Dahi Vadas for Blog Hop Wednesdays

When I started writing this post, I couldn't help but remember scenes and dialogues from an Australian musical on Bollyowood - Merchants of Bollywod, that I was lucky to see. Lucky because the word entertainment itself makes a guest appearance in this country every now and then. And even more lucky because for the first time Aarul was left in the care of our friend, Anita and her husband, while me and my husband revived the word date, in our lives. Yes it was simply great to be out on our own for a while. The musical was absolutely fun and frolic, in true Bollywood style, with all the razmatazz, that I miss so much now.

The musical was set in the colorful Rajasthan and essayed the journey of famous choreographer, Vaibhavi Merchant from the small town to glitz of Bollywood in a light comic manner. And the dialogue that I was referring too was spoken by the narrator, when he describes the festive scene of the state. He says, to the effect "Yahan par jab baarish hoti hai, tab tyohaar hota hai. Jab baarish nahi hoti hai, tab bhi tyohaar hota hai. Jab savera hota hai, tab tyohaar hai, jab raat hoti hai, tab tyohaar hota hai, aur jab tyohaar nahi hota, tab bhi tyohaar hota hai" (In Rajasthan people celebrate at the drop of a hat, for every tiny reason  or even without a reason). How true!! But that's what we love about it. Right?

And that season of festivity - for a reason and without a reason has just started in India. And for sure I'm missing all the fun. Last week was Teej, saturday was Raakhi and now on 22nd is Janmasthami (Day of Lord Krishna's birth). So the only way I could connect to the festivals back home, is through my humble blog. So for this Blog Hop Wednesday, I chose a savory recipe, Dahi Vadas made on such special occasion, other than all the sweet treats. Though its a straighforward dish of making a batter of lentils, deep frying them as dumplings and adding it to spiced yogurt; yet somehow it gets its pride of place for special occasions in my home. 

My Blog Hop partner was Jabeen of Jabeen's Corner, which most of you must be visiting regularly for her simple yet tasty recipes. Earlier I was thinking of making her noodles cutlet, yet finally I chose her Curd Vadai, since it suited my festive mood perfectly. The change I found in Jabeen's recipe was the addition of chopped onions & crushed peppercorns, along with the tempering of mustard seeds and curry leaves, which makes it a more South Indian Version. So I thought why not try this version too, since I haven't posted this dish on my blog as well, but at the same time I adapted it suit our taste.

Those of who new to Blog Hop Wednesdays, a brief recap. It's bi-monthly event started by Radhika, where a blogger gets to a partner blogger and she/he chooses a recipe to recreate and post for this event. Quite a good way to know other bloggers and their recipes. Check out what other Blog Hoppers are cooking over here

Dahi Vada Recipe

For Vada (Dumplings)
Urad Dal - 1 cup, soaked for 3-4 hours
Rice Flour - 2 tbsp
Onion -2 medium sized (finely chopped)
Green Chillies- 2 or 3 (finely chopped)
Salt - as required
Oil - for frying

Curd - Either Spiced/ Tempered:
Spiced method
Curd - 2 cups + 1 tsp salt + 1 tsp red chilly powder + 1 1/2 tsp freshly roasted and ground cumin seeds + 1 tbsp tamarind chutney (optional)

Tempered Method:
Curd - 2 cups + 1 tsp salt+ 1 tbsp oil + 1 tsp mustard seeds + 2 red chillies + 5-6 curry leaves 

  • Wash and drain soaked urad dal and grind it with minimum water to a very slightly coarse yet smooth paste. 

  • Transfer to a bowl. Add rice flour, chopped onion, chopped green chillies, crushed pepper corns, chopped coriander leaves and very little salt. Mix  well.

  • Now heat oil in a pan until nicely hot on a medium flame, check if oil is hot .

  • Lightly moist your palms and make balls of the batter. Flatten the balls to get vada shape and deep fry in hot oil over med. heat. Flip to make the other side golden too. Once done, drain on tissues, to absorb extra oil.

  • Now take a bowl of lukewarm water and dip these vadas in them for at least 20 -30 mins to soften (I did for 2 hours). 

  • Meanwhile stir the curd in a large bowl along with 1/4 cup water to get a smooth curd. Add salt, red chilly powder and freshly roasted and ground cumin seeds. Or temper it. For that heat 1 tbsp oil in a small pan, and then splutter mustard seeds , curry leaves and red chillies. Pour the seasoning over the curd.

  • 20 mins before serving, take the vadas out of the water. Squeeze lightly and place them in the curd, and let it absorb the flavours.

  • Now serve it with along with tamarind chutney and chopped coriander, along with a fresh sprinkling of salt, red chilly powder and cumin powder. Serve at room temperature.

    1. I used the spiced method, since we are more used to that way. But I'm sure it tastes as good withe tempered curd too. Just note that I suggest using either of the methods, not both together. But then if you want, you surely can.

    2. Tamarind chutney is sweet, salty, tangy and little spicy and takes all dahi vadas or chaat to a different level. I just mix tamarind pulp, jaggery, salt, cumin powder and little red chilly powder along with hot water in a pan. And let it simmer to get a thick consistency. Then I taste and adjust seasonings and drain the chutney. But for an actual recipe, refer here.

    3. Soaking vadas in a lukewarm water is a great way to make them soft. Also at my home, vadas are fried almost bland. And little salt & spices are first added to the water and then to the curd, which the vada absorbs. That's why u see water in the pic shows spices. Keeping this in mind, adjust your salt & spice additions. Don't add too much at all stages.

    4. You can make this batter, by mixing moong dal also in it. Or by adding chopped carrots, as Jabeen suggests. 

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