DAHI BHALLE – दही भल्ले (Lentil Fritters in Yogurt)


“Little knowledge is a dangerous thing” and I, for one, learnt it the hard way. To begin with, I am totally ignorant when it comes to things related to computersin fact I am not at all tech savvy. It took me a long time to get around my blog and I would struggle for even simple thingsI still do actually.

I was trying to delete extra pics from my android phone and I am still not able to figure out how I managed to erase all the pics from my blog!! I happily pushed the OK button when the prompt cautioned me, “This action will remove pictures forever. Do you wish to proceed?” Least did I know that I was deleting every single pic from my blog. By the time I realised what I had donethings were beyond redemption.

I knew I had no time to sit and regret. I swung into action and uploaded as many pics I could from my laptop and camera. Several pics were lost when my computer had crashed last year. But most that I had lost were the ones from the very initially posts from the blog’s first year of existence; the time when the quality of my food pics was pretty awful since I never paid any heed to composition or styling 😛

This whole exercise left me exhaustedmentally and physically. My joints and muscles were screaming for a break and I had no choice but to heed to their demand. I lost on time to plan for my next post and then it hit across that it would be better to repost a post from my very first year of blogging. It is one of those posts where I had uploaded no clicks. It also happens to be a post that sounded perfect for Holi.

Dahi bhalle, as they are called in the north Indian, are a very popular street food and I haven’t met anyone so far who does not enjoy eating them. They can be eaten as such or along with papdi, which is flat savoury crisps made from plain flour. In fact, Dahi Bhalle are called Dahi Vada in the south of India and perhaps they are one of those savory dishes that is common to the south and north Indian cuisine.

Personally I would add them to the category of comfort food. You can eat them chilled to beat the Indian heat or have them at the room temperature.

My mother used to add baking soda to the batter to ensure soft vadas or bhalle (dumplings). But, instead of baking soda, I prefer using fruit salt. Another modification that I made is to add the fruit salt to the water in which I soak the pulses (urad and moong without their skin) along with some table salt. This ensures that the dal absorbs the water with salt and fruit salt in it and results in even softer vadas.

Here is the recipe:

For the Batter:

1 cup black split pulses without the skin (Ivory Lentils)

¼ cup green split pulses without the skin- (optional)

½ tsp roasted cumin seeds

½ tsp salt (to be added while soaking the pulses)

½ tsp salt (to be added to the batter)

1 pinch red chili powder (optional)

¼ tsp finely chopped ginger (optional)

1 tbsp toasted and roughly chopped cashew nuts (optional)

1 tsp fruit salt (Eno)

Oil for deep frying

For Yogurt/ Dahi (click for recipe of yogurt):

1 kg yoghurt

1 tsp cumin seed powder

¼ tsp black pepper powder

¼ tsp red chilli powder (optional)

1 tsp dry mint leaves, crushed

1 tsp fresh chopped mint leaves (optional)

1 ½ tsp chat masala

½ tsp of toasted and powdered flax seeds (optional)

Salt to taste

To garnish: (these are optional)

Juliennes of ginger

Pomegranate seeds

Finely chopped fresh coriander leaves

For Making the Vada

Wash the dals at least twice. Add sufficient water in the bowl in which you are soaking the dal and add 1 tsp of fruit salt and salt. Soak overnight.

In the morning, drain water and grind the pulses, gradually adding little water to make a sort of thick paste. Add roasted cumin seeds, finely chopped ginger, and cashew nut and whisk well. Add half a teaspoon of fruit salt and whisk the batter well again.

Heat enough water and pour it into a broad and deep container to nearly 4-5 inches high since the dumplings will be soaked in this water.

Heat a wok and add sufficient oil to it for frying. When the oil is hot but not smoking, lower the flame and after 45 seconds, start adding spoonful of the ground batter. Increase the temperature to medium low.

Fry the dumplings till they are golden in colour and done. Immediately turn them out into the container with water. Soak till they are soft, which generally takes a couple of minutes. (Soaking time will depend on the size of Bhalle/ fritters) Take them out of water (give a gentle squeeze to the dumplings since we don’t want to remove all the water. This will ensure that the dumplings are soft when they are added to the yogurt)

Finish the whole batter in batches.

For preparing the Dahi / Yogurt

Take the yogurt and whisk it gently. The dahi should not be very thick in its consistency because after an hour or so, the dumplings will absorb the moisture from the curd and leave it thick.

Add all the dry ingredients and then add the vada or the dumplings to it.

Keep it at room temperature for about 20 minutes and then put them in the refrigerator if you desire.

Serve with Sweet Tamarind Chutney and Green Chutney. Garnish with ginger juliennes, pomegranate seeds and fresh coriander.

Note: In the pic below, I have just drizzled yogurt over the bhalle/vada so that these are visible to the viewer. They are meant to be soaked in the yogurt before being served.

Yield: Approx. 30 (of the size shown in the pics)Thanks for visiting and see you soon again with another exciting recipe!

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45 thoughts on “DAHI BHALLE – दही भल्ले (Lentil Fritters in Yogurt)

  1. What a panic it must have been to loose all your lovely photos! Wow! I feel for you, so sad. Love these wonderful looking fritters. I need to use lentils more, they’re so healthy and versatile!

