Dahi Vada Recipe - This Dahi Vada is a popular, traditional, and delicious North Indian chaat where soft and fluffy lentil balls are first deep-fried and then soaked in water. Then these balls are dunked in seasoned yogurt and garnished with spicy and sweet chutneys and spices.
This is a vegetarian recipe which can be made gluten-free with a tiny modification. Made from scratch this recipe only needs about an hour of your effective time!
Similar to many other Indian Chaat recipes, Dahi Vada is a mélange of flavors and textures. You get an extraordinary treat when super soft and fluffy vadas meet the creamy and silky seasoned yogurt (chaat wala dahi), pungent , sweet and tangy tamarind date chutney, and some crunchy /sev.
The recipe I am sharing today is a traditional and fail-proof dahi vada recipe that has been prepared for generations. This tried and tested dahi vada recipe makes the best cotton-soft, fluffy, and melt-in-mouth Dahi vada each time.
This homemade Dahi Vada tastes better than the one you get from street vendors in India. If you want to make a super soft and most delicious Dahi Vada recipe at home, then this is the only recipe you’ll ever need!
I have given all the tips, tricks, and variations to make the best authentic dahi vada recipe. Prepared from scratch this recipe comes out excellent each time.
On this page I have shared a step-by-step photo recipe and video tutorial. So don’t forget to watch the video for clear understanding.
So, are you ready to dazzle your family and friends with this delicious dahi vada recipe?
About Dahi Vada
Dahi vada is a very famous, mouthwatering, and easy-to-make authentic North Indian appetizer or snack recipe which is prepared with some easily available ingredients.
The different textures and flavors make it the most desirable chaat or side dish among everyone. Thus, they’re loved and indulged by children and adults alike!
You don’t need to wait for a special occasion or celebration to relish this lusciously toothsome Dahi Vada. Dahi Vada surely can be eaten and prepared anytime, but it is a must at weddings, parties, and other occasions.
North Indians just love chaats and snacks. I have not been to any North Indian weddings or parties that don’t have Dahi Vada on their menu. Dahi Vada is also an essential dish to make during the festivals of Holi and Diwali.
This Dahi Vada
✔ makes the traditional dahi vada
✔ has super soft and melt-in-mouth texture
✔ can be customized as per your taste
✔ has classic and delicious flavors
✔ is easy to digest
✔ is vegetarian, and gluten-free
✔ can also be vegan
What is Dahi Vada?
Dahi Vada, also known as Dahi Vade, is a type of North Indian chaat (street food) that is popular throughout India. Here “Dahi” refers to yogurt and “Vada’’ means deep-fried lentil fritters.
In Dahi Vada recipe, vada is made using Urad dal. There is also a quite similar dish, known as ‘Dahi Bhalla’, where 2 types of lentils (urad dal + moong dal) are used for making vada.
Making the perfectly soft and tender dahi vada at home is really straightforward. You just need to do a little preparation. Lentils are soaked in water and then blend into a smooth and thick batter.
This batter is then seasoned and deep-fried into round-shaped balls. These fritters (vadas) are then soaked in seasoned water, and after absorbing water they become super fluffy, and soft. After that, this cushiony vada is drained and dunked in thick, creamy, and chilled seasoned yogurt and then topped with green chutney, sweet-tangy tamarind chutney, and some spices.
Follow my step-by-step recipe with photo instructions and a video guide to learn how to make the traditional dahi vada recipe.
What is the Difference between Dahi Bhalla and Dahi Vada?
Many people get confused between Dahi Vada and Dahi Bhalla. Dahi Vada is a close cousin of Dahi Bhalla. The cooking process and the outcome of both dishes are almost the same.
The only difference is in the lentils used for making fritters (typically made in a round shape). Dahi Vada only uses urad dal whereas Dahi Bhalla or Dahi Bhalle are made with a mix of urad dal and yellow moong dal. The toppings of chutneys, yogurt, and spices are the same in both recipes.
How to Make Dahi Vada
Making Dahi Vada is easy and simple. The only thing that takes a little time is the preparation such as soaking the lentils and pulsing them to make batter and making chutneys. All the preparation is worth every bit of effort. Other than these preparations, this recipe is really quick.
This is how Dahi Vada is made in 6 simple steps:
Step 1 - Rinse the (urad dal) lentils and soak them in water for 5 hours. After that, pulse the lentils to make a thick and smooth batter.
Step 2 - Whisk the batter until light and fluffy. Then add seasonings and beat again.
Step 3 - Add salt and sugar to the chilled yogurt (dahi/curd) and whisk well to combine. Chill it in the refrigerator.
Step 4 - Shape the rounds from the batter and deep fry them. Once the fritters are light golden, transfer them to a plate and let them cool.
Step 5 - Add fritters to a large mixing bowl. Soak the fried fritters in a large mixing bowl in warm water for 10 minutes. After that, discard the water and add more warm water, salt, asafoetida, and cumin powder to the mixing bowl. Stir everything, and let them soak for 10-15 minutes.
