Dahi Vada Recipe Without Cooking Soda

Dahi Vada Recipe

Dahi Vada Recipe

Kalpesh being an avid pizza buff, we sometimes go to fast food joints where french fries is the only option for Devansh. At such times, I feed Devansh his meal at home before we leave. So he sits nibbling on french fries but doesn’t eat too many. I don’t really mind Devansh having french fries occasionally. But I’ve read so much about some global fast food giants adding tons of preservatives to their fries I’ve become cautious about ordering fries even at local fast food joints. When I haven’t fed Devansh his meal and he’s actually going to eat with us, we prefer to go to an Indian-khana type of place. Earlier we used to order Idli for him if it was snack-time. Devansh likes Idlis, but at most places the sambar and chutney are spicy, and he doesn’t really like dry idlis. He’ll nibble on some but doesn’t eat them properly. So I thought of trying Dahi Vada Recipe for him as he really loves curd. Devansh loved Dahi Vada, so now we invariably order that for him unless he’s got cold. 

Each time we ordered Dahi Vada for Devansh, I thought I must make it at home. But I kept putting it off because I assumed it would dahi vada recipe would be complicated. Then a couple of months back, I was talking to Devansh’s friend’s mom, Meghana. She mentioned she’d made Dahi Vada and how simple it was to make it. When Meghana told me that you need to soak the daal(s) overnight and ferment the batter for 4-5 hours, I remembered reading a recipe which said you could add cooking soda to hasten the process. Meghana cautioned me saying that adding soda kills the nutrients in the food. If you remember Meghana is a nutritionist who has contributed to the Banana Roundies recipe.
 
I finally got around to making Dahi Vada couple of weeks back. By that time, I had forgotten about the proportion of daals mentioned by Meghana, but I remembered that I must avoid using soda. So I looked up the proportion on the Internet, asked my mom and mom-in-law. And soaked urad daal and moong daal the previous night. Some people make Dahi Vada using only urad daal but I prefer using moong daal as well. It makes the vadas lighter and it is easier to digest. I made the batter in the morning and made the vadas in the afternoon. I was pleasantly surprised by the result; the vadas came out quite well and making them was not as complicated as I’d thought.
 
It’s a pretty simple recipe. You just need to plan a little before hand as you need to soak the daals for 5-6 hours and let the batter sit (ferment) for another 4-5 hours. I came across some recipes where they’d used the batter immediately but I don’t know about that. That’s not what my mom, mom-in-law, and Meghana said. So I used this method. Do let me know if you’ve used the batter immediately after making it. I also came across some recipes where they’ve used the non-stick appam pan to make the vadas. I tried that method too but didn’t really care for the taste. I liked the deep fried version better.
 
Dahi vadas don’t taste nice if the dahi is not sweet enough. I used sweet chutney made of jaggery and tamarind to sweeten the dahi. Devansh ate two Dahi Vadas, which was good enough for his evening snack quota. Do give this dahi vada recipe a try. I think they’re a pretty neat idea for kiddie parties too.
 
Dahi Vada

Dahi Vada

Dahi Vada Recipe

Simple and healthy recipe of dahi vada made without using cooking soda.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup urad dal (preferably organic)

  • Half cup moong dal (preferably organic)

  • 1/4th tsp hing (asafoetida)

  • Approx. 3 cups curd

  • Approx. 2 cups buttermilk

  • Salt per taste

  • Oil for frying

  • Approx. 1 tsp powdered cumin seeds (jeera powder)

  • Sweet chutney made using tamarind and jaggery

  • Chopped coriander for garnishing

Steps
  1. Wash the lentils (urad dal and moong dal) thoroughly, and then soak them in water for at least 5 hours. (I soaked them overnight.)

  2. Drain water from the lentils and grind them to make a thick paste. Don't add water while making a paste. You can always add a little water later if you feel the batter's too thick. Keep the batter aside and allow it to ferment for 4-5 hours.

  3. Add salt and hing, and mix it well. You should be able to move the spoon around freely; if you can't add very little water. If you are making dahi vadas for adults or older kids, you can add lightly roasted cumin seeds at this stage.

  4. Add a little salt to buttermilk and set it aside.

  5. Heat oil in a pan, and drop vada-sized portion of the batter in it using a spoon. I used two spoons; I scooped out batter using one spoon and then used the second spoon to push the batter from the first spoon into the oil. Note: Don't let the oil get too hot before dropping the batter. Otherwise, the vadas will start to brown from outside too fast without being cooked properly from inside.

  6. Fry the vadas until they turn golden brown and then soak them in warm water for 2-3 minutes.

  7. Squeeze out the water and put vadas in salted buttermilk. I saw this cool tip in one of the videos on YouTube. The chef put the vadas in buttermilk directly. When I tried that for the first batch of vadas, I felt the vadas tasted slightly oily. So from the next batch onwards I soaked them in warm water first to squeeze out oil and then transferred them in buttermilk.

  8. Repeat the above 3 steps till you use up all the batter.

  9. Take a bowl and whisk curd in it, add some salt and mix it well. (You can use chilled curd for older kids and adults.)

  10. Place the vadas in a plate, pour curd on top, and then sprinkle some jeera powder. (For older kids and adults, you can also sprinkle chili powder and black pepper powder.)

  11. Pour sweet tamarind chutney on top, and then garnish with chopped coriander. (You can omit adding coriander for toddlers as they find it difficult to chew raw coriander.)

Notes
  1. Recipe serves 4 adults and one child.

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