Dahi Bhalla Chaat

Dahi Bhalla, also known as Dahi Vada is one of the most popular street foods in North India. The tongue-tickling flavors imparted from dry spices and tangy chutneys, simply makes it an irresistible treat for every avid foodie. While these bhallas are often a chaat stall's glory, they also make for festive delights and are generally prepared in majority of the households during the time of Diwali and Holi. Whenever these festivals are round the corner, I look forward to making them along with numerous other sweet and savory delicacies like vanilla sandesh, choco nan khatais, besan-sooji burfi and nimkis.

If you too love this lip-smacking chaat and are in quest of a recipe that can yield super soft and spongy bhallas, then I am sure this recipe is not gonna leave you disappointed. However, there are few points that certainly need to be taken care of: first, whisking of the batter for good 10 to 15 minutes so that air is nicely incorporated in it. It is the key to making soft bhallas. Secondly, you need to keep the fried bhallas soaked in warm salted water for at-least 15 to 20 minutes; this helps them keep moist and nicely absorb the flavors of chutneys and masalas later drizzled on them. Keep these little pointers in mind and I assure, you will always attain good results.

Dahi Vada | Dahi Bhalla

Ingredients (makes 10 to 15 vadas/bhallas)

Dhuli Urad Daal (skinless split black gram) - 1/2 cup
Dhuli Moong Daal (skinless split moong) - 1/2 cup
Ginger (roughly chopped) - 2 inch
Green chilies (roughly chopped) - 3 to 4
Cumin seeds - 2 tsp
Warm water - a big bowl
Salt - 2 tsp
Raisins - 18 to 20
Oil - for frying


Dahi Vada | Dahi Bhalla

For assembling

Whisked curd/yogurt (mixed with 2 tsp of sugar) - 2 cups
Salt - as per taste
Red chili powder - 1 to 2 tsp
Black salt - 1 to 2 tsp
Roasted cumin seed powder - 2 tsp
Chaat masala - 1 tsp
Finely chopped coriander/mint - 1 tbsp
Coriander-mint chutney - 2 tbsp
Dates-tamarind chutney - 2 tbsp
Fresh pomegranate pearls - 1 tbsp
Any namkeen/sev/boondi (optional) - 1/2 tbsp
Boiled potatoes/chickpeas (optional) - 1/2 tbsp

Dahi Vada | Dahi Bhalla

Method

1. Wash and soak both the daals overnight.
2. In the morning, drain water and pulse them to a smooth batter along with ginger and green chilies.
3. Whisk this batter for good 10 to 15 minutes with your hands or using an electric whisk. This step is the most critical in order to yield soft vadas.
4. Now gently fold in raisins and cumin seeds in the batter.
5. Heat oil in a wok; when it is moderate hot, turn the flame to low.
6. Now dip your hands in some water and take out a small portion of the batter. Gently slide it in oil and fry on low-medium heat until it turns golden in color. Do the same with remaining batter.
7. In the meanwhile, mix in salt in the warm water.
8. As soon as you take the vadas out of oil, dip them in water and keep them soaked for at-least half an hour.
9. When assembling, take out the bhallas from water and squeeze out water by pressing in between your palms.
10. Place them on a plate along with boiled potatoes and chickpeas. Drizzle with chilled curd.
11. Season with salt, red chili powder, chaat masala, black salt and roasted cumin powder.
12. Pour over some chutneys and garnish with pomegranate, namkeen and chopped mint-coriander.

Dahi Vada | Dahi Bhalla

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-Anshu

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