  2. oh dear!!! 🙁 it’s not about whether we are tech savvy or not, darling… just a moment of absent mindedness and things go for a toss!! just be careful next time, you have such a wonderful blog with awesome pics… the dahi bhalla is something i have heard my paki friends make, especially for ramadan, when it is so hot here… i guess i should just bookmark this and try it when i get time during ramadan InShaAllah… 🙂

  3. ah! after all that blunder you finally made it:)
    Dahi bada -i love, nothing beats when u have them on hot day…Once again picture perfect:)
    Happy holi 🙂

  4. Happy holi to you and family Taruna 🙂
    My daughter off late has been a big fan of Vada and I promised to make some tomorrow when she gets back from school. Your recipe and pics are looking very tempting!

  5. Happy Holi! Your dahi baray look wonderful! I usually make mine with urud flour 🙂 LOVE the addition of moong daal!

  6. happy holi to you and your family, taruna. we do make dahi vada during holi. but this time i just made lassi… too hot to work in the kitchen here. btw you can skip adding baking soda or even fruit salt. after making the batter, just beat the batter vigorously for a few minutes. i make this way and they turn out soft. recipe is there on the blog, if you are interested.

  7. This repost is simply awesome! I always wanted to and wanting to make these wonderful fritters, but somehow never got around to make them… I have bookmarked this post, so at least by seeing these mouthwatering pictures, i should get the enthusiasm to prepare this soon… so sorry to hear about the technical mishap.. I understand how difficult and time consuming it is to get everything back…

  8. Omg, thats really sad, even it happened once with me.. Its happens, am sure you will check twice before pressing the ok button next time.

    Dahi vadas are calling me to grab that plate and have rite now..

  9. I am so sorry you lost your pictures! It can happen to anyone! These dahi vadas must have consoled you for the loss, they look perfect!

  10. Happy Holi to you too! Glad that you faced the situation bravely…I would have gone crazy. try saving your data in some external disc every now and then.

  11. We don’t really celebrate holi over here. But it sure something I learned about from my friends from other parts of the world. I’ve also had my share of crashing; pictures missing, pressing the buttons etc etc which led to disaster. In fact I had to buy a new computer and now am learning to use it; all about apps and what not.

    The lentil fritters or vadai as they are know over here are lovely. And the yogurt completes them further. I’m still puzzled and I can’t still figure out why I don’t see your post on blogger feed. Mmm!! very puzzling.

  12. Happy Holi Taruna!! Yes I always wanted to know your name and that makes me feel like I am talking to you when posting the comments 🙂 I am glad that you were able to revive the post with new stunning pictures. Absolutely loved the first picture and the dahi vada looks perfect for tea time snack!!!

  13. Happy Holi! I have been craving dahi vade for ages now but have been too busy and lazy yo make them. I’m the only one in my house of American children who likes them and so I always end up not making them. But seeing yours, I’m craving them again. To me they are comfort food. These look sooooo good!!

  14. Oh, my gosh, what I nightmare! I can see me doing the same thing 🙁 I’m glad you had these gorgeous fritters to comfort you…they look delicious!!!

  15. Happy Holi! What a great dish to celebrate. But what an awful experience accidentally deleting all the pictures on your blog! Sorry you had to put in all the extra time and work putting things right. Anyway, super recipe — thanks.

  16. Happy Holi! I have never heard or seen these lentil fritters before but now I want to try them desperately. So versatile and you have so many great tips for a perfect preparation.

  17. Oh you poor thing! I’ve had both computer and external hard drive melt downs and lots photos, but never on the blog — thankfully. Your fritters look delicious! I wish I could reach in and grave a few right now.

  18. Oh no!!! That’s terrible!! I’m glad you were able to salvage some of them. And hopefully took some comfort in these fritters!

  19. Well, I AM computer literate and the same thing happened to me. Tried to install Blogger on my iPad and ended up losing a ton of photos. I have them all on disks, but who wants to go back eight years of blogging to put it right? Oh well.
    I love lentils and this dish looks fabulous!

  20. I’d probably roll over and have a heart attack if I suddenly realized that I had just deleted ALL of my blog picture files!!! The fact that you kept your cool and started correcting the problem immediately says a lot about you. 🙂 What a bummer!!!! On the bright side, I’m glad it caused you to have to repost this awesome dish! I’m not a fan of traditional lentils, but I am a HUGE fan of anything “fritter” so I know I would LOVE these fritters!!! Good luck on getting everything back on your site.

  21. Losing my blog/ photos and recipes are one of my greatest fears now. Crazy the life of a blogger. I hope you recover from this terrible situation. I am trying to remake most of my recipes from my first year of blogging because, like you said, we did not know anything about food photography back then.

    These fritters look amazing. I love vadai. Your photos are gorgeous. 🙂

  22. Omg the dahi vadas looks absolutely delicious…the thought ofeating with those chutneys is literally making me drool.
    We usually add only urad dal for the batter but moong dal must make it taste even better.

    I guess being a blogger and not tech savvy is a challenge I too face.Figuring out trivial things eats up a lot of my time.

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