lentil fitters/dumplings made from either husked split black lentil(urad dal) or yellow moong lentil or only urad dal. I usually make with the combination of two. Many people also make it with Split Urad Dal or Chilka Urad.
These are a must make food item on Holi and Diwali at my place. I also make it for get togethers or take to potlucks and kitties.
Many people make Dahi Vada or anything with Urad Dal on Choti Diwali(a day before main Diwali festival). Make these Vade and serve the way you like, enjoy the festivities with your loved ones.
Ingredients to make Dahi Vada
To prepare Vada
Urad Dal- Dhuli Urad / Split and Skinned Black Lentil is used to make vade. Urad dal is also known as Urd/Urid dal, Mash Kalai, Vigna mungo. Many people also use Chilka Urad/Split Black Lentil. But it is very tiresome so wash soaked dal to get rid of the black skin.
Yellow Moong Dal- Adding moong dal is optional. It make adds lightness to vada. You can skip this dal if you don't want to add it.
Others-Salt, Asafetida(while soaking vada in water), Oil for frying vada
To serve/assemble Dahi Vada
To assemble dahi vade, we need fresh yogurt, sweet tamarind chutney, spicy green chutney, roasted cumin powder and red chili powder. Chutneys and spice mixes for Dahi Vada can be made beforehand, 203 days ahead.
Yogurt used should be sweet, with sour yogurt vade doesn't taste good. You can add sugar/jaggery powder as required to make it sweet.
Dahi Bhalle Papdi
Another way of serving Dahi Vade is Bhalla Papdi. These are also served with papdi (deep fried whole wheat crackers) topped with sev (very thin crunchy chickpea noodles served with chaat(street food) and pomegranate seeds(optional).
Few days back we had some guests at our place, I made Dahi Vade and served in Papdi Katoris. I called this Dahi Bhalle Papdi Reconstructed. Papdi Katoris are fried a form of Papdi in form of bowls. For Papdi Katori recipe click here.
How to make super soft melt in mouth Dahi Vada
I learned to make Dahi Vade from my Mom. Her secret of making melt in mouth soft Dahi Vade is to beat the lentil batter very nicely with hands/palm till it incorporates air and is creamy and fluffy. Beating incorporates air in the batter that makes the vade soft and fluffy after frying.
There are two main parts of making Dahi Vade. One is preparing the batter and frying and the other one is assembling with the toppings and yogurt.
Prepare Batter for Dahi Vade/Bhalle
- To make vade/bhalle, first soak lentils for at least 6-7 hrs or overnight.
- Wash lentils 2-3 times.
- Then soak in water for 4-5 hrs or overnight, with level 2-3 inches above as the dal soaks water.
- After the soaking time, drain the water completely and grind dal with very little water about 2-3 tbsp. Add 1 tbsp water gradually if required. Add water carefully as the batter should be thick to make the vade.
Aerate the batter
- Beat the batter for 7-10 mins till light fluffy and creamy. You can use whisk/stand mixer if you want to save your muscle power. Till date my mom always aerate the vada batter with hands.
- If the batter is not aerated properly then fried vade will be dense and hard.
How to check if vada batter is ready for frying
- Take water in a bowl. Add a small drop of batter. The batter drop will float on water when it is ready and aerated. If it sinks down then beat again for 5-6 mins.
- Fry vade in medium hot oil. To check whether the oil is hot enough to fry, drop little batter in oil, it will sizzle and rise slowly. If we fry Vade on high heat, the outer covering will be cooked and the inside/center will remain raw. These will soak more oil if we fry in less than medium hot oil and fried vade will be very dense and hard.
- Fry Vade till these are light golden brown in color. Do not over fry. Keep on dropping oil over the vadas while frying. This helps in even frying of vadas.
Keep a bowl of lukewarm water ready. Add a pinch of hing/asafetida and 1/2 tsp salt. Use gluten-free hing or avoid it of you are on a gluten-free diet. Immediately soak hot vade in water for about 20 mins.
After 20 mins., vade will increase in size. Then lightly squeeze the vade and add in yogurt.
Assemble Dahi Vada
Prepare yogurt- Add 1 tsp sugar and salt as required, beat yogurt to smooth consistency. You can also 1/4 tsp each chaat masala, cumin powder and Kashmiri lal mirch (red chilli) powder. It makes yogurt/dahi more tasty.
Lightly squeeze water from soaked vade and add to yogurt.
Dahi Bade/Urad Dal vade are quite heavy on the stomach. Adding asafetida and using other spices(like cumin powder, chaat masala and kala namak/black salt) and chutneys make dahi vada easily digestible.
Dahi Vade are gluten-free, avoid adding asafetida or use gluten-free asafetida to water while soaking vade. Serve these vade along with some crushed papdi/fried whole wheat crackers, pomegranate seeds and some sev along with chutneys as Dahi Bhalle Papdi!! As mentioned above, I made these cute Papdi Katoris and served Vade in it. Everyone loved the concept. For detailed Papdi Katoris, recipe click here.
Storing and Shelf Life of Dahi Vada
You can make Dahi vada 2-3 days ahead of any party or festival. After frying let the Vadas cool completely and then refrigerate in an air tight container. Before assembling, soak in lukewarm asafetida water and assemble as instructed.
The key to soft and fluffy vadas is aerating the batter properly. You have to beat the batter very nicely for at least 10-12 mins. It will change the color and become very light and airy. Dense vadas won't be able to soak properly in yogurt and will be very dry from inside.
