A popular snack in all parts of the country with slight variations. It is essentially urad dal dumpling that is deep-fried and served with whipped yoghurt, chutneys and namkeen.
I make the vadas in large quantity – 20-30 – at a time. Then I wrap them in foil and store it in the freezer. Whenever I need it, I take it straight out from the freezer, soak in hot water for some time and then gently press each vada to remove water. They can be stored for months in the freezer. Usually there is a dahi vada dish on elaborate Sunday lunches – followed by a good long siesta!
I have used Sweet imli chuntney in this recipe. You can even add a little bit of coriander mint chutney (pudhina chuntey). If you like spicy, add a pinch of red chilli powder when preparing the yoghurt.
For the vada
1. Urad Dal / washed black gram – 1 cup, soaked for at least 5-6 hours or overnight
2. Ginger – 1 inch, finely chopped
3. Green chillies – 2, finely chopped
4. Salt to taste
5. Oil – 3 cups, for deep-frying
For the Dahi Vada (serves 2)
1. Vada – 4-5
2. Yoghurt – 2 cups
3. Sweet Imli Chutney – 4 tbsp
4. Sev – 2 tbsp
5. Pomegranate – 2 tbsp
6. Cumin powder (Jeera powder) – 1 tsp
7. Black salt – a pinch
8. Salt to taste
9. Dried Mint Leaves – 1 tsp
For the vada:
1. Drain all the water remaining from the soaked dal. Grind the dal along with ginger and green chillies into a fine paste. Add a little water if required to grind it easily.
2. Add salt to taste and give the batter a good stir. Let the batter sit for an hour.
3. Heat oil to high heat. Add spoonfuls of the batter into the hot oil and cook for a few minutes. Add the spoon full of batter in hot oil, and then reduce the heat to medium so that the vadas are cooked through. Don’t cook on low flame or if the oil is not hot enough.
4. Drain on absorbent paper.
For the Dahi vada
1. Beat the yoghurt well and add the cumin powder (jeera powder), salt, back salt and dried mint leaves.
2. Add the vadas. Top with pomegranate seeds and sev.
3. Sprinkle a good amount of sweet imli chutney on top.