Dahi Vada

May 29, 2012mayurisjikoni
Blog post

What is Dahi Vada?

Dahi Vada is a popular chaat originating from the Indian Sub Continent. Chaat is a savory snack that is usually enjoyed as a snack. Most chaat dishes have become popular as street food in the Indian Sub Continent which is enjoyed both by young and the old in the evenings. Dahi means yogurt and vada is basically a fritter. Therefore, it means fritters in yogurt.

A bit more Dahi Vada

Also known as Dahi Vade, Dahi Bhalla, Thayir Vadai, Perugu Vada, Doi Bora, the recipes will vary a bit from region to region. The Vadas are made from soaked lentils which is ground into a coarse paste and deep fried. The proportion and types of lentils will vary from family to family or region to region.  Basically, the fried Vadas are soaked in warm water for a while to soften them and then added to thick yogurt. Seasonings used in the yogurt varies. Its usually served topped with chutneys. Some serve it with green chutney while some with date tamarind chutney. Toppings too vary from chopped or grated beetroot, carrots to finely chopped fruits.


Growing up I remember that my mum didn’t make dahi vada at home. We would usually enjoy them during communities lunches/dinners or weddings. Sometimes my dad would take us to Supreme Hotel in Nairobi which sold the yummiest chaats. My order would usually be dahi vada or dahi papdi.

I learnt how to make dahi vada at home from Nunu, my mother in law. First initiation to learning how to prepare this delicious snack was to learn how to make the batter and whip it well under the watchful eyes of Nunu. After that, the second step was learning how to soak them in water, and then yogurt. I would decorate it with red chili powder, cumin powder, grated beetroot, pomegranate, chopped fresh coriander. When my mother in law was confident that I could fry them properly the task was given to me.

Mostly a Summer Snack

Because this snack tends to be cold, its usually enjoyed during the hot summer days. We prefer to enjoy it with chilled yogurt. But then its always hot in Mombasa. For many, winter doesn’t stop them from enjoying dahi vada. Sometimes it is served as a side dish as a part of a big meal.

Variations of Dahi Vada

Usha prepares dahi vada which are in the shape of a doughnut. The yogurt is tempered in the normal South Indian style but the addition of little turmeric powder gives the yogurt a beautiful lemony yellow colour.

Renu uses only urad dal for the vada. She also serves Dahi Vada with Coriander and Mint Chutney.

Saswati’s version of Dahi Vada is so different. The Vadas are made using urad dal and along with dahi its also served with a preparation of Aloo Dum.

Vidya loves making the South Indian version of dahi vada in a paniyaram pan(appe pan, aebleskiver pan). Much healthier, one can enjoy this delicious snack without any guilt.

Jayashree likes to add chopped curry leaves and chopped small pieces of coconut to the batter before making Vadas.

If you don’t want to fry the Vadas, then check out how Poonam steams them. So much healthier and tasty at the same time.


Gujarati Style Dahi Vada:

Basically, most recipes for the Vadas are the same with a little variation in the types of lentils used. However, the difference in the taste comes what you add to the yogurt, what type of chutney you serve it with and of course the toppings used. Gujaratis add sugar to the yogurt. The Date Tamarind Chutney also tends to be more on the sweeter side as more dates are used compared to the tamarind.

Ingredients required to make Dahi Vada

  • Lentils like urad dal(Split Black gram) , moong dal(split moong or green gram) and chana dal (split chickpea).
  • Seasonings like salt, turmeric powder, cumin powder, red chili powder, fresh ginger, fresh chilis, sugar
  • Fresh Coriander
  • Date and Tamarind Chutney
  • Yogurt
  • Oil for deep frying if you’re going to deep fry them

Dietary Tips:

  • Gluten Free
  • Satvik


After buying a paniyaram pan from India, I have been trying out bhajias and paniyaram recipes. Today I made some dahi vada and instead of frying them as we normally do, I used the paniyaram pan. I was happy with the outcome. Used very little oil and the vadas were soft. Will I ever fry vadas again? Perhaps not. Less oily and much more healthier. The recipe remains the same, you just don’t need oil for frying. You need about 1-2 tbsp of oil.

dahi vada 5

dahi vada 9

dahi vada 1

dahi vada 6

dahi vada 7

dahi vada 4

dahi vada 3

dahi vada 8


28 to 30 vadas serves about 6

For the vadas:

½ cup urad dal (split black gram lentil)

¼ cup moong dal (split green gram/moong)preferably with skin

¼ cup chana dal (split chickpea)

½ tsp cumin seeds (jeera)

pinch of asafetida (hing)

generous pinch of turmeric powder (haldi)

½ tsp salt

1 tsp green chili paste

1 tsp ginger paste

oil for deep frying

For the yogurt base:

4 cups plain yogurt

1 tsp sugar

½ tsp salt

For Tempering:

