Monday, 22 October 2012

"Dahi Vada /Dahi Bhalla/Thayir vada" or Split Black lentil dumplings in seasoned Yoghurt

"Dahi Vada" or "Dahi Bhalla" or "Thayir Vada", call it with whatever name you like, if you like curds, this is one street food/starter/evening snack that you will love to eat!!
Its nothing but Split black lentil fried dumplings, served with seasoned yoghurt.
In North India this is called as Dahi vada, in Western India as Dahi Bhalla and in South India as Thayir Vada...!
In the North Indian version this is served without the sweet chutney, but in the western version the vadas are topped with the sweet chutney which is the Dates n Tamarind Chutney/Khajur Imli Chutney.
In both these North and West Indian versions, the curds is just whisked well with a little bit of salt.
In Northern and Western India this is served as a starter/snack.
But in the South Indian version, the curds is diluted a bit and seasoned with some south Indian aromatics/spices.
In South India this is a part of breakfast.
Whichever the version maybe, we love all Dahi vada.
My Mom used to make this very often during our childhood, her version would be Thayir Vada the South Indian one, but I would always add the green mint and coriander chutney and sweet dates n tamarind chutney and convert it to a North+Western Indian version and eat it.
This is one dish which can be served as a starter in a north Indian meal/buffet, eaten for breakfast or as an evening snack.

Makes 20
Urad dal/Split black lentils - 1 cup
Ginger - 1 inch piece
Green chilly - 1 - chopped
Salt - 1 tsp
Soda bicarb - 1 tsp
Oil - for deep frying

For North Indian version:
Curds/Dahi - 3 cups - whisked well 
Red chilly powder - 1 tsp
Roasted cumin powder - 1 tsp
Chat masala - 1 tsp
Coriander leaves chopped - 1 tbsp

For Western Indian version:
Curds/Dahi - 3 cups - whisked well 
Dates n Tamarind Chutney/Khajur Imli Chutney - as required
green mint and coriander chutney - as required (Optional)
Red chilly powder - 1 tsp
Roasted cumin powder - 1 tsp
Chat masala - 1 tsp
Coriander leaves chopped - 1 tbsp

For South Indian version:

Curds/Dahi - 3 cups - whisked well
or Buttermilk - 4 cups 

Oil - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - 5
Dry red chilly - 1 
Coriander leaves chopped - 1 tbsp


Soak the urad dal in water for about 3-4 hours.
Grind the urad dal in a mixer along with salt, ginger and green chillies to a smooth batter, add as little water as possible during grinding so that the batter is thick.
Remove the batter to a large vessel, add the soda bicarb and mix well till the batter is light and fluffy.
Now take a deep frying pan, keep on medium heat, add the oil and when the oil is hot, add dollops of the batter with your hand into the oil. Deep fry till golden and crispy.
Drain on absorbent paper.
Continue to do this till all the batter is finished and vadas are made.
Now take a big vessel, fill half the vessel with clean drinking water and put the fried vadas into this water and allow to soak for about 30 minutes.
While serving, squeeze the vadas gently to remove the water.
For North and Western Indian versions
Arrange these soaked and squeezed vadas in a serving dish, pour the whisked curds over the vadas. Garnish with the sweet Dates n Tamarind Chutney/Khajur Imli Chutney as required or for a spicy version with green mint and coriander chutney as required.
Sprinkle red chilly powder, chat masala, cumin powder evenly on the vadas and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
"Dahi vada/Dahi bhalla" is ready.
For South Indian version
Dilute the curds with 1 cup of water, add salt and whisk well so that there are no lumps. 
If you have buttermilk you could use it directly without diluting.
Now take a seasoning pan, add oil, keep on low heat, add mustard seeds, curry leaves , red chilly and allow to crackle. Pour into curds mixture mix well, add in the chopped coriander too.
Now squeeze the soaked vadas of any water and immerse them into this bowl of curds or thayir.
"Thayir Vada" is ready.

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