Dahi vada step-by-step recipe with photos.
What is dahi vada
Dahi vada/mosaru vade is a delicious dish where split black gram fritters are dunked in a spicy yogurt mix. They are great as chaat or snack and can be served as a side dish at lunch/dinner too.
'Dahi' means yogurt and 'vada' means lentil fritter. This delicious dish is prepared by making split black gram (urad dal) fritters and dunking them in a creamy and spicy yogurt mix. The vada can either be shaped like donuts or small balls.
Dahi vada is soft pillowy lentil fritters that are soaked up in creamy yogurt and are dressed depending on the regional variations.
Dahi vada is quite different in North and South India. While the basic method of making the dish is almost the same, there is a big difference in the way they are served. The North Indian version is called dahi bhalla and is served as a chaat which is topped with sweet and spicy chutneys, and powdered spices. The South Indian version is simpler where the yogurt in which the vada is soaked is mixed with a tempering (seasoning).
The taste of yogurt also varies - the North Indian version has the yogurt sweetened while in the South Indian version, the yogurt is tangy and is not sweetened.
My recipe here is the south Indian dahi vada. It is called mosaru vade in Kannada, thayir vadai in Tamil, and peragu vada in Telugu.
Urad dal: They are also called black gram, and are used to make the fritters/vada.
Yogurt: Whisked plain yogurt is used in making dahi vada.
Oil: I use sunflower oil to deep-fry the fritters/vada
Spices: I season the yogurt with mustard seeds, cumin seeds, urad dal, ginger, and curry leaves.
Other ingredients: I flavour the lentil mixture with green chilli, ginger, curry leaves, and coconut.
To serve: I serve dahi vada topped with grated carrots, coriander leaves, and khara boondi.
This dish is made in two steps – first, the vadas or fritters (which tastes great by themselves too) are made and next, they are soaked in a yogurt mix. For best results, the vadas are soaked in the yogurt mix for a few hours. This lets the vadas soak up the yogurt. The result is absolutely tasty, melt-in-mouth, flavourful dahi vada.
Tips for making softest dahi vada
Grind the urad dal with as little water as possible. The batter has to be very thick with very less water content.
Aerate the batter well by whisking it for at least 5 minutes. A well-aerated batter gives light and fluffy vadas.
To check if the batter is ready, drop a small bit in water. If it floats, the batter is ready.
Always fry the vada in medium heat. Frying them on low heat will make them soak too much oil and if you fry them on high heat, they will not cook completely.
Use lukewarm water to dip the vadas.
Pro-tip: Fry a large batch of vadas, portion, and freeze them. They are very handy as a snack or for lunchboxes.
Assembled dahi vada can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. If you are planning to freeze it, do not soak the vada in the yogurt mix. To freeze the vada, cool the fried vada completely, and place them in a freezer-safe bag. Remove as much air as possible and seal them. They can be frozen for up to three months.
To thaw them, boil water in a saucepan and turn off the flame. Place the frozen vada in it and cover it. Let it sit for 15 minutes, then put them in the yogurt mixture.
If you want to enjoy the vadas without yogurt, reheat them in an air fryer or oven. Serve them with a dip or sauce of your choice.
Juicy vadas soaked up in spicy yogurt is absolutely comforting. Even though it is deep-fried, it is a perfect snack/side dish during summer. Here goes my recipe... Do try it, it is absolutely delicious!
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Step by step instructions
1. Whisk the dal batter well
2. Drop some batter in water to check if it is ready
3. Add the rest of the ingredients to the batter and mix well
4. Deep fry in hot oil
5. Fry the vadas until golden brown
6. Soak the vadas in lukewarm water
7. Whisk yogurt with salt
8. Add tempering to the yogurt and mix well
9. Add soaked vadas and mix gently
Dahi Vada | Mosaru Vade
FOR THE VADA:
- 1 cup split black gram (urad dal)
- 2-3 tbsp coconut slices
- 2-3 green chilli or as per taste
- 5-6 curry leaves
- 1 tsp ginger paste
- Salt to taste
- Oil for frying vadas
FOR THE YOGURT MIX:
- 3 cups yogurt
- 1 tsp oil
- ½ tsp mustard seeds
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- 4-5 curry leaves
- 1 inch ginger finely sliced
- Salt to taste
- 1 small carrot grated
- A few coriander leaves for garnish
- Boondi or sev of your choice for garnish
TO MAKE VADA:
- Soak the urad dal in sufficient water overnight (minimum 4-5 hours)
- Finely chop coconut slices, green chilli and curry leaves. Set aside
- Once the urad dal is soaked, rinse it thoroughly and drain all the water
- Grind into a smooth batter using very little water (the batter needs to be thick and should have as less water as possible)
- Whisk the batter to make it fluffy. To check if your batter is ready, add a small drop of batter into a bowl of water. If it floats, the batter is ready for vadas
- Mix the chopped coconut, green chilli, curry leaves, ginger paste and salt into the batter
- Heat oil in fry pan or kadhai. Take small portions of batter (approximately 2 tbsp) and gently drop it into the oil
- Fry the vadas on medium flame until they are golden brown
- Drain on a kitchen towel
TO MAKE DAHI VADA:
- Add salt to yogurt and whisk it until it is smooth and there are no lumps
- Heat oil in a small fry pan and add mustard seeds. Once it splutters, add cumin seeds, curry leaves and ginger. Saute for a few seconds
- Pour the prepared tempering into the yogurt and mix well
- Soak the vadas in luke warm water for 5-6 minutes. Gently squeeze the vada to remove excess water
- Drop them into the yogurt mix and mix gently. Let it sit for a few minutes
- Garnish with grated carrot, coriander leaves and boondi, and serve
- It is really important to make the batter light and fluffy. Don’t skip the whisking step. To check if your batter is ready, add a small drop of batter into a bowl of water. If it floats, the batter is ready for vadas
- After soaking vadas in water, squeeze them very gently, else they will break
- Fry the vadas on medium flame. If the flame is low, it will soak up a lot of oil, if the flame is high, the vada will not cook through completely
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