½ tsp mustard seeds (rai)

1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)

10 -12 curry leaves

1 tsp ghee or oil

a pinch of asafetida (hing)


¼ cup finely chopped fresh coriander

1 tsp cumin powder

1 tsp red chilli powder

To Serve:

about 1 cup date tamarind chutney

Preparation of Vada using deep frying method:
  1. Soak the lentils separately in warm water for 6 to 8 hours.
  2. Drain out the lentils into a sieve and wash it. I usually leave the skin of the lentils.
  3. Grind the moong and chana dal to a paste which not not too fine or too coarse. Use a food processor or a liquidiser. If you use a liquidiser, use water sparingly as you don’t want a runny batter.
  4. Remove the ground paste into a bowl.
  5. Grind the urad dal, again with as little water as possible into a paste which is not too fine or too coarse.
  6. Mix both the ground lentil mixtures. Add to it the rest of the ingredients mentioned under vadas.
  7. Heat the oil for frying in a wok or karai. To test if its hot, put a tiny blob of the batter into the oil. If it comes up immediately, then the oil is ready.
  8. Take a steel soup spoon or tablespoon. Have a small bowl of water ready for dipping the spoon.
  9. Dip the spoon in the water and spoon the batter gently into the oil. Repeat till you have about 6 to 8 vadas in the oil. Lower the heat and fry them till they are light brown and crispy. Make sure you keep turning the vadas with a slotted spoon to cook them evenly on both sides. I find that after every 2 vadas I need to dip the spoon in the water. This only helps  the batter to slip off the spoon easily. Don’t fret, after a few trials, it becomes easier.
  10. Repeat step 7 till all the batter is over. In between don’t forget to whip the batter.
  11. Let the vadas cool.
Preparation of Vada using the paniyaram pan:
  1. Follow the above 1-6 steps to prepare the vada batter.
  2. Heat the paniyaram pan over medium heat.
  3. Add a drop or two of oil into each cavity.
  4. Spoon the batter into each cavity, three quarter full.
  5. Cover the pan and let the Vadas cook for 3-5 minutes or the top of each vada is not wet.
  6. Take the lid off. Flip each vada. Add a drop of oil if you want. Let the other side cook till it turns very light brown in colour.
  7. Let the vadas cool.
Preparation of the Yogurt:
  1. Mix yogurt with salt and sugar.
  1. Heat oil or ghee in a small pan over medium heat.
  2. Add mustard seeds.
  3. As soon as the seeds begin to pop, add cumin seeds.
  4. Add curry leaves and asafetida. Stir fry till leaves become crispy.
  5. Mix well and pour the tempering into the yogurt.
  6. Mix well.
Soaking of Vada:
  1. Take a wide pan and fill it halfway with water.
  2. Heat the water till it becomes hot.
  3. Take the pan off the heat.
  4. Add vadas in the hot water.
  5. Let them soak in the water for 5 – 10 minutes.
  6. Gently press out the water from each vada by pressing between your palms.
  7. Arrange the Vadas in a big serving dish or in individual bowls.
  8. Pour prepared yogurt over the Vadas.
  9. Garnish with coriander, cumin powder and red chili powder.
  10. Serve with date tamarind chutney.
Option for serving:
  • Add fried sev
  • Add pomegranate arils
  • Add grated carrot or beetroot


  • If you are having guests over, prepare the vadas a day ahead and keep them in the fridge. Once you soak them in hot water they will become soft.
  • The amount of chilli used depends on you.
  • When you spoon the batter into the oil, make sure the tip of the spoon is touching the surface of the oil. Gently let the batter slide off as a blob into the oil. Let it come up on its own or after a while, give it a gentle nudge from the side with the slotted spoon for it to come up.
  • I find that when I need to fry bhajias,vadas etc, it is important to have the oil at least half way in the wok or karai.
  • make sure the oil is hot before preparing the next batch.

Pin For Later:

dahi vada


A little request:

If you do try this recipe then please either

  • add a comment below,
  • send a picture to my email mayuri.ajay.patel62@gmail.com
  •  tag me as #mayuri_jikoni on Instagram
  • or tag me on Twitter as #Mayuri1962




  • Namrata Patel

    June 4, 2012 at 9:49 am

    I like the chilli pattern 😛

  • Mayuri's jikoni

    May 22, 2013 at 9:52 am

    and what about the dahi vadas?

  • usha

    April 24, 2020 at 8:24 pm

    That is a delicious collection of dahi vada from around the country, Mayuri! Thanks for including my recipe in that list.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      April 25, 2020 at 8:32 pm

      You’re most welcome Usha, its definitely so different from the ones I’ve had in India and also make at home.

