HAPPY HOLI TO ALL VISITORS!!!!

“Little knowledge is a dangerous thing” and I, for one, happen to know it better than many. 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):

½ 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

Add 1 tsp of fruit salt and salt to the pulses and add enough water. Soak overnight.

In the morning, grind the pulses, gradually adding little water to make a sort of thick paste. Add half a tea spoon of fruit salt, roasted cumin seeds, finely chopped ginger, and cashew nut and keep it aside for half an hour.

Fill a broad container with water to nearly 4-5 inches high since the dumplings will be soaked in this water.Heat oil in a wok and add refined oil to it. 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 1-2 minutes. Then 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 yoghurt)

Finish the whole batter in batches.

For preparing the Curd

Take the yoghurt and whisk it with a beater or fork. The curd 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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