I got the recipe for dahi vada from my dear cousin who stays in Mumbai. She gave the procedure for setting the vada in the dahi assuming that I know how to make the vadas..We prepare the vadas for almost all of the south indian festivals and functions that we celebrate. Usually my MIL does the soaking and grinding and I fry the vadas..So going with the tradition, this time around too my MIL prepared the batter and I did the frying and setting the vadas in Dahi..I have heard that the softer the vadas, the more it "drinks" oil. We got to know from various sources how to make soft vadas that drinks less oil. The secret is to refrigerate the batter for 2 hours before making the vadas..It really works..Going to the recipe..
Urad Dal(full, deskinned): 2 cups Green Chily: 2 + 1 Curry Leaves: around 10 leaves + 5 leaves Ginger: 1/2 inch + 1/2 inch(deskinned) Refined Oil for deep frying the vada Yogurt/Curd: 4 cups Chilly powder: 2 pinch Chaat powder for sprinkling over the dahi vada(optional) Boondhi for garnish(optional) Finely chopped coriander leaves for garnish Salt to taste
Procedure to make the vada batter to get around 15 medium sized vadas
1. Soak the urad dal atleast for 1/2 an hour. 2. After 1/2 an hour clean the dal with water(procedure is same as cleaning rice) 3. Drain excess water. 4. Keep 2 tbsp of soaked urad dal aside. 5. Grind the rest of the urad dal in a grinder without adding water. 6. When the dal is ground to around 50 %, add salt, around 10 curry leaves, 2 green chillys, 1/2 inch ginger and keep grinding. 7. After sometime when the batter becomes very thick, sprinkle very little water and keep grinding. Follow this every now and then until you get a smooth batter. The whole process took around 40 minutes in my grinder. 8. Take out the batter from the grinder, add the 2 tbsp of urad dal. 9. Chop the rest of the green chilly, curry leaves and ginger into very small pieces and add to the batter and mix well. 10. Refrigerate the batter for around 2 hours.
Procedure to make the vada
1. Add the required amount of oil for deep frying, in a kadai/pan and keep in medium flame. 2. Take out the batter from the fridge. 3. Take a small plastic cover(I used cleaned nandini milk cover), sprinkle some water over it and wipe it off. This is done to prevent the batter from sticking to the cover. 4. Take a medium sized ball of batter, put it on the cover with some force so that the batter flattens when falling on the plastic cover. If it does not flatten, press it with the fingers. Make a hole at the centre with the index finger. 5. Take the flattened batter carefully.(Keep the cover in a tilted position, take out the batter with the thumb from the side, tilt the cover more, simulataneously taking out the batter from the side until the whole of the batter is in the palm. The bottom side of the batter in the plastic cover would now be the top side in your palm.) 6. Another easy method is to take the batter in hand, flatten with the thumb, make a hole in the centre and put in the oil. 7. Once the oil is hot, add the flattened batter in the oil.(I added 4 at a time. It mainly depends upon the size of the kadai.) 8. Half way through, flip the vada so that it gets fried evenly on both the sides. Frying vadas in high flame might not cook the inside of the vadas properly. When the vadas turn golden brown in color and when the oil bubbles almost dies out, it is ready to be removed from the oil. 9. Take out from the oil(if needed remove excess oil) and put in the prepared dahi.(procedure below). Do the same for the rest of the batter.
Procedure to make the dahi
1. When the oil is heating, blend curd without adding water. (We do this using "matthu", a wooden stick with a round spiked bottom) 2. Pour the blended curd in a wide mouthed bowl. 3. Add chilly powder and salt and mix well.
Procedure to set the vada in dahi
1. As and when the vadas are fried, put them in the prepared dahi. 2. Once all the vadas are put, refrigerate the dahi vada.
Procedure to serve the dahi vada
1. Just before serving, take out the dahi vada from the fridge. 2. Place 2 to 3 vadas in individual small bowls. Add 2 tbsp of thick curd, sprinkle chat masala powder and salt, add the boondhi and finally garnish with coriander. 3. Serve immediately.
Note: Chopped onion can be added to the batter to get softer vadas. A little (1 or 2 tbsp) rice flour can be added to the batter to get crispier vadas. I guess, if grinder is not there, batter can be prepared using mixer, but the vadas might not be that soft.