Step 6 - Squeeze out the excess water and arrange soaked vadas on a plate. Generously cover each vada with seasoned yogurt. Top with green chutney and tamarind chutney. Sprinkle it with spices and enjoy it chilled!
On this page, you’ll find step-by-step photos, instructions, and video recipes to make the best tasting Dahi Vada.
How to make Dahi Bhalla
The recipe of Dahi Bhalla is the same as dahi vada. In the Dahi vada recipe, I have used 1 cup urad dal. To make dahi bhalla you need to use the ¾ cup urad dal and ¼ cup yellow moong dal. That’s the only difference in both the recipes.
Ingredients For Dahi Vada
To make Dahi Vada, you will need some simple and easily available ingredients. These ingredients are:
Lentils – This dahi vada recipe requires Urad dal or Urad ki dhuli dal (split & dehusked black gram lentils). This is the star ingredient of this recipe, so make sure to use the good organic dal for making the best-tasting vadas.
Yogurt – It is the second main ingredient of this recipe. The addition of yogurt makes the vadas healthy and easy to digest. I have used thick and creamy yogurt in this recipe. You can use any plain yogurt, but just don’t use non-fat yogurt.
Seasoning – Freshly grated or chopped ginger and green chilies are added to the vada batter. The freshly grated ginger adds a distinct flavor here, but you can also use ginger paste and green chili paste here.
Cashews and raisins – I have added some raisins and chopped cashews to the vada batter for a rich flavor and nutty crunch. But if you don’t want raisins or cashews then feel free to skip them.
Spices – This recipe uses cumin seeds, roasted cumin powder, regular salt, black salt, asafoetida (hing), and red chili powder.
Sugar – Some white granulated sugar is added to the yogurt to make it sweetened. You can also use crystal sugar in this recipe.
Water – Lukewarm water is needed for soaking vadas. Also, you might need some water for the lentils while grinding them.
Toppings – You will need mint-coriander chutney and date tamarind chutney for toppings. The sweet and tangy tamarind date chutney and spicy coriander chutney both add a nice taste to this dahi vada. Also, some thin sev or bhujia is needed for a nice look and crunch.
To get the full recipe with a complete list of ingredients with measurements, please scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom of this page.
There are many ways you can top dahi vada. The basic recipe has yogurt and chutneys, and a few spices. If you want to spruce up this recipe, other than chutneys and powdered spices you can add any of the below:
Crushed papdi or gol gappa
Chopped onions and coriander
Dahi vada can be served as a starter/snack or as a side dish. You can pair dahi vada with poori, chana masala, paneer khurchan, boondi raita, mango shrikhand, and kaju katli, when serving it with a festive meal.
If you are planning to make dahi vada in advance, then after soaking, arrange them on a plate. Coat the soaked vadas with thin yogurt. Cover the plate with cling wrap and refrigerate. Thaw the vadas for 30 minutes at room temperature before serving. When you want to serve, top with prepared seasoned yogurt, chutneys, spice powders, and sev.
Pro Tips, Tricks and Variations to Make Dahi Vada
Yogurt/Curd - Always use the fresh and full cream yogurt for making the best tasting dahi vada. You can use store-bought yogurt, homemade dahi or curd for making this recipe, they both work. When using homemade yogurt, then remember to strain the yogurt to get the smooth creamy yogurt.
Soaking - To get a perfectly soaked dal you need to soak it for a minimum of 5 hours, or else the batter won’t turn fluffy while beating. You can also soak the dal overnight.
Lentils - For this recipe, it is necessary to use the skinned urad dal which looks creamy white. If you would use dal with the skin, the color and texture won’t be perfect.
Oil temperature - For frying vadas, the oil should be hot. To check the oil temperature, add a tiny piece of batter to the oil. If it sizzles and comes up quickly on the surface, it is ready. If it gets stuck to the bottom, it is cold. If the batter turns brown instantly, it is too hot.
Beating the batter - To get the fluffy and soft vadas, the batter should be aerated. Always beat the batter in one direction after pulsing to incorporate the air into the batter. You can whisk the batter using your hands, stand mixer, or a hand mixer. If you are planning to double the recipe, using an electric beater or stand mixer would be a good choice.
Batter consistency - The batter should be thick but of dropping consistency. So if you have to add the water, then add only a little at a time.
Equal sized vada - When frying vadas, make sure to slide equal portions of batter, or the vadas will have different sizes. And the frying time will vary with the different sized vadas. Always fry vadas on medium heat to get evenly cooked vadas with a perfectly golden and crispy layer.
Fry in batches - Do not overcrowd the pan while frying. While frying vadas, make sure to keep some space between the vada, as they increase in size while frying.
Soak dahi vada – Always soak the dahi vada in warm water to expand and double in size. I do this process twice. First time to remove oil and the second time to absorb seasoned water. After soaking, vadas become really soft, so make sure to gently press the vadas to squeeze out the water. This way they won’t break.
