Dahi Vada (Dahi Bhalla) Recipe (with Step by Step Photos)

The classic always remains a classic and seldom needs any introduction! The dahi vada prepared with this recipe has a classic north Indian style touch that makes it so delicious that you would never want it to get over. To make them extra soft and spongy, the deep-fried dumplings made from lightly spiced urad dal based batter are soaked in water before burying them under smooth and creamy layer of beaten curd. The garnish of red chilli powder, roasted cumin powder, sweet chutney and coriander leaves gives it as good tempting look at it tastes! Bring it on!

Dahi Vada

Preparation Time: 6 Hours 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4 servings
For Vada:
1 cup Urad Dal (black gram lentils without skin)
1/2 tablespoon crushed Ginger-Green Chilli (optional)
Oil, for deep frying
Salt to taste
4 cups lukewarm Water
For Assembling:
3½ cups Curd (yogurt)
1 tablespoon Red Chilli Powder
2 tablespoons Roasted Cumin Powder
1 tablespoon Black Pepper Powder (optional)
1/4 cup finely chopped Coriander Leaves
1/4 cup Sweet Chutney (date tamarind chutney)
3 tablespoons Powdered Sugar or to taste (optional)

Directions for Vada:

  1. step-1
    Rinse and soak urad dal in water for 6 hours or overnight.
  2. step-2
    Its size would increase to almost double during soaking. Drain and discard all water from dal.
  3. step-3
    Place it in grinder and grind into a smooth paste by gradually adding 1-2 tablespoons water at a time as required (approx. 1/2-cup total water). Amount of water required may vary according to the quality of dal. Do not add too much water otherwise batter will turn watery; it should have thick lumpy consistency and there should not be any broken dal pieces.
  4. step-4
    Transfer it to a large bowl and add crushed ginger-chili and salt.
  5. step-5
    Mix well and beat the batter until it turns light, about at-least 4-5 minutes. This step is very critical as it will decide how soft and fluffy vada would be after deep-frying. More or excess beating will not harm the softness and fluffiness of it.
  6. step-6
    Heat oil in a deep frying pan over medium flame. When oil is medium hot, take a medium lemon sized portion of batter in between your fingers or a spoon and gently drop it into the oil. Drop 4-5 portions at a time. Deep-fry them on medium heat until light golden brown and crispy. Take them out from oil and transfer into a bowl having lukewarm water. Make vadas from remaining batter in similar way.
  7. step-7
    Soak them for about 7-8 minutes. Oil droplets would start floating on surface and vada would turn soft.
  8. step-8
    Takeout them out from water and press gently between your palms and remove excess water. (This will also drain-out excess oil)
  9. step-9
    Transfer them to a plate.

For Garnishing:

  1. step-10
    Beat curd with sugar and salt with hand beater until smooth. Do not use electric blender for beating otherwise curd will turn very thin.
  2. l_step
    Take 4-5 fried and soaked vadas in a deep serving plate or a bowl. Pour generous amount of curd evenly over it until fully covered. Top it with 2-teaspoons sweet chutney and sprinkle red chilli powder, roasted cumin powder and black pepper powder. Garnish dahi bhalla chaat with coriander leaves and serve.
Tips and Variations:

  • In Gujarat and Maharashtra, sugar is added to the curd but if you do not like a sweeter taste of it then you can avoid it.
  • You can prepare vada from equal amount of moong dal and urad dal or only from moong dal.
  • Curd should be chilled for a better taste. You can beat curd in advance and then place it in a refrigerator to chill.
  • Transfer fried vada immediately into the water and make sure that they stay are fully submerged in it. This will make them softer.
  • While taking vada out from water make sure that water is not hot, otherwise you may burn your hands.
  • If you deep-fry them on high flame then they will immediately turn golden brown from outside but remain uncooked from inside.
  • If you fry them on low flame then they will absorb more oil.
Taste: Salty and mild sweet
Serving Ideas: Serve it as a side dish in lunch or dinner. It can also be served as a party snack or as an evening chaat.

