Few years ago, I happen to attend a marriage ceremony of one of my cousins and there were few Foreigner Guests too. A scene at the Buffet counter is still fresh in my mind. A conversation between an American Lady (M)- fond of Indian food, and an Untrained staff(local people, unable to converse in proper English) at buffet went on something like this.....

Staff (S): "Hello Madam ji"
M: "Hello, I was looking for Dumplings in Yogurt sauce, but i cannot see those anywhere around the course".
S:" Sorry, but what did you said?"
M: "Dumplings...Those white coloured things, that are very famous in Indian Restaurants abroad".
S: "Oh ok ok, you mean Jeera Rice( goes , and return back with a plate of Jeera Rice)".
M: " No , No, those Dumplings, white colored, in yogurt, with brown sauce over it."
S (still confused as hell) went to call someone in escalation.
S2: "Yes Madam..."
M: "Lentil dumplings in yogurt sauce please, i have came here to eat those, i love them , but can't see any, here".
S2: "Sorry Madam, but such thing is not in our Menu Today".
M: "How come, I had been told that no Buffet goes without that in Menu".
Just then another person among the catering staff, brought a huge tray of Something, to replenish the Buffet.
M: Shouting and with shrieks , yelled....."This... this, I was talking about THIS..."

Poor staff... how on Earth would they know that Yogurt is the simple Dahi (at most they know that as CURD) and Lentil Dumplings were nothing else but bhalle, together that makes Dahi bhalle, the famous appetizer - cum Side dish- cum- Main course (for people like me who can eat it with some salt and peppery Roti as a maincourse)- and for some, even a sweet dish(the sweetened yogurt)

Now there is a long expected debate over Dahi wadas and Dahi bhalle, the two contradictory variations of almost similar dish. Dahi wada, is a Lentil (mostly Urad dal) donught sort of , which is made from really thick batter, and a portion of it is placed on wet palm or wet plastic sheet and a hole is made in center,then carefully dropped in frying pan and fried.While Dahibhalla is more like the regular fritter, where the batter,which is also thick(not as much as for dahi wada) , but creamy , and is directly scooped into frying pan and shallow fried. Confused. ??? Why to care for the perfect name and procedure when either ways it taste something straight from heaven.Better still, why not try out both the versions and let your family decide which way they prefer this delicious typical Indian delicacy.

So let's Jump over to the Recipe of LDIYS , aka Dahi Bhalla.

Lentil Dumplings in Yogurt sauce
Dahi Bhalle


Recipe: Dahi Bhalle (Lentil dumplings in yogurt sauce)
Prep Time: 5-7 hours of soaking time & total 10-20 (If frying needs to be done in two batches) minutes of grinding (depending on the grinder used)
Cooking Time:15-20 minutes (again varies with the size of frying pan used, since bigger the size, more number of bhalle in each batch and hence less the time required to finish the whole batter)
Makes: About 12-16 Dahi Bhalle depending upon the size
Shelf Life: Fried Dahi bhalle (without yogurt) could be refrigerated or freezed for about 10-12 days
Cooking Level: Beginner/Easy to Intermediary
Recipe/Post by: Alka

Ingredients:
For Bhalle/Dumplings:
To grind:
150 gms Urad Dal/Skinned Split Black Lentils
50 gms Yellow Moong Dal/Split Mung Benas
1 tsp Jeera/Cumin Seeds
2-3 Green Chillies
A Small piece of Ginger (optional)
Water to aid grinding (just few spoons)
Salt as per taste

To Add to the mixture after grinding:
3-4 Black Peppers
10-15 Sultanas (Kishmish or dried Raisins)
2tsp Chopped Coriander leaves

And you will also need:
Oil for shallow frying

For Yogurt Sauce:
250 gms Curd/Yogurt (approx)
2 pinches of Black salt or Chaat masala
¼ tsp Jeera Powder (Cumin Seeds dry roasted and ground to fine powder)
3-4 tsp Tamarind Chutney
Coriander leaves for garnishing
Salt as per taste

Special Utensils needed :
A sturdy grinder to grind the lentils
A Flat bottomed shallow fry pan

Method:
  1. Wash several times and then Soak urad dal and moong dal for atleast 5-7 hours
  2. Grind it along with green chillies and ginger, adding little water.
  3. Remember the batter should be thick and not watery.
  4. Add salt, cumin seeds, coriander leaves, kishmish(optional), whole black peppers and mix it thoroughly in circular motion (strictly in circular motion).
  5. Beat the batter in circular motion for 3-4 minutes until the batter becomes soft, fluffy and also changes it color from yellowish to white.
  6. Now take a spoonful of this batter and shallow fry it in hot oil over medium to low flame till light golden brown , but remember the color of bhalle should not be dark.


  7. Dahi bhalla
    Shallow fried Bhalle


  8. Repeat the procedure for remaining batter.
  9. Let the Bhalle cool and later soak them for 2-3 minutes in luke warm water.
  10. Squeeze out the water by pressing each bhalla between palms of your hands.
  11. Place them in a serving bowl or plate and cover them generously with beaten curd (it should be really smooth), to which salt is added.
  12. Sprinkle black salt , cumin powder, red chilli powder and/or chaat masala and garnish it with coriander leaves.
  13. Note that, some people prefer dahi bhalle with a dash of sweet tamarind chutney, some boiled potato chunks and salted boondi (soaked in water and later squeezed out), while others prefer them with sweet curd, in that case just add some sugar while beating the curd.

