Ria's Collection: DAHI VADA

Monday, September 20, 2010


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!

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

For soaking:
Warm water - 4 c
Salt - to taste (optional)

For the dahi/Yogurt sauce:
Thick yogurt- 2 c
Water *- 1/2 c
Salt-to taste
Sugar- to taste

For garnishing:
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.
For the Yogurt sauce:

  • 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!


Finla said...

They absloutley looks so so yummy Ria, wish i could grab that bowl.

Cool Lassi(e) said...

Looking fab! Looks just like the ones in the restaurants..well even better.

Hey, would you like to participate in the giveaway happening at my place?

Nitha said...

Delicious.. Looks great..

Twinsy Rachel said...

I so agree with the "sour experience" in kerala dahi vada... My first experience on dahi vada when i was 4 years old in tamil nadu.. i was bowled over by it. my 7-year stint in bangalore satiated my craving, but back now in kerala, i ignore the dahi vada due to all sour experience. Tamarind chutney n coriander powder is new to me. Will try n let u know. adding round sev will add crunch to the dahi vada :)

Zerin said...


it looks too good!!

Unknown said...

Hi Ria,

Here for the first time...lovely dahi vada...is there an event here?



Reshmi said...

superb dahi vada ria...

RMM said...

Love u Ria...looks just perfect......but wish u had pics of the ingredients too..;)whats whole urad ??...there r so many dals...sorry to say i didnt get which one...ignorant me :(..REny.

sambarman said...

One of my favorites, you made it look different but delicious. I'd give first place to sambar vada the first place amongst my favorite vada items though!

Divya Kudua said...

As far as eating the best Curd vada,I guess I am lucky to be in Chennai.Here,we get the best of Medhu Vada[uzhunnu vada] and even better Thayir Vada and Sambar Vada too..even Rasa Vada is so good!!Since I am on a diet mode these days,I would try a low-fat version of the same,frying the vadas in a appachatti.

soulsearchingdays said...

Hi Ria, I am so happy to stumble upon your blog, I wish stumbled earlier :) Gonna go through all the posts one by one..
I am a blogger and no i do not have a food blog, but I am a fan of foodie blogs.. and they are just so creative and outstanding.. I love croche.. (I hope my spelling is right).. i am always on the lookout for someone to teach me the same...not succesful yet :(

I am your avid reader from today onwards.. nice meeting you.. yes one morething.. the photographs are just yum.. and I love your name..
take care
http://www. soulsearchingdays.blogspot.com

Me said...

Hello Ria,
One of my fav snack but never can get the right consistency since the blender requires a lot of water. What do you use/suggest for Indian grinding here in the US including chutneys that won't require so much water.

Unknown said...

I love dahi vadas!! Luckily, we get really wonderful ones everywhere here.

Seema said...

Hi Ria,

Tried this dish and it turned out absolutely delicious. Never knew making Dahi Vadas at home was such a breeze. Your recipes are so trust worthy, I don't think twice before trying them out. I have posted it here in my blog - http://amchi-bong-konnexion.blogspot.com/2010/11/dahi-vada.html

Keep up the good work.


Anonymous said...

What a very lovely recipe this is! I can't wait to try this one! Thanks a lot.
dining table

Preethi Pinto said...

Hi Ria. Why do the vadas absorb so much oil? Is there any which way that this could be controlled?

Ria Mathew said...

Seema- Thanks for trying, so glad to hear that you trust my recipes :) Thank you!

Preethi- Did you fry them in 'hot' oil (not smoking hot)? If so, it wouldn't suck in that much oil.

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