Simple dahi vada recipe made without using cooking soda. A curd-based recipe that can be a pretty neat snack idea for parties and occasions.
1cupurad dalpreferably organic
1/2cupmoong dalpreferably organic
Approx 1tsppowdered cumin seedsjeera powder
sweet chutney made using tamarind and jaggery
chopped coriander for garnishing
Wash the lentils (urad dal and moong dal) thoroughly, and then soak them in water for at least 5 hours. (I soaked them overnight.)
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.
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.
Add a little salt to buttermilk and set it aside.
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.
Fry the vadas until they turn golden brown and then soak them in warm water for 2-3 minutes.
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.
Repeat the above 3 steps till you use up all the batter.
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.)
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.)
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.)