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Dahi Vada | Dahi Bhalla

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Dahi Vada or Dahi Bhalla are soft lentil fritters dunked in curd/yogurt and topped with lip-smacking spices, Spicy Green coriander, and Sweet Tamarind Chutney.

Dahi Vada or Dahi Bhalla served in a white bowl with grey lining. The vadas are topped with chutney and garnished with sev. Seen in the background is green coriander and Imli chutney.
Dahi Vada or Dahi Bhalla

One of the popular snacks and street food from the North of India. For me, it is a must during Holi, one of the biggest festivals after Diwali for North Indians.

The street vendors in North India serve this Dahi Vada in an edible leaf cup called Dona. Biodegradable wooden ice cream spoons are used to eat the dahi bhalla. Serving in this way serves two purposes, it adds a distinct flavor and taste as well as being environmentally friendly.

How is this Holi Special Dahi bhallas Made?

Today I am sharing a very simple recipe, again from my mom. The making of vada just calls for 3 ingredients including salt. The other ingredients of chaat can be made well ahead of time.
The recipe itself is very easy. Plain split urad dal is soaked, ground, and then fried. One can add moong dal to this recipe in equal quantities. I.e. same ratio as urad dal.

I actually wanted to make my mom’s signature recipe, Dahi Gujiya, where she shapes the vada’s in the shape of gujiya and adds a unique stuffing. She makes it so yummy that every year during our family get-together, it is finished in no time. Hopefully, I will share it someday.

Holi special Dahi Bhalla served in 2 white bowls, topped with chutneys.

There are various versions of this, some make big vadas, some small called pakodi. And those who do not like the curd or yogurt can simply add some chutneys and enjoy this yummy chaat. I make them medium size and love to top them generously with Green coriander chutney and Imli Chutney.


Dahi or yogurt has a cooling effect on the body and I think that might be one of the reasons it is a must during Holi. I also call it somewhat guilt-free as once frying is done, we soak them in water.

Soaking in water helps it be porous and also removes a lot of oil. The Vada’s are then gently squeezed to remove all the water. It is then soaked in curd/yogurt. Dahi Vada can be enjoyed as is or with roti or puris.

Shelf life of Dahi Bhallas

The fried vadas without soaking can stay in the fridge for 3-4 days. If you soak them and store them, it is best to consume them in a day. They do not freeze well. I have frozen the vadas, but after defrosting they give a bitter taste, hence I avoid freezing these vadas.

Dahi Vada or Dahi Bhalla served in a white bowl with grey lining. The vadas are topped with chutney and garnished with sev. Seen in the background is green coriander and Imli chutney.
Dahi Vada or Dahi Bhalla

Is Dahi Vada Vegan

Vada is vegan. If you are using vegan dahi/yogurt dahi vada would be vegan too.

Close up look of texture of dahi bhalla, which is topped up with chutneys.
Dahi Vada or Dahi Bhalla

Is Dahi Vada Gluten-Free

The dahi vada is gluten-free. However, you would need to check the spices and the chutneys you are using. If they have any gluten products the assembled dahi vada might not be gluten-free.

Close up look of dahi bhalla's texture in a spoon, which is topped up with chutneys.
Dahi Vada or Dahi Bhalla
Dahi Vada or Dahi Bhalla served in a white bowl with grey lining. The vadas are topped with chutney and garnished with sev. Seen in the background is green coriander and Imli chutney.

Dahi Vada | Dahi Bhalla

Dahi Vada or Dahi Bhalla are soft lentil fritters dunked in curd/yogurt and topped with lip-smacking spices, and chutneys.
5 from 5 votes
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Course: Appetizer, Snacks
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Curd, Dahi Bhalla, Dahi Vada, Holi Special
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Soaking Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 35 minutes
Author: Renu Agrawal-Dongre

Ingredients

Vada

  • 1 Cup split Urad Dal
  • 1 tsp Jeera/Cumin Seeds
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for Frying
  • 1 Cup water if needed during grinding.

Assembling Dahi Vada

  • 5 Cups Smooth and full fat yogurt/Curd
  • Cumin powder as required
  • Red Chilly powder as required – optional
  • Green Coriander and Mint Chutney as required
  • Imli Chutney as required
  • Salt to taste
  • Ginger Julienne

Instructions

Making of Vada

  • Clean and Rinse the urad dal.
  • Soak the Urad Dal in enough water for 2-3 hours or overnight.
  • Drain the water and grind the Urad dal along with jeera/cumin seeds to a smooth paste using no or very little water.
  • The batter should not be runny, we need a thick batter.
  • In a deep pan or a wok add the oil for frying.
  • Let the oil heat to medium heat.
  • In the meantime, incorporate air into the batter by mixing it vigorously with a hand or a spoon in a clockwise direction.
  • Drop a little batter in water, if it floats your batter is ready.
  • Once the oil is hot, take about a tablespoon of batter in your fingers.
  • Gently slide this in hot oil.
  • Let this cook on medium to slow heat turning in between.
  • Do not cook on high. If you cook on high the outside will cook faster and the inside would not get cooked and would be raw.
  • They are done, when they are slightly golden brown all over.
    Fried Lentil fritters.
  • Remove it in a colander or a kitchen towel.
    Lentil fritters removed in a colander.
  • Let them cool for 5-10 minutes.

Serving Dahi Vada

  • Soak them in room temperature water for 20-30 minutes.
    Lentil fritters are soaked in water.
  • Soak only as much as you require. The remaining can be stored in the fridge and used as required.
  • Whisk the curd/yogurt using a whisker to a smooth consistency.
  • Add water if required to adjust the consistency of the yogurt as desired.
  • In a bowl, add 2-3 Vadas.
  • Now add about 1/2 Cup of yogurt.
  • Garnish with salt, red chilly powder, Cumin powder, Green Coriander Chutney, and Imli Chutney.
    Dahi Bhalla served in large bowl topped up with red chilli powder and cumin powder.
  • Enjoy.

Notes

  • Make the vada immediately once the dal is ground.
  • Fry in medium hot oil and on slow to medium heat.
  • Soak only as much as you require. The remaining can be stored in the fridge and used as required.
  • A few more step-by-step pics need to be added.
 
 
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Updates

This post was first published on 20-Fb-2019. Today I am updating with more pics and content. The recipe remains the same.

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Recipe Rating




Kalyani

Monday 6th of February 2023

my neighbour sends this over every diwali & Holi, we love it a lot.. spongy juicy dahi vada is a treat and I now have your perfect recipe for the same !

Mayuri Patel

Wednesday 11th of March 2020

Tempting me to no end with these yummy dahi bhalla. Soft and spongy and perfect during the hot season. Would love to try out your mum's dahi gujiya.

Renu Agrawal-Dongre

Thursday 12th of March 2020

Thank You

Chef Mireille

Monday 9th of March 2020

glad to hear how the vendors are conscious of the environment in how they serve this delicious looking treat. Looks creamy and delicious!

Renu Agrawal-Dongre

Tuesday 10th of March 2020

Yes, this was the norm from the start. Unfortunately due to globalisation it changed, but slowly people are realising it back. Thank You

Mina Joshi

Sunday 8th of March 2020

The dahi vadas look delicious. Love having them in the summer as they are filling as well as cooling.

Renu Agrawal-Dongre

Tuesday 10th of March 2020

Thank You

Shobha Keshwani

Sunday 8th of March 2020

So soft and tasty looking dahi vadas.. Now it is summer time and we can enjoy these cool delicacies.