January 31st, 2012
Dahi Wada/Lentil Dumplings In Yogurt
Welcome to the first deep fried recipe post on DivineTaste! After all this time, I havent posted a single recipe which is deep fried simply because I hardly deep fry at home. Maybe once or twice a year, that’s about it! And this does not mean that I’m averse to deep fried goodness.
I respect this art of cooking and believe that certain textures and tastes can be obtained only with deep frying. Unfortunately my constitution does not permit me to fry as inhaling the fumes from the oil (despite all the precautions and following rules of deep frying) can send me into a serious bout of allergy! This also does not mean that I dont indulge and relish in deep fried goodness once in a while. Although I’m on a mission to make many deep fried foods healthier by replacing this form of cooking with baking and shallow frying, depending on the dish, I simply cant resist chaklis, samosas, kachoris and one of my favourite sweets, gulab jamuns!
And of course dahi wadas! Let me tell you how this post came about. Just a week before the unfortunate incident, my mother mentioned to me over the phone about making her famous dahi wadas for a party in honour of a neighbours daughter who was about to be married. And I got to know about how it was relished by one and all. Her dahi wadas are popular among friends and family as she has perfected the art of making this truly delectable preparation.
When she came to help and look after us, we were fed with all our favourties one after the other. And as the day of her departure from Mumbai arrived closer, I craved for some dahi wadas and requested her to make some for me and for you all and she promptly agreed with double the enthusiasm soon after “DivineTaste” was mentioned.
Dahi wadas are quite versatile and you can make it in different ways. In the northern parts of the country, this is known as dahi bhalla and is usually served in a smooth yogurt sauce, garnished with date and tamarind chutney, coriander and mint chutney and rosted cumin and red chili powders. All the southern states have different names but the style of serving is usually the same, the vadas are dunked in yogurt which is mixed with a south Indian style seasoning. I love to serve this with the seasoning and topped with the chutneys and spice powders.
Fried lentil dumplings dunked in a seasoned smooth, cooling yogurt sauce and embellished with spicy, sour and sweet flavourings, this is a classic dish that has so many textures, flavours and tastes going into it and is sure to win you honours! It is simply great for a party and goes well with any Indian menu. You can serve this for lunch and dinner and as far as this is concerned, it is one of those rare special treats that I dont mind even having the leftovers for breakfast. Make this, seat yourself comfortably with a bowl and relish this goodness after all the tiring efforts, only to be transported into heaven. This is a spoonful from the heavens above and food that is fit for the gods!
Dahi Wada/Lentil Dumplings In Yogurt Recipe
You can make these vadas plain and mix it in with plain yogurt or add zing by putting in the seasoning and red chutney, green chutney and roasted cumin and red chili powders. Or skip the seasoning and add the the sauces and the spice powders.
For the Vadas/Lentil Dumplings:
200 gm (1 cup) urad dal or split black gram dal
1/2 cup to 3/4 cup water
1 tsp salt or to taste
1 tsp pepper (cracked)
1 tsp freshly grated or chopped ginger (optional)
oil for deep frying
Water, as needed
For the Yogurt mixture:
800 gm (4 cups) yogurt
1 tsp salt or to taste
2 tsp sugar
For the seasoning: (optional)
2 tsp oil
3/4 tsp mustard seeds
2 dry red chilies
a sprig of curry leaves
1/2 tsp asafetida
roasted cumin powder
red chili powder
date and tamarind chutney (optional)
cilantro and mint chutney (optional)
Soak the urad dal in enough water for an hour. Drain completely and grind to a smooth batter using as little water as possible. Transfer the batter into a large bowl and add the salt, roughly cracked pepper and the other optional ingredients and with the help of a spatula, spoon or whisk, whip into a smooth mixture by incorporating air into it.
Line a platter or tray with some absorbent kitchen paper to place the vadas once they are fried. In a medium sized wok or saucepan, heat the oil for deep frying. Do not let it smoke. Moisten your hands with water. Take about 1/4 cup batter and place it on the palm of your left hand and flatten it with your wet right hand. Make a hole in the centre and gently slip into the oil. Alternatively, use a sheet of moistened plastic sheet like a zip loc bag, take a ladleful of batter, flatten it on the sheet, make a hole and slip gently into the oil. Alternatively, drop spoonfulf or lightly shape into a round with your moistened hands and drop into the oil. Fry until golden brown on both sides.
In a large bowl place the yogurt with the salt and sugar and mix until smooth and creamy. Prepare the optional seasoning by heating the oil in a small wok, popping the mustard seeds and adding the rest of the ingredients. Pour the seasoning over the yogurt and mix.
Place some water in a medium sized bowl. Dunk 10 to 12 fried vadas in the water for a minute, squeeze the water lightly by pressing the vada with your palms, one by one and then place the vadas in the prepared yogurt.
Chill for an hour or two in the refrigerator.
Garnish with any of the optional ingredients, red chutney, green chutney, roasted cumin powder and red chili powder.
Serves 6 to 8
- This recipe makes 15 to 18 vadas, depending on size.
- Many recipes ask you to soak the urad dal for a longer time, but my mother says one of the tricks for perfect vadas is to soak it just for an hour.
- You can freeze the vadas if you want to make it ahead of time.
- If you find that your vadas have soaked up all the yogurt, you might want to add additional yogurt.
- If your yogurt is very thick you can thin it down with a few spoons of water.