  • poonampagar

    April 25, 2020 at 6:56 am

    Summers are incomplete without dahi vadas for us and you have a lovely collection of so many varieties of dahi vadas. Love how you have presented the vadas in an appealing way.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      April 25, 2020 at 8:30 pm

      Thanks Poonam. Dahi Vadas is what we love to have quite often.

  • Sasmita Sahoo Samanta

    April 25, 2020 at 8:40 am

    This Gujarati style dahi vada looks so tempting di ! I sometimes also make the sweet version of curd to use. Even my baba also love this kinds of dahi vada as compared to the salty-spice one 🙂
    All the dahi vada collections are also so yum in look, will check all !

    1. mayurisjikoni

      April 25, 2020 at 8:29 pm

      Thank you so much Sasmita.

  • theyellowdaal

    April 26, 2020 at 7:24 am

    Such a wonderful detailed post. Lovely!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      April 26, 2020 at 3:06 pm

      Thanks Avin.

  • Mireille Roc (@ChefMireille)

    April 26, 2020 at 7:41 am

    so interesting to see there are so many variations of dahi vada – I had no idea. Will definitely be checking them all out!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      April 26, 2020 at 3:06 pm

      Thanks Mireille… I too had no idea till I came across the variations.While Urad dal is common in all the Vadas, some use other dals too. The main difference is in the tempering and seasoning of the yogurt.

  • blessmyf🍎🍏dbypayal

    May 2, 2020 at 10:48 pm

    At times even favourite recipes take a backseat in your priorities being unhealthy. Deep fried food is least loved by most people now and when you get to see such simple great ideas, you find the easy way to go ahead.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 2, 2020 at 10:54 pm

      Thanks Shailender, I haven’t fried Vadas in a long time.. only fry them when I have to serve them to guests.

  • cookshideout

    May 3, 2020 at 6:32 pm

    Loved reading the post about different ways dahi vada is made across India. Your tip to make them in a appe pan is genius – will definitely try it out soon.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 3, 2020 at 8:06 pm

      Thank you so much Pavani,I make them in the appe pan nowadays.

  • Lata Lala

    May 5, 2020 at 10:32 pm

    Dahi vada clicks are making me drool . Yes it’s been long I haven’t made them. I too love using sweet curd for making dahi vada. Use of appe pan is a nice idea too. The collection is amazing.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 5, 2020 at 10:49 pm

      Thank you so much Lata. I make them often now in the appe pan…less frying

  • Seema Doraiswamy Sriram

    May 7, 2020 at 8:16 am

    It is always a cherished recipe when your grandmother teaches you. I am so glad to have thsi beautiul recipe that too an appe pan one now.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 7, 2020 at 5:47 pm

      Thanks Seema, I learnt how to make dahi vada from my MIL.

  • Renu Agrawal Dongre

    May 7, 2020 at 5:45 pm

    Loving all the delicious list of dahi vadas or bhallas here. I have never tried dahi vada with 3 dals and would love to try it next time. I love the way you have decorated it so neatly, not an easy task.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 7, 2020 at 5:46 pm

      Thank you much Renu, the fried version of the 3 dal vadas soak up less oil than the ones using urad dal only.

  • Kristen Hess

    May 8, 2020 at 4:35 am


  • shobhakeshwani

    May 8, 2020 at 5:06 am

    Lovely idea of making vadas in a paniyaram pan. Yummy dahi vadas for the summer season. I haven’t made them for a long time. Love your presentation too.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 8, 2020 at 8:31 pm

      Thank you so much Shobha. Since hubby and I both love dahi vada and I use the appe pan, I make them often.

  • Sapna

    May 8, 2020 at 1:24 pm

    Such beautiful presentation and love the idea of using appe pan to make the Dahi vada.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 8, 2020 at 8:25 pm

      Thank you so much Sapna.

  • Vanitha Bhat

    May 9, 2020 at 4:55 am

    Such a lovely collection of dahi vadas from across our country to enjoy all summer! Super awesome share dear!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 10, 2020 at 4:30 pm

      Thank you so much Vanitha.

  • Jagruti’s Cooking Odyssey

    May 9, 2020 at 9:31 am

    My mum makes really tasty Dahi Vada for me quite often and sometimes to cut down the calories use appe pan too, but she don’t use chana daal in the recipe. What is the purpose of chana daaI here, hope you don’t telling me 🙂 love love Gujarati dahi vada anytime.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 10, 2020 at 4:27 pm

      Thanks Jagruti, the addition of chana dal makes them more ‘farsa’ as my MIL use to tell me. I also find that as opposed to using only urad dal, combination of dals means that they absorb less oil when fried.

  • Padma

    May 9, 2020 at 11:15 am

    Love dahi vada to the core and I too make it in appe pan when it’s just for the family…Such a gorgeous presentation…Looks yum!!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 10, 2020 at 4:25 pm

      Thank you so much Padma.

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