My mom’s an amazing cook and she made these staples for certain festivals and celebrations like Kheer on Poornimas (full-moon nights); Gujiya, Dahi Bhalle, and Papdi chaat for Holi, Ladoos, and Mithais on Diwali, Gulgule, and Pakore on Teej and so on. Dahi Bhalla season would begin from Holi and mom would make them once or twice during summers and then on Diwali. We would always associate Holi as the beginning of summers and start eating cold things like ice creams, Dahi Bhallas, etc.
Dahi Bhalle is one of my favorite chaats. Chaat is nothing but sweet and spicy dishes popularly eaten as snacks in India. Dahi Vade or Bhalle are lentil fritters/pakoras made from dehusked Black gram/Urad daal and dipped in thick chilled yogurt with a tangy and sweet Tamarind chutney and a spicy coriander and mint chutney.
This step-by-step recipe makes super soft and spongy Dahi Bhalle. I hope you like it.
PREPARATION TIME: 15 minutes
COOKING TIME: 30 minutes
SERVINGS: 15-20 bhalle/vade
DIFFICULTY SCALE: Medium
For the vadas –
- Dehusked black gram/Dhuli Urad Dal – 1 cup
- Water – ¼ cup
- Ginger – 1 small piece
- Green chillies – 3-4
- Cumin seeds – 1 tablespoon
- Asafetida/Hing – ¼ teaspoon
- Vegetable oil – 500 ml
- Salt – to taste
For the toppings –
- Curd – 1 big bowl
- Tamarind/Imli chutney – 1 cup
- Green chutney – ¾ cup
- Roasted cumin powder – 4 tablespoons
- Red chilli powder – 2 tablespoons
- Black salt – 2 tablespoons
Preparing the Bhalle/Vade –
- Thoroughly wash and soak the Urad Dal in water for at least 4-5 hours.
- Strain all the water from the soaked dal and keep that water aside.
3. Now add this dahl into a grinder and add salt, green chillis, ginger, cumin seeds, and asafetida to it.
4. Dal needs to be ground to a nice and thick paste. Grind the dal until its half-done, then add a tablespoon of water and grind it one more time. I like to stop grinding a few seconds before it becomes a super smooth paste. This gives a lovely consistency to the batter.
5. Whisk the batter for about 7-8 minutes to incorporate some air into it. This will ensure fluffy and light vadas/bhallas. Let the batter stay for a few minutes.
6. In the meanwhile, add oil into a wok and keep it on a high flame and let it heat up.
7. Once the oil is hot, lower the heat to medium. You could either add the batter into a vada maker mould and start adding to the kadhai or you could either make round pakora-shaped vadas directly.
8. Ensure that you don’t overcrowd the kadhai. Keep turning the vadas once they turn brown on one side.
9. Once the vadas get crispy and nice on both sides and cooked properly. It is important to cook it on medium root so that it is cooked from inside.
Preparing the Bhalle for chaat –
10. Heat water in a big pan and let it get hot.
11. Add hot cooked vadas into hot water and cover it with a lid. This step helps in removing excess oil from the vadas.
12. Remove the vadas from the water and gently squeeze excess water with light hands. Press very lightly.
13. Take cold curd in a big bowl and whisk properly. Add a little water but make sure it is not too runny.
14. Add the soaked and drained vadas into the curd. Let the vadas soaked in cold curd for 1 hour or at least 30 minutes.
15. Now for assembling the chaat plates, take a plate and keep 2-3 vadas on it. Add a good amount of curd, tamarind, and coriander chutney.
16. Sprinkle some cumin powder, red chilli powder, and black salt.
Enjoy chilled Dahi Bhalle Chaat.