Dahi Vada: Sugar, Spice and All Things Nice

Light, curd-soaked and flavoured with spices, dahi vadas are divine.

LF Team

Fermented lentil batter, which is deep-fried and transformed into fluffy and almost weightless dumplings, dahi vadas are very popular chaat and street food. Food historian KT Achaya in his book The Story of our Food says that the first mention of dahi vada was in the 12th century in a book named Manasollasa. Dahi Vada is referred to as kshirvata in Manasollasa. Like so many other Indian dishes, dahi vada too has many avatars—a lot of them evolved as the dish travelled across the country.

But there is no comparison to dahi vadas served in little bowls made of leaf with multicoloured hues of the chutneys. Chef Shailesh Nigawale from
ITM Institute of Hotel Management in Navi Mumbai shares his dahi vada recipe that is perfect for two people.

For the vadas

½ cup Urad dal (split black lentils)
2 tsp Green chillies, roughly chopped
2 tsp ginger, roughly chopped
Oil for deep frying
Salt as per taste

For the Sauce

1½ cup beaten curd
1½ tbsp sugar
1½ tbsp dates and tamarind chutney
1 tsp chilli powder for sprinkling
1 tsp roasted cumin powder
½ tsp black salt
1 tbsp chopped coriander for garnish


1. Soak urad dal for at least 2-3 hours.
2. Wash the dal and strain water, add chillies and ginger and grind to smooth paste using 1/4th cup of water.
3. Add pinch of salt and divide batter in 8 portions.
4. Heat oil in pan on medium flame and fry the batter portions to get golden brown vadas.
5. Soak vadas in water for approximately 15 mins.
6. Combine sugar and curd in one bowl and mix well.
7. Squeeze the water from vadas and arrange in deep plate.
8. Pour the sweetened curd on top of the vadas so that they are completely covered in curd.
9. Sprinkle chilli powder, cumin powder, black salt, chopped coriander and dates chutney.

Dahi Vada Recipe Cheat Sheet

Bread Dahi Vada

If you’re really short on time then this dahi vada recipe that has no deep frying involved, just a soaked slice of bread, is what you need.
Dahi Vada: Sugar, Spice and All Things Nice
Click here for the step-by-step recipe.

Baked Kachhe Kele Ke Dahi Vade

For an even healthier alternative to the regular Dahi Vada recipe, Chef Ranveer Brar presents a baked dahi vada recipe. This dahi vada recipe uses boiled raw bananas with a little Bengal gram or chana dal.
Dahi Vada: Sugar, Spice and All Things Nice
For the detailed recipe for baked dahi vada recipe, click here.

Bread Dahi Bhalla Recipe

A cousin of dahi vada, dahi bhalla is a very popular chaat in north India. From ingredients to toppings, almost everything remains the same, except for the addition of flavouring and shape of the vada.
Dahi Vada: Sugar, Spice and All Things Nice
Here’s a simple dahi bhalla recipe using bread.


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