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Aug 15, 2017 by payal shah
Nice receipe... Turn out to be very good taste... Hit in the family...thank u.

May 04, 2017 by Hiral
I hv tried many recipes from food viva n each turn out hit by the family.
Thank you SO much.

There is one query..what can be done if the batter becomes lil thin? Pls reply asap. Thank you

Response: Hello Hiral, you can add rice flour or urad dal flour or fine sooji (rava) to the batter.

Mar 08, 2017 by Malika Chakraborty
Good... I like it..
It helps me a lot to serve my friends my guests..

Nov 05, 2016 by Arati
Tip for step 5. To check if the batter is light or not, drop batter in water and if it floats you are done mixing it.

Response: Thank you Arati for sharing the helpful tip.

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Nov 02, 2016 by Shefali Mittal
Can I store the fried vade in fridge and then dip them in warm water before using? Actually, I will be traveling and I want to take my mom's vade along with me. Can you suggest best option.

Response: Yes, you can do that. Store the vada in refrigerator and then dip them in warm water (use little more hot water than warm water as the vada are cool) before using.

Apr 03, 2016 by Meera
Once ground can the dhal mixture be stored in the fridge and used the next day?

Response: Hi Meera, you can store the dal mixture in refrigerator. Before making the vada, bring the batter at room temperature and beat it with your hand for 4-5 minutes.

Mar 11, 2016 by Kasturi
I want to try this recipe tonight. Can I use electric blender to beat the batter?

Response: Yes Kasturi, you can use electric blender to beat the batter.

Feb 22, 2016 by Sheenam jain
Its yummy...everybody liked it. Thank you.

Jan 15, 2016 by Mousumi dey
Hi! Very much liked this recipe. It's very helpful. Thanks foe sharing this recipe.

Nov 12, 2015 by Ana
Can I soak vada overnight in fridge before serving it? Will it be problem? I am preparing tonight for tomorrow dinner. Planning to make and put it in fridge?

Response: Hi Ana, you can store soaked and drained vada in a container in refrigerator.

Jun 25, 2015 by Sarah
Very nice site. Extremely helpful and very good and easy recipes.

Apr 22, 2015 by Nisha Zion
foodviva is a wonderful site where I have learnt lots of dishes. It is truly amazing experience which i'm getting from foodviva.

Response: Thanks Nisha for trying the recipe and writing the feedback.

Apr 14, 2015 by Debbie
I tried the dahi vada. It was awesome. Please post more recipes for breakfast and evening snacks items. This is the 1st time I made it and it tasted just like the one available in the restaurants or sweet shops. I am very excited to try new recipes now. Thanks in advance.

Response: Hi Debbie, thanks for trying the recipe. We will definitely try to post more recipes for breakfast and snacks.

Feb 05, 2015 by Suchita Bangar
Hi, I have tried most of dishes from your website. I have one question that if I cannot soak dal for 6 hours as I want to do it on emergency basis so shall I soak dal in lukewarm water for 2 to 3 hours?

Response: Hi Suchita, food prepared from urad dal is heavy and so if you soak the dal for around 5-6 hours, it will be easy to digest. If you are in hurry, you can soak the dal for 3 hours in lukewarm water (not hot) or use the urad dal flour (soak it for around 2-hours) also.

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Feb 01, 2015 by Gunjan
I just loved this recipe. It's so simple yet so yummy. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

Dec 26, 2014 by Ashimabakshi
My hobby is cooking and I love to try different dishes but I never tried dahi vada. I tried first time and it was awesome.

May 19, 2014 by simron banerjee
I just love the dahi wada recipe and its great . I love a little south
Indian style food . Actually , I always try to make it but l can not
make it . When I tried your it was a very nice result so I love it.

Dec 08, 2013 by A Cook @ Heart
I am a big fan of dahi wada. When I was little and my parents took me out to a restaurant, I would always order dahi wada. But home made is SO superior!
I love your version.