Dahi wada ( da are one of the oldest snacks enjoyed in many regional Indian cuisines, they are equally loved in north as well as south India . Because of the cooling effect of the curd on our body dahi wada are traditionally consumed during the hot summer months.
You can watch the full video in hindi here –
They are specially eaten on the festival of holi, which marks the beginning of the warm spring- summer months.
Make soft and fluffy Dahi wada ?
All of us love spongy and soft dahi wada that disintegrate in the mouth in the very first bite. But more often than not we end up with chewy, hard and rubbery wadas that have not absorbed any curd and are totally dry and tasteless.
Dahi wada ( dahi bhalla ) are made from either urad dal or moong dal or a combination there off. I always prefer to make dahi wada with urad dal as that is the taste and texture I prefer. You can use half urad + half moong dal ratio as well. But don’t exceed moong dal beyond this measurement as I have observed that moong dal wadas are slightly drier and may also turn hard more easily.
I am not using any chemical leavening agents like baking powder, ENO or cooking soda to make the wadas soft and fluffy.
So how am I making fluffy dahi wada ( dahi bhalla ) ?
The secret here is to whisk the urad dal batter till it is light and airy. Urad dal is naturally sticky and easily traps air in its elastic web. Just be careful to add water little by little while crushing the dal so that it doesn’t become too runny. You will need to whisk the batter by hand or with a hand whisk for atleast 10 mins to get a very airy batter. You have to whisk it till it becomes lighter in colour. My secret tip to avoid this unnecessary elbow grease is to use the hand beater machine . In just 2 mins the batter will become super fluffy and ready to fry. A correctly prepared batter will float as soon as it is dropped in the oil and also increase in size slightly.
Once the batter is ready another crucial step is the frying. To avoid getting raw uncooked center in the dahi bhalla, it is important to fry them at medium temperature till they are golden brown. If they are fried at high temperature then the exterior will get cooked but insides will remain raw. In sweet shops, huge and deep frying pans with lots of oil are used for frying. As the quantity of oil is more it is easier to control its overall temperature. At home we cannot use large frying pans and lots of oil as it will cause unnecessary wastage. So to counter that, it is better if you fry small sized wada. This way you can ensure that they are cooked evenly.
To make the wadas soft soak them in water, before marinating them with curd. Let them cool before soaking them so that the cooking procedure is complete. Urad dal wadas are generally soft so I soak them in room temperature water. If you feel that your wadas are a little rubbery, you can also soak them in hot water. Always soak moong dal wadas in hot water to soften them thoroughly.
Freshly set thick curd is one of the most important ingredient for this recipe. So don’t use old or sour curd, or else taste will not be satisfactory. My dahi wada special masala takes this dish to the next level, and it is so easy to make too !
Just top these dahi wada with some tangy mint coriander chutney, my special masala and khajur imli wali chutney and enjoy them chilled !!
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Make these melt in the mouth Dahi wada/ dahi bhalla easily with my secret tips !!
Raw white Urad dal (without skin) – 110 gms or 1/2cup
Ginger paste – 1 tsp
Green chilly paste – 1 tsp
Curd – 400gms
Sugar – 4 Tbsp
Salt to taste
FOR SPECIAL MASALA
Red chilly powder – 1 tsp
Cumin powder- 1 tsp
Black salt – 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida – 1 pinch
Carrom seeds – 1/8 tsp
- Wash and Soak the urad dal in sufficient water for atleast 5 hours or overnight.
- After 5-6 hours, discard the soaking water and crush the urad dal to a fine fluffy paste. Add water in small increments. You want the batter to be crushed finely but not become too runny.
- While crushing you can add the ginger and chilly paste in it.
- Transfer the batter to a clean bowl. Beat it using a hand whisk ( for 10 mins) or machine whisk ( 2mins) till it is light and fluffy and has also become whiter in colour. Add the asafoetida and salt in this batter. You can also add chopped cashew nuts and raisins.
- Heat oil in a wide deep frying pan. You need to fry the wadas on medium heat , so manage the flame accordingly. The oil is ready when the batter begins floating as soon as it is dropped in the oil.
- If the oil is too hot the wadas will get too browned but the insides will remain uncooked.
- To fry the wadas evenly, drop small wadas in the oil. The small size ensures that the insides get cooked as the outside finishes browning.
- Drop the wadas in hot oil by using wet hands or spoon ( as shown in the video). Wetting the spoon ensures that the batter slips off easily in the oil and doesn’t remain stuck to the fingers or spoon.
- As soon as they hit the oil, push some surrounding oil on them using your other hand, so that they expand evenly.
- Keep moving them in the oil, so that all sides are equally cooked.
- Once all of them are fried. Cool them for 10 -20 mins.
- Soak them in water for 10-12 mins till they have absorbed water and become soft and juicy.
- To prepare the curd mixture, beat the curd well to break any lumps. Then season it with sugar and salt. Don’t use very thick curd.
- If the curd is slightly runny, the flavourful whey will be absorbed by the wadas. This way the the taste of the wadas will be enhanced by the curd. Instead of just coating the outsides in a thick layer.
- Squeeze out all excess water from the wadas by pressing them gently. Don’t be too harsh or you may end up with lots of broken wadas.
- Let this mix marinate in the fridge for atleast 2 -3 hours before serving.
- To make my special masala, powder and mix together asafoetida, carrom seeds, red chilly powder, cumin powder and black salt.
- After 2-3 hours carefully spoon the dahi wadas in a plate, top with some tangy mint chutney and imli chutney, dahi wada special masala and serve chilled.
- Urad dal is my preferred choice to make soft dahi wada. If you like the taste of moong dal you can use half of each dal for the batter.
- Whisk the batter well, till it becomes light in colour. Use machine whisk for ease.
- Fry small sized wadas on low to medium heat so that they are cooked evenly.
- Soak the wadas in room temperature water after cooling them completely. Always soak moong dal wadas in hot water. Cooling them completely before soaking is important. This allows them to cook completely from inside.
- Use fresh, slightly runny curd. Soaking the squeezed wada in the curd mix for 2-3 hours will infuse them with the curd whey and make them soft and melt in the mouth.