How to make vegan Dahi Vada?
To make a vegan version of Dahi Vada, you just need to use vegan yogurt instead of regular. The vegan yogurt that tastes good in this recipe are: coconut yogurt, cashew yogurt, oat yogurt, or almond yogurt.
What to do if the batter is runny?
If you’ve accidentally added too much water and the batter has become runny, simply add some rice flour and mix until it thickens and reaches the desired consistency.
How to Freeze Fried Vadas?
To freeze vads, let them cool completely. Then place them on a parchment paper-lined plate. Freeze for 2-3 hours then transfer fried vadas to a ziplock bag or freezer-safe container and seal it. You can store frozen vadas for up to 2 months.
When you want to enjoy, add the Vadas to the hot water and let them soak for about 20 minutes or until they puff up.
After that, remove and soak them in seasoned warm water and soak for 10-15 minutes. Squeeze off the excess water and arrange them on a plate. Top with yogurt, chutneys, and spices. Enjoy!
Can we store dahi vada batter in the fridge?
Yes, you can store this batter in the refrigerator for a couple of days. But the batter becomes sour after a couple of days so make sure not to store it for more than 2-3 days. If you want to store for a longer period, then store it in the freezer for upto 4 weeks.
Can I freeze soaked vada?
Yes, you can freeze water-soaked vadas. Once you’ve squeezed the water, place them on a parchment paper-lined tray. Freeze 2-3 hours, then transfer them to a ziplock bag and freeze. When you want to serve, thaw the vadas overnight in the refrigerator and assemble.
Why does my vada burst in oil?
Vadas only burst whil frying when the batter is too thin, too much water in the batter can cause the vada to burst. Make sure that the batter is thick. You can fix the runny batter by adding rice flour.
Dahi Vada Recipe (Dahi Bhalla) (Step-by-step photo instructions)
- Rinse the urad dal (lentils) in water 3 to 4 times or until the water becomes clear. Now, soak the rinsed dal in enough water for 5 hours or overnight.
Making seasoned yogurt (chaat wala dahi)
- Add chilled yogurt to a mixing bowl. Also, add granulated sugar and salt to it. Whisk the yogurt (curd) until everything is smooth and well until combined. You can also add 1/4 cup of water if you want thinner dahi. Now refrigerate it for 30 minutes.
Making Vada Batter
- After 5 hours, drain the water from the soaked lentils and add them to a blender or mixer grinder, and pulse to make a thick and smooth batter. The batter should be thick, but not too thick, so you can add 1-2 tablespoons of water if required. Just make sure it does not have a pouring consistency.
- Transfer lentils batter to a large mixing bowl. Now using your fingers or wired whisk beat it briskly in one direction for about 6-7 minutes or until the mixture becomes, light and fluffy. The fluffier mixture makes the soft and fluffy vadas. You can check the doneness of the batter by flipping the bowl. Flip the bowl, and if the batter is stuck to the bowl then it is ready.
- Now add chopped green chilies, chopped ginger, cumin seeds, raisins, chopped cashews, and salt to it. Gently whisk again until well combined. Keep it aside.
Deep Frying Vada
- Heat oil on a wide pan over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, turn the heat to medium. Now, dip your fingers (or a spoon) in the cold water, scoop the batter and shape the dal mixture into small balls and then carefully drop it into the hot oil. Drop more vadas in oil keeping some distance. You can fry about 9-10 vadas in the wide pan. Do not overcrowd the pan while frying vadas. This is because vadas will increase in size while deep frying, so make sure to keep enough space for them to expand in the pan.
- Turn the vadas gently when they are fried from the bottom and sides. Deep fry them until they become lightly golden and crispy from all the sides.
- Remove the fried vadas from the pan and place them on a kitchen tissue-lined plate. Fry vadas until all the batter is used up. Keep them aside to cool for 10-12 minutes.
- In another mixing bowl, add warm water. Now add fried vadas to the water and let them soak for about 10 minutes.
- Now transfer vadas to another bowl. After that, add enough luke water to another mixing bowl. This double soaking would remove excess oil and help vadas soak in water and increase in size. Also add salt, asafoetida, and roasted cumin powder. Gently stir the vadas in the water and set them aside to absorb for 10-15 minutes. After soaking and expanding, vadas would become lighter in color and bigger in size.
Assembling Dahi Vada
- Take out the soaked vadas from the water, place it between palms and squeeze out excess water. Place these soaked vadas on a serving plate.
- Pour with a generous amount of seasoned yogurt, make sure you are covering every vada. Drizzle the vadas with tamarind date chutney, mint-coriander chutney. Then sprinkle with roasted cumin (jeera) powder, red chili powder, and black salt over the vadas. Top with some sev or bhujia. Your dahi vada or dahi Vada (Dahi Bhalla) is ready, serve it chilled.