Special Notes/Tips:
  • Do not make the batter watery, or else bhalle would not be soft in texture.
  • Do not fry these in lots of oil, just shallow fry in about 1/2 inch oil in a flat bottom pan.
  • Fry these few at a time so as to provide enough space to expand.
  • Always cool the Bhalle after frying, and then soak in some luke warm water for 2-3 minutes. Soaking hot bhalle will result into soggy mass.
  • After soaking in water, always take bhalla in between your palms and squeeze slightly to remove excess of water (and oil too). Do this gently so as not to crumble the mass.
  • Make sure to let the bhalle sit in yogurt base for at least half hour before serving (the more time, the better), so as to let bhalle absorb some curd and flavors.
  • Always reserve some curd aside, because after some time, the bhalle tends to soak the curd and hence the extra curd set aside could be beaten, flavored and added while serving to adjust the consistency.


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19 comments

  1. Parita // 1 May 2009 at 14:06  

    we call them dahi wadas..i love them....grt picture feel like having one right now..

  2. rekhas kitchen // 1 May 2009 at 15:13  

    oohh those white colord lentil dumplings in yogurt sauce mmmmmm looks so tempting Alka beautiful pic

  3. Khaugiri // 1 May 2009 at 19:25  

    Alka it's looking really tempting!!!!!! So coool in this summer....

  4. rkramadh // 1 May 2009 at 20:14  

    The pic is mouth watering. As usual, the recipe is so well written with all the details. I am thoroughly enjoying this new venture "beyond curries" from you fabulous ladies! Keep up the great work and keep inspiring! I will try this recipe very soon :)

  5. Ramya's Mane Adige // 1 May 2009 at 20:33  

    looks delicious!!! :)

  6. Kalyani // 1 May 2009 at 20:45  

    wow !! very tempting ... want to eat right one ... Wonderful picture ....

  7. mithu // 1 May 2009 at 23:44  

    Alka its very tempting, I make it the same way, but arrange them in a flat dish with the sides of the dish raised. I garnish it as u mentioned. This way the dahi wadas remain intact - try and also garnish it with very finely sliced or grated almonds. Yummy.

    Kanta

  8. Vani // 2 May 2009 at 03:10  

    The picture is colorful & fabulous! Well-written recipe too, Alka.

  9. Pooja // 2 May 2009 at 04:09  

    one of my favorite foods, i love to make these in the summer. yours look yum!

  10. Poornima Nair // 2 May 2009 at 07:22  

    OMG...they look so tempting...its been ages since I've had this.

  11. Vcuisine // 2 May 2009 at 17:50  

    With Kala Namak and chaat masala, it will be a great treat I feel Alka. Viji

  12. meeso // 2 May 2009 at 22:39  

    That looks good, every time I hear yogurt sauce I don't want to try, as I never thought I liked yogurt, but when I eat it spiced or as a raita I enjoy it... go figure!

  13. Mona // 2 May 2009 at 22:56  

    'Dahi-wade', as we call Dahi Bhalle in our language, looks so delectable. One of the most prepared dishes for Iftaar by Indian origin muslims and also loved in Indian summers for a tea time snack.

  14. Bharati // 3 May 2009 at 05:10  

    Nice starting write-up,makes one curious to know the recipe ahead, explained in friendly manner.

    You have taken beautiful pictures but is it possible to border them with dark color like Dal and Dosa pictures,white background is taking away a bit effect.

    Isn't Dahi Wada just a Marathi word for Dahi Bhalle? Explanation you give for Dahi Wada is more of a Medu Vada.

  15. A_and_N // 3 May 2009 at 20:15  

    THIS is what I mean by good food. Waiting for something like this. Bookmarked!

  16. Alka // 4 May 2009 at 11:49  

    Thanks Everyone for your Kind words :-)
    @ Bharati: Hello Dear,I will surely take care about the suggestion you gave(dark border)next time when i click pictures
    Regarding Dahi wade, yes In North India, dahi bhalle and Dahi wade are same thing, but as i came to know recently from other Respected group members of Beyondcuriies, that In South, Dahi wade are made like doughnuts ,with hole in center.Still I will be obliged if some South Indians Come to my rescue her, to explain about it ;-)

  17. Nags // 7 May 2009 at 11:30  

    This looks so good!!!

  18. jayasree // 11 May 2009 at 12:16  

    Great recipe and a well written post,Alka. Thought he SI dahi wada and this bhalle sounds similar, yet different. Wadas are deep fired and only urad dhal is used and not soaked beyond an hour. I love this for it is shall fried. Seeing the bhalle pics, can't believe, its shallow fried.
    Bookmarked

  19. Torviewtoronto // 5 October 2010 at 07:09  

    delicious
    http://torviewtoronto.blogspot.com/2010/10/fried-lentil-dumplings-vada-in-yogurt.html