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Dahi Vada (Lentil Fritters in a Spiced Yoghurt Sauce)

For the lentil fritters (vada)

1¾ cups cleaned split black lentils (they will be white, not black)

2 - 3 tablespoons water
½ teaspoon salt + extra to taste
1 inch piece of ginger, chopped finely
8 - 12 curry leaves, chiffonaded (shredded)
2 green chillies, chopped
¼ teaspoon hot chilli powder
¼ teaspoon ground pepper
Enough oil to deep fry the vadas
A bowl of hot water

For the spiced yoghurt sauce

2 cups Greek style yoghurt

1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
1 teaspoon whole fennel seeds
Handful fresh coriander, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

To assemble the dish

½ teaspoon hot chilli powder

½ teaspoon chaat masala (optional)
2 tablespoons of date-tamarind chutney (recipe here) (optional)


Make the fritters. Soak the lentils in cold water, ideally overnight (at least 2 - 3 hours). Drain, and grind to a coarse paste, using the 2 - 3 tablespoons of water. You want to use as little water as possible, to keep the batter very thick. Turn out the batter into a bowl.

Add the salt, chopped ginger, curry leaves and green chillies. Stir till well mixed, then taste and adjust seasoning.

Heat the oil in a small, deep pot until a drop of batter rises quickly to the surface, covered in bubbles. Turn down the heat a little.

Carefully drop big spoonfuls of the batter into the hot oil. Don't worry if the shapes are not perfect. Deep fry for about 8 - 10 minutes, until the fritters are golden brown.

Using a slotted spoon, lift out of the oil, and place on absorbent kitchen paper. As soon as the oil has drained out a bit, place the hot fritters into the bowl of hot water.

Make the rest of the fritters in the same way.

Leave them in the water for about 10 - 15 minutes, then take out, and gently press between your hands to drain out some of the water. Place in a serving dish.

Make the spiced yoghurt sauce. Place the 2 cups of yoghurt in a bowl and whisk well.

Quickly toast the cumin and the fennel seeds in a hot pan, and remove to a mortar and pestle. Crush coarsely, and add to the yoghurt, along with the chopped fresh coriander.

Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.

Pour the sauce over the fritters. They keep in the fridge for a day or two, if you wish. Bring them to room temperature to serve.

To serve, sprinkle over the chilli powder, chaat masala and drizzle over the date-tamarind chutney.

Recipe from: http://foodfootballandababy.blogspot.com/
Author: Michelle Peters - Jones
Please do not plagiarise