The first time I ever had a bite of this must have been when I was 6 or 7 years old. It was from our neighbour's house, a neighbour whose face I don't even remember of. Not that I have a bad memory , it's just because I never went to their house again nor saw them elsewhere.They moved from the neighbourhood very soon.
But, I remember that cold Vada dish very well :-) I loved it. I know Amma adores it as it is one thing she always ordered whenever we went outside Kerala. Oh well, the Dahi Vada's that we have had in Kerala always turned out to be a very 'sour' experience.
It looks and maybe sounds complicated too, but it is one of the simplest thing that comes with a 'complicated' tag and a high appeal. Now did I just confuse you? O, maybe it's the weather that we have now. It is so foggy today.
So, I made this for our Saturday Brunch. We usually wake up late on Saturday mornings and it is too late to have brekky and too early for lunch...but we both will be so hungry that we can cut up each other and stick a fork in it , play a movie and munch. I hate cooking on such mornings because I'd be doing everything in a hurry and he will be hungry and so will I be. And whatever I do then...takes forever to cook.
But last saturday, we both woke up extra late and we weren't hungry...yes not at all! So I had plenty of time to do all what I wanted to which included the chilling time for the dish and even clicking pics!
DAHI VADA / LENTIL CROQUETTES IN YOGURT SAUCE
My own recipe
For the vada/croquettes
Whole Urad - 1 c [Also known as 'Uzhunnu'--the lentil we use for dosa and idli]
Water- 1/2 c
Salt -to taste (about 1 1/2 tsp)
Green chillies- 6-7
Rice flour- 5-6 tsp
Oil- for deep frying
Warm water - 4 c
Salt - to taste (optional)
For the dahi/Yogurt sauce:
Thick yogurt- 2 c
Water *- 1/2 c
Sugar- to taste
Homemade Tamarind chutney- 4 tbsp (optional)
Red chilli powder/ Paprika- 1 tsp
Coriander powder-1 tsp
Cumin powder-1 tsp
Cilantro/Coriander leaves- 4 stalks, chopped fine.
For the vada/croquettes:
- Wash the urad 3-4 times until the water is clear.
- Soak the whole urad for 4-5 hours or overnight. In the morning, drain the excess water.
- Grind it to a thick smooth paste along with 1/2 cup of water, salt and green chillies.
- We need a real thick batter, thicker than cake batter. Basically it should be scoop-able and shape-able.
- Add the rice flour to achieve that consistency. Rice flour also adds a crunch to the vadas when fried.
- Heat oil on medium high for 3-4 minutes. Once it is hot, reduce the heat to medium.
- Scoop out some batter using a spoon and drop it . Deep fry them till golden brown.Each batch will take 4-5 mins.
- Drain the excess oil on a tissue paper.
- Soak them in water +salt (add only if you need more salt for the vadas) for 2-3 mins and squeeze out the excess water.
- Arrange them in a big serving bowl. Keep aside.
- If your yogurt is thick, add water and whisk till smooth. Add salt & sugar to taste.
- If your yogurt is loose, do not add excess water. Just add salt & sugar to taste.
- Pour over the arranged vadas.
- Sprinkle red chilli powder, coriander powder and cumin powder over the dahi.
- Drizzle few tablespoonfull of homemade tamarind chutney over it.
- Garnish with coriander leaves.
- Serve chilled!
I never knew I would get it right at the very first trial! It was really delicious. The yogurt sauce was perfectly seasoned with the spices and tamarind chutney.
We both loved it. I licked the bowl clean! We served it to some of our friends too...and even they loved it. I can now proudly say that I have one more 'perfected' dish to add to my list :-)
This is an excellent make ahead dish can be served anytime! But make sure you serve it chilled! Do try it and let me know!