Dahi vada or dahi bhalla

Dahi bhalle is a fried lentil dumpling made with whole urad dal, which is soaked in sweet yoghurt or curd, with a sprinkle of some spices and sweet chutney. Dahi bhalle is also known as dahi vada and is a very famous cold snack or chaat street food and is a summer treat. Dahi vada or dahi bhalle is given in a bowl where curd is poured on top with a sprinkle of spices and drizzle of tamarind chutney. In chaat shops or chaat street vendors, dahi vada is served with puris or papdi also as dahi vada papdi chaat or dahi puri chaat. You can view the pictures below; it is prepared as dahi sev puri chaat or dahi batata puri chaat. Some of my friends serve dahi bhalla with papdis and sev . Dahi vada best for the summer treats. Dahi vada the longer it is soaked in yoghurt , it tastes better and best when cold.

Everybody prepares dahi vada differently as they have their own recipe and way of cooking . I have prepared dahi vada in south Indian style also , where I have never soaked my vadas in water, from my childhood, my mother has always soaked directly in curd, which are soft and very delicious, even my friends were surprised to known that we can soak directly. But all my friends soak in water, for softness, but it gives a very bland taste from inside for me, as the vadas absorb water, to avoid that, just soak in butter milk with few spices (optional) in it or like my friend does soak in milk, then squeeze and soak in the curd.

Dahi vada best for the summer treats. dahi vada the longer it is soaked in yoghurt , it tastes better and best when cold.

Preparation time: 30 mins (excluding soaking of urad dal and preparing chutneys)

Cooking time: 1 hour

Cuisine: North Indian chaat, snack or street food

Serves: 3 to 4

Spiciness: Mild, sweet and tangy as well


    Vadas or bhalle

  • Urad dal – 1 cup
  • Ginger – 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Hing – 1/4 tsp
  • Salt – as per taste
  • Green chilli (medium) – 1
  • Water – 1/3 cup
  • Soaking vadas

  • Water – 1 1/2 cup
  • Curd – 1/4 cup
  • Salt – as per taste
  • Cumin powder (roasted, optional) – a pinch
  • Yoghurt mixture

  • Curd – 850 gms
  • Water – 1/2 cup
  • Black salt – 3/4 tsp
  • Chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Roasted cumin powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Chaat masala – 1/2 to 3/4 tsp
  • Sugar – 2 to 3 tbsp
  • Garnishing

  • Chilli powder – 1 tsp
  • Roasted cumin powder – 1 to 1 1/2 tsp
  • Chaat masala – 1 tsp
  • Coriander leaves (chopped) – few
  • Sweet tamarind chutney – as required
  • Mint chutney - as required


    Thin yoghurt water or butter milk (for soaking vadas)

  • Take a wider bowl, add warm or luke warm water enough for the vadas to soak.
  • Add salt and curd, in the water, whisk well or mix well, so that no lump of curd is there.
  • It should be like thin butter milk. Keep it ready. Before soaking the fried vadas, mix the yoghurt water once, as it get settled down (thin yoghurt mixture).
  • Urad dal paste (vadas)

  • Clean, wash and soak the urad dal for 2 to 3 hours. Drain out all the water.
  • Add all the ingredients and grind the urad dal to a smooth paste or little smooth paste in a mixer using a very little water or in a wet grinder (stone grinder).
  • You have to grind the dal until the batter becomes light and fluffy but not loose. Add water if the mixture gets tight.
  • Take out the batter in a wide bowl and start beating it with hand or whisker or fork for 2-3 minutes, it will make the batter more light and fluffy.
  • Now the most important thing to do specially if you used mixer to grind the dal, to test if the batter is ready to make vada in a bowl of water drop a small bowl of vada if it’s floats on top of water then it’s ready to use. If the batter ball sinks a bit inside water then you have to beat it with hand for a minute more. Repeat the test until the batter ball floats on top of water. If you skip this step the bhalla or vada will not be soft.
  • With wet fingers and palms add small portions of batter into hot oil. Deep fry the bhallas till golden brown. You can use spoon to drop the batter in oil.
  • After frying soak directly the vadas in warm water or thin yoghurt mixture for about 15 to 20 minutes or until softens.
  • Yoghurt mixture

  • Mix the curd (yoghurt) with black salt, sugar, chilli powder, cumin powder (roasted), chaat masala and salt. Keep aside.
  • Check the seasoning by tasting, so that you can adjust with the spices, add as per taste.
  • Just before serving, squeeze out any excess water from the vadas by gently pressing each one between your palms. Arrange the vadas or soak it in the curd (yoghurt mixture) one by one.
  • Now for garnishing, just very little sprinkle chilli powder (a pinch or more), cumin powder (roasted), sweet chutney (tamarind chutney) green chutney and coriander on top or garnish as straight and cross lines, refer stuffed dahi bhalla recipe.
  • While serving take 3 to 4 vadas as it is, without stirring again and garnish more with sweet chutney and the spices or just sprinkle chaat masala or my roasted spice masala, which I shown you in my Kolkata (Calcutta) tamarind chutney.
  • If you want can garnish with sev as well.
  • For dahi vada puri chaat

  • Just follow my dahi sev puri chaat or dahi batata puri chaat recipes and prepare dahi vada puri chaat.
  • All the ingredients are similar, just dahi vadas are stuffed in the puri.
  • Enjoy this scrumptious dahi bhalla chaat with family and friends.


  • Can add little soda for the softness of the vadas, but I have not added, my aunts tip.
  • The yoghurt mixture should nether be thin nor thick, as the vadas will not absorb the yoghurt well.
  • If the vadas still hard and not soft for the first attempt, but still can be enjoyed with the sweet yoghurt and tamarind sauce.
  • The vadas will be soft only when the vadas are cooked properly and has crispy texture from outside, refer my sambar vada and curd vada south style.

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