Sitting on a wooden step stool while waiting for the oil in her wok to be ready, she was trying to teach me how she made her ever so famous dahi vadas. I, on the other hand, found those flaky mathris she fried that morning, more intriguing. I would get a scolding for not paying attention. "You would wish you had listened to me now, when you make this in your own kitchen after marriage. So stop eating and observe carefully", she would say. I continued to dismiss all of that and instead asked where she had kept her sweet and tangy mango relish which might go well with those delicious mathris.
This post has been sitting in my archive from last year. Finally, I am sharing it today. Hope it takes you back to your special moments like it did for me. Have a beautiful Diwali and a spooky Halloween!
Ingredients: Serves 10-12
For the Vadas-
1 ½ cup washed and split Urad Dal (Skinless Black Gram Lentil)
2 tablespoons Ginger (freshly grated)
¼ teaspoon Asafetida
1 teaspoon Salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
Oil for Deep Frying
For Dahi (Spiced Yogurt):
3 cups Yogurt
1 teaspoon roasted cumin powder
¾ teaspoon cayenne pepper powder (adjust to taste)
1 ½ tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon Chat Masala (Can also use store bought)
Hot Cilantro Chutney (to taste)
Tamarind Chutney (to taste)
Salt (to taste)
Water (as needed)
Cilantro (for garnish)
Wash thoroughly and soak Urad Dal in water overnight or for at least 6 hours.
Drain the soaking water completely and transfer the soaked dal into a grinder of a food processor. Add rest of the ingredients for Vada except for baking soda. Add up to ¾ cup of water (slowly add more if needed). Grind it into a thick smooth paste. In this case try to add as little water for grinding as possible, though enough for the blades to run smoothly.
Transfer the lentil paste into a medium sized mixing bowl. Add baking soda and now using your hand or a whisk, whisk the paste vigorously rotating your hand in a circular motion in one direction. This helps making the paste light.
Heat oil in a deep fryer.
Wet your palms or place a wet plastic wrap on the palm of your one hand. Drop a dollop of Urad Dal paste (about the size of a small lemon) on your palm. Shape it into a circle.
Carefully slide the vada into the deep fryer. Fry until its golden brown in color.
Once done, fish the vadas out of the deep fryer and drop into a bowl full of water (if serving immediately) or drain excess oil in a paper towel (if planning to serve later) and drop them in water when prepping to serve.
Let the fried vada soak in water for 3-5 minutes. Then lift it in one hand and give it a light squeeze with the other squeezing excess absorbed water out. Place them on a serving dish.
For spiced yogurt (or dahi) - Mix all the ingredients together in a big mixing bowl. Add water depending on how thin you want the yogurt to be.
Pour as much spiced yogurt as you like over the vadas. Garnish with cilantro and serve.