Dahi Vada (दही बड़ा) is a popular Indian snack which is made by soaking vada (fried lentil balls) in yogurt, and topped with chutney and spices like chilli powder and roasted cumin powder. Dahi vada and Holi (festival of colors) has a strong bond in my life. Every Holi my mother used to make Dahi vada to be served for guests who used to come to play Holi at our place. As a kid, it used to give a new dimension to Holi for me. Not sure if I used to wait for Holi more or dahi vada, but I used to thoroughly enjoy the eating dahi vada whilst our faces were smeared with colors. Making dahi vada on holi has been a tradition in my family and what a pleasant surprise the same is the tradition at my in-laws place.
Dahi vada is also referred as Dahi Bhalla in Delhi and Punjab region. Process to make dahi vada is not too complicated but requires some planning ahead as “vada” needs to be first fried and subsequently soaked in water, before it can be served.
North Indian version of Dahi vada is slightly different from that of south India (its called Thayir vadai or curd vada). Northern dahi vada is served with green coriander chutney and tamarind chutneys, in south focus is towards coconut chutney.
Top tip to get soft and fluffy vada is to beat the batter thoroughly, and immediately fry the vada balls. You will find your vada soft and porous, else vada can get hard and lumpy.
I always have been fan on Chaat recipes, but dahi vada holds special place perhaps due to traditional value in my family. Each bite of this soft dahi vada is heavenly.
Lets get to the step by step recipe of dahi vada.