This deep fried lentil dumplings soaked in dahi(yogurt) and served with spices is a popular savoury snack/chaat in north India and down south its more like a refreshment after breakfast/lunch. With a small variation in serving.
In South India its called Dahi vada shaped differently(like a donut) and served with Boondi. Bhallas are round dumplings( more easy to handle while adding in hot oil).Irrespective of its shape it tastes good anyhow.
I have lovely memories of eating this at my favourite breakfast joint in Bangalore , Janatha Hotel. I would never miss a chance to get these packed on Sunday mornings. I would go religiously and make sure I have one whole dahi Vada for myself. As I stay away from home now I try to please my tastebuds by making it often.
Its quite labor intensive 🙂 No gain without pain!
1 cup Urad dal(Split Black gram)
1 inch Ginger
1 Big Green chilli
3 cups chilled Thick Dahi
2 cups Water
1 tbsp gram flour
Salt as per taste
Mint Chutney as desired (~3 tbsp)
Tamarind Chutney as desired (~3 tbsp)
Boondi to garnish
Coraiander to Garnish
Pomegranate to garnish
To sprinkle as per taste : Chilli powder, chat masala, roated cumin powder
Oil to deep fry Bhallas
1. Wash thoroughly and soak urad dal for 5-6 Hours.
2. Drain Water and grind till it is a very smooth batter adding Ginger, green chilli, salt, Gram flour.
3. Put the Ground batter to a large Bowl so there is enough room to beat it.
4. Beat the batter in your hand(or spatula/whisk) in a circular motion for approx 5 min till its well aerated. When you see that the batter is much lighter and small pockets are formed its well Aerated.
5. Heat oil in a kadai.Dip your hands in water(so the batter doesnt stick to your fingers) and take small dumplings of the above mixture and add it in hot oil carefully.
6. Fry till its golden brown on all sides and drain onto tissue to soak excess Oil.
7. Add 1tbsp sugar,salt to dahi and beat it well. Divide dahi into 2 portions, to soak and to serve.
8. In a large bowl add water, drop all the deep fried bhallas in water for 4 – 5 minutes and squeeze them between your palms to remove the excess water. Add these pressed bhallas to the bowl of dahi kept to soak. All the bhallas should be immersed in dahi.
9. Leave it overnight or for atleast 4 hours in the refrigerator covered.
10. In your serving bowl arrange all the soaked bhallas (or divide into small cups)add the remaining dahi, top it with mint and tamarind chutney, boondi, coriander, mixture to spice powders, pomogranate.
Grab a spoon and eat them ALL for you efforts!!
Use your hand to beat the batter as you know the consistency and texture better.
Dont overcrowd the kadai when frying as the bhallas increases in size.
To the chilled dahi adjust the salt and sugar according to preference.Sweeter dahi tastes good.
Some people mix dry spice powders with dahi and pour it over bhallas. Works equally good.
Chilled and lump free dahi is important as it gives good taste and texture.
Soaking the bhallas in dahi overnight gives best results
Traditionally in dahi bhalla, papdis (fried flour crispies), boiled potato cubes & cooked chickpeas are added. I havent added them in my recipe as it becomes too heavy.
And we did a good job 😉