Dahi Vada, amongst plethora of mouth-watering and tantalizingly delicious Chaat dishes that occupy street food scene in India, could quite clearly be termed as leader or a hero dish of a chaat platter.
Deep fried Vadas, made from soaked and grounded Urad Dal batter are served dipped in cold curd that has been seasoned with spices like cumin powder, red chili powder and Chaat masala. These Vadas are soaked in water and/or seasoned buttermilk to facilitate the softening process. These softened Vadas are then served with curd mixture as described above.
In Hindi, ‘chaat’ means ‘to lick’. While the origin of Chaat is disputable, the story of its origin goes like this- Apparently chaat was created in the kitchen of Shah Jahan, whose hakim advised him to eat foods that were light but spicy. The Mughal kitchen went into overdrive and concocted the chaat (read here)
KT Achaya in his book, A Historical Dictionary of Indian Food, has given plenty of references and mentioned about various Chaat dishes and ingredients that goes into making Chaats. Vadas have been first mentioned in Sutra literature in 500 BC. Manasollasa talks of soaking Vadas in milk or curd. In Tamil literature curd is said to be spiced with pepper, cinnamon and ginger. Therefore, it can be surmised that adding curd to Dahi Vada and spicing it up with various spices could be an old food practice. (read here)
Learn How to make soft, fluffy and delicious Dahi Vadas with this recipe.
- ½ cup=100gms Urad Dal-washed, cleaned and soaked overnight
- ¼th cup=50gms Moong Dal-washed, cleaned and soaked overnight
- 1-inch Ginger root
- 3 Green Chilies
- 2-tbsp Fresh Coriander Leaves
- 2 Cups=400 gms Curd
- ¼th Cup Milk
- 2-3 tbsp Sugar
- 1-tsp Roasted Cumin Powder
- ½-tsp Red Chili Powder
- ½-tsp Chat Masala
- ¼-tsp Black Salt
- 2 Cups Buttermilk
- ¼-tsp Asafoetida Powder
- Salt to taste
- Green Chutney
- Sweet Tamarind Chutney
- Cooking Oil
- To start with, we will season the Buttermilk. I have used ½ cup Curd and 2 Cups water to make this buttermilk. Add Asafoetida Powder and Salt in buttermilk. Mix well. After frying Vadas, we will soak it in this buttermilk.
- Keep this seasoned buttermilk aside. Now, we will season Curd. In a large bowl, put Curd. Add 1½ tbsp Sugar, Black Salt. Add some Salt and whisk well. Curd mixture is now ready but is a little too thick. Add ¼th Cup Milk at room temperature and mix well. Refrigerate this Curd mixture until serving.
- Now, we will grind Dals into a fine paste. Add some water while grinding. Grind Ginger, Chilies and Coriander Leaves into a coarse paste. Do not add water while making this paste.
- We have used ¼th Cup water for making Dal paste. The final consistency must be smooth and thick. Now, we will whisk this batter with our bare palms for good 8-10 mins. This will make the batter light and fluffy.
- We have whisked the batter for 10 mins and it has become light and airy. Let's do a quick test to check the readiness of batter. Drop a small portion of batter into a bowl full of water. If the batter is ready it must rise immediately onto the surface of water.
- Add green masala coarse paste and mix well. Keep aside the batter for 10 mins.
- Meanwhile, let's heat the oil. Heat Oil on medium heat. When, Oil becomes hot, lower the heat and fry Vadas on low heat. Apply some water on palms and drop small portion of batter in Oil. Fry on low heat.
- We have fried Vadas for 7-8 mins on low heat. Remove from Oil. Now, we will soak fried Vadas in lukewarm water. Ensure water is not too hot or cold.
- Vadas will become soft and spongy due to soaking. Soak Vadas for 3-4 mins. Gently squeeze out the water from the Vadas. Be very gentle
- Now, soak these Vadas in seasoned buttermilk until serving time. Repeat this process for remaining Vadas.
- Now for serving, take a butter-milk soaked Vada. Put some refrigerated and seasoned curd. Add Red Chili Powder, roasted Cumin Powder, Chat Masala. Add Green Chutney and Sweet Tamarind Chutney.
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