Fry vadas at the right temperature. Neither too hot nor too cold. When the oil temperature is very high vadas will cook and get brown form the outer side very quickly, but the inside batter remains raw. Keep the flame to medium low while frying vadas.
This may not happen all the time. It happened with on of my friend that as soon as she started frying vadas suddenly the vadas from hot oil started rusting and popping. She had to rush out of kitchen, after cautiously switching off the gas.
Her mom and my om stated the same reason- aeration of batter. This might have happened as the batter was not very well aerated. She didn't beat the batter till it was airy, and add lot of vadas in hot oil. Lack of aeration and space in kadhai (as vadas expand on frying) might be one of the reason. So, be careful while frying the vadas and aerate the batter properly.
More Recipe Ideas for festivals and parties
Dahi Phulki is another great appetizer/snack for festivals made with chickpea/gram flour fritters served in yogurt.
Matra Chaat and Kulcha is Delhi's famous street food which you can easily make at home.
Moong Dal stuffed Aloo Tikki , Bhel Poori and Sev Poori along with Fruit Chaat are another great addition to your party menu.
Some of the mocktails and shakes for your Holi/Diwali and parties
Thandai, Paan Shake, Masala Lemonade/ Soda, Basil Shikanjavi, Aam Panna
If still looking for last minute sweet recipes, checkout this collection of 30+ sweets and desserts for Diwali/Holi. I am sure the collection will be of great help especially for those who are pressed on time and want to make and enjoy homemade treats!!
Dilliwale Chole Bhautre, with Dahi Vade Papdi chaat, Chawal Ki Kheer and Lucknowi Veg. Biryani served with Boondi Raita or Spinach and Pomegranate Raita with Chutneywale Aloo or Cajun Potatoes as starters.
Recipe Card For Dahi Bhalla/Dahi Vada
Dahi Bhalla/Dahi Vada
- Mixer Grinder/Food Processor
- Mixing Bowls
- Measuring Bowls and spoons
- ¾ cup Dhuli Urad/Split Black Lentil(skinned)
- ¼ cup Moong Dal/Yellow Moong Dal
- ¼ tsp Salt
- Oil to fry Dahi Vada
To Soak Dahi Vada
- 2 cups Lukewarm water
- ¼ tsp Asafetida/Hing
- ¼ tsp Salt
For Assembling Dahi Vada
- 1 cup Fresh Sweet Yogurt
- Tamarind Chutney as required
- Green Chutney as required
- 1 tsp Roasted Cumin or as required
- 1 tsp Red Chili Powder or as required
- Chaat Masala Powder as required
- Salt as per taste
- Pomegranate Seeds for garnish(optional)
Prepare Dahi Vada Batter
- Soak both the lentils separately for 6-8 hrs or overnight. You can use only Split Black Lentil/Dhuli Urad dal.¾ cup Dhuli Urad/Split Black Lentil(skinned), ¼ cup Moong Dal/Yellow Moong Dal
- After the soaking time drain the water completely and wash the lentil 2-3 times in fresh water.
- Grind to a smooth paste add around ¼ cup of water to grind. Add more water if required.
- Transfer the dal in a clean bowl, beat for 5-10 minutes till the batter is creamy and fluffy enough to fry. Batter will turn from white to cream in color.
- To test for the readiness of batter, drop a small ball of batter in water if it floats on top the batter is ready. If the drop of batter sinks beat for 5 more mins.
- Keep the batter for 10-15 minutes in refrigerator.
Fry Batter to make Vade
- To fry Vade, take oil in a kadhai or heavy bottom pan. Don't fill kadhai with too much oil, it should be around 2-3 inches.Oil to fry Dahi Vada
- Drop a small ball of batter in oil, it should sizzle and slowly rise on top. The oil is ready to fry. Keep the flame on medium.
- Drop small lime balls of batter in oil and fry till light golden brown.
- Take it on kitchen towel/paper napkin.
- Keep a bowl of lukewarm water ready, add asafetida and ¼ tsp salt in it.
- Drop Vade in it and soak for 20 mins.
- Take out vade from water and lightly squeeze it.1 cup Fresh Sweet Yogurt
- In a bowl take curd/yogurt add 1 tsp sugar, salt as per taste, ½ tsp roasted cumin powder, red chili powder as required, ¼ tsp chaat masala and beat it nicely. Add little water if the yogurt is thick.
- Keep it in the refrigerator, till you are ready to serve Vada.
- In another bowl soak, the vade in lukewarm water, just warm enough to touch. Add asafetida/hing to water.
- Soak vada for 15-20 minutes, after that take one vada, squeeze vada lightly to strain water and dip in yogurt. Repeat for the number of vada you want to make.
- Top with more yogurt. Chill in refrigerator for some more time or till serving.
- Before serving take 2-3 Vada in a bowl, top with tamarind chutney, green chutney, roasted cumin and red chili powder.
- Enjoy the chilled Dahi vade!!
So, if you struggle making soft and fluffy vadas, then do try my way, with all the tips and tricks.
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Yum! Dahi Vade look so scrumptious. Love the idea of serving this with the chat katori. Great share!!
This is a famous street chat which I always love to make and eat. Loved your detailed recipe from soaking lentils to presenting it in various styles.
These look fantastic!! My all time favourite and not to mention, gorgeous presentation!
Freda @ Aromatic essence
Love your different presentation styles! I'm suddenly craving for dahi vadas after seeing your post, been so long 🙁
These dahi vade are simply delicious and loving your idea of serving a papadi chat katori..looks so beautiful.