|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
|3½ cups Curd (yogurt)
|3 tablespoons Powdered Sugar or to taste (optional)
|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)
- Rinse and soak urad dal in water for 6 hours or overnight.
- Its size would increase to almost double during soaking. Drain and discard all water from dal.
- 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.
- Transfer it to a large bowl and add crushed ginger-chili and salt.
- 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.
- 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 let them cool down at room temperature. Transfer them into a bowl filled with lukewarm water. Make vadas from remaining batter in similar way.
- Soak them for about 7-8 minutes. Oil droplets would start floating on surface and vada would turn soft.
- Takeout them out from water and press gently between your palms to remove excess water. (This will also drain-out excess oil)
- Transfer them to a plate.
- Beat curd with sugar and salt with hand beater until smooth. Do not use electric blender for beating otherwise curd will turn very thin.
- 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.
- 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 into the warm water after they cool down completely 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.