My earliest memory of Dahi Vada, is the one I ate at the original Kailash Parbat outlet in Colaba, on a beautiful Sunday morning with my parents, around 25 yrs ago.While the outlet has now become a huge chain, having mushroomed in almost every mall and suburb across the city, the taste of that exquisite Dahi Vada has been unmatched. I have never tasted that good a Dahi Vada anywhere else, not even close. Those plump urad dal vadas, dunked in super chilled sweet yogurt, topped with a medley of spicy mint and tangy tamarind chutneys, a dash of red chilly and roasted cumin powder, finished off with some fresh pomegranate seeds was an absolute treat for the taste buds.
I do believe that the best chaat is available on the streets, but with the fear of contracting stomach infections, I usually whip up chaat at home during the monsoons. This weekend when the rain gods came calling with gay abandon, my chaat cravings were at an all-time high and I tried to replicate my favourite Dahi Vada .The result was really really good ,even if i say so myself 🙂
The humble Dahi Wada
Urad Dal ( the skinless version) 250 gms
Yogurt 500 ml
Ginger finely diced 2 inches
Green chilles finely chopped 2-3
Sugar 3 tbsps.
Green Chutney To Taste
Sweet Tamarind chutney To Taste ( I used the store bought version)
Roasted cumin powder 2 tsps.
Red Chilly powder 2 tsps
Fresh Coriander 3 tsps.
Salt To taste
Oil As required
Pomegranate Seeds For Garnish
Wash and soak the dal in three cups of cold water overnight. Drain off excess water the following day. If you are racing against time, soaking the dal for around 2 hours is also good enough. It’s a relatively softer lentil, so cooks fast enough
Grind the dal to a smooth paste. Add salt, raisins, ginger, and green chillies to the batter and whisk for ten minutes. Do not add any water during the grinding process. Else your vadas will soak up too much oil during the frying process leading to hollow wadas that might disintegrate later. So be careful.
Heat sufficient oil in a kadai. Drop spoonfuls of batter into the hot oil and fry until they turn golden. Let the flame run on medium heat, so the vadas are uniformly cooked.
Drain the vadas and soak them in sufficient quantity of water.
Let them sit in the water for around two minutes and then gently squeeze out the water, placing each vada in between your palms.Be gentle.
Whisk the yogurt with some salt and the sugar ,till it has a silky smooth texture. Set it aside in the fridge to cool
To serve, place the vadas in a deep dish.and cover it entirely with the chilled yogurt. Drizzle some mint chutney and the sweet tamarind Sprinkle some roasted cumin & red chilly powder on top. Garnish with some fresh coriander leaves and pomegranate seeds.