Dahi Bhalla

08 Jan

First off, wish you all a very good new year. I don’t think I can think of a better first post/recipe than the amazing Dahi bhalla. I am not sure how many of you have heard of Dahi bhalla, but I didn’t know of its existence till the new year’s eve of 2012 🙂 A few friends planned to meet and decided on a chaat-themed potluck. Pav-Bhaaji and Pani-Puri were taken and I was wondering what to make; was trying to decide between Aloo tiki-chole and Bhel puri when Google led me to Dahi vada and then, *drumroll*, Dahi bhalla. Now, I know Dahi vada, hindi for Thayir vadai (as far as I know). But, Dahi bhalla? Well, Google again came to my rescue – turns out that the main difference between the two is in the dahi; while for Dahi vada the curd is, well, just sour with some spices for Dahi bhalla the curd is sweet, almost like a lassi. I followed the recipe at Vahrehvah with some minor modifications and result was lip-smacking.

The first step in the preparation of Dahi bhallas is making the Bhallas. Making Bhalla is similar to making Vadai.

Urad dhal 1 cup
Green Chillies 1
Salt 1 tsp (more or less based on your taste)
Potato 1 (medium-size)
Cashew 30-40 broken pieces
Raisins 30-40 pieces
Cooking Oil

Soak urad dhal and green chillies in about 1.5 to 2 cups of water for a few hours (overnight is best, but I soaked it only for ~4 hrs and it did not notice any difference). Grind this to a thick paste adding as little water as possible. Add salt to this mix and beat this mix well with a spoon to aerate the mixture. I picked this tip from the Vahrehvah chef and the Vadas (or Bhallas :)) turned out soft and fluffy.

Boil potato; peel the skin and mash it well. Mix this with the aerated urad dhal mixture. This is the dough for Dahi bhalla.

Note: Instead of deep-frying the Bhallas, I used my Appam pan (looks similar to this). I picked this tip from the jugalbandits a while back; in addition to other benefits listed in the post, I noticed that it was less messy and resulted in uniform Bhallas.

To make the Bhallas, take a bit of the dough in your hand and make a rough ball with it. Now with your thumb, make a shallow hole. Place a piece of cashew and raisin in this hole and close it. Stuffing the Bhallas with cashew & raisin is purely optional, but I would highly recommend this as biting into a cashew/raisin as you are eating the Bhallas takes the taste and the experience to another level.

Add oil to the pan, about a tsp or so in each hole, Place the bhallas and cook both sides by turning them.

Use up all the dough and finish making the bhallas. The yield for 1 cup of urad dhal was about 60 and I guess the number depends on the size/shape of the Bhallas that you make.

If you are not a dahi (curd) fan, you can stop at this point and enjoy the Bhallas with a cup of tea and/or mint & tamarind chutney. K can vouch for that 🙂 Of course, to kick it up a notch, you need to turn them into awesome Dahi bhallas.

Dahi (curd) 3 cups
Sugar 1/2 cup
Cumin powder 2 tsp
Coriander powder 2 tsp
Chaat masala 2 tsp
Sev couple of handful
boondi couple of handful
Coriander 2 tsp (for garnish)
Water few cups

Add water to a deep pan and bring it to a boil. Add the Bhallas in batches to the boiling water, leaving it in for a couple of minutes; take it out and with a napkin press on it gently to squeeze out as much water as you can. Once soaked in hot water the Bhallas become soft and absorbs dahi faster.

Whisk the curd with sugar (add a little water if it is too thick) and keep it ready.

In a wide bottomed container, make a bed with boondi. Place the Bhallas (soaked and squeezed) over this as a single layer. Now pour the sweetened curd and make sure to cover the Bhallas. Use more curd, if need be.

Sprinkle the coriander, cumin powders on top as well as the chaat masala. Complete the garnish with sev and coriander leaves.

May be a little bit more coriander…

Now, it is truly ready…

Dig in and enjoy!


Posted by on January 8, 2012 in Desi


Tags: , , , ,

15 responses to “Dahi Bhalla

  1. shy

    January 8, 2012 at 8:03 PM

    ofcourse I know Dahi Bhalla-I lived in Delhi long enough and anyday can clean the dahi bhalla plate. This looks awesome, want to eat some now.

    Given last 2 weeks of eating, I better stay away.

    nice see you in action .

    Happy New Year!

    • A-kay

      January 8, 2012 at 8:06 PM

      I kind of had an inkling that you would know. I have never had this before, so can’t say if it tasted authentic, but it tasted GOOD. I can totally see why you can clean a plate 🙂

  2. Happy Cook / Finla

    January 9, 2012 at 6:13 AM

    Wowo looks so so super delicious, wish i had this right now.

    • A-kay

      January 9, 2012 at 11:10 AM

      Thanks Finla and Welcome here. Yes these are delicious and I think the sweet curd adds a totally different dimension to the taste.

  3. shy

    January 10, 2012 at 6:33 AM

    akay, I wonder will it not taste the same( I mean yummm) if you make kuzhi paniyarams with the leftover dosa batter instead of the above bhalla steps?

  4. A-kay

    January 10, 2012 at 2:02 PM

    Am sure you can, but I think the vada batter with just the urad dhal will yield a softer Bhalla than the Dosa batter. The paniyarams with Dosa batter will taste more closer to the South Indian Bonda, don’t you think?

  5. Enkay

    January 11, 2012 at 10:38 AM

    Looks yummy! Will make a perfect dish to take to a potluck. Keep the posts coming.

    • A-kay

      January 11, 2012 at 2:41 PM

      Yup and actually it was quite a breeze to make, although it looks like you have slogged in the kitchen.

  6. Anila

    January 12, 2012 at 5:09 AM

    Nice Recipe.Looks yummy. Will give it a try.

  7. A-kay

    January 12, 2012 at 11:52 AM

    Sure do and let me know how it turns out.

  8. UL

    January 14, 2012 at 11:05 AM

    yum yum- have had this before at a friend’s a very long time ago, liked it, asked for the recipe -when she started stating all the little things – I said “stop, i will just eat it when you make it :)” – i am sure it was delicious, happy new year’s to you too…UL

  9. A-kay

    January 14, 2012 at 8:13 PM

    But you know what UL, this is not as strenuous or tiresome as I was told Enkay. As Shy mentioned, you can just do this with the idli/dosa batter and dunked in dahi, I am sure that will be yummilicious too.

    • shy

      January 14, 2012 at 8:22 PM

      akay,please don’t refer to my suggestions for UL; I live on short cuts when it comes to cooking. In all probability I will have dosa batter in fridge than make a batter for bhalla. I have no clue how it will turn out if dosa batter is used instead. I was trying to make to do with what I have in hand…should I call it ‘creative cooking'( infact one of the guests I have over holidays asked me for shrimp fritter-was huge hit- recipe I made and wanted to know what all went to the batter. when I hesitantly said, i used pan cake mix instaed of mixing this and that-see the lazy me- she was like ‘see that is what creative cooking is’..I was looking for a place to hide 🙂

      • A-kay

        January 15, 2012 at 12:18 AM

        As much as I do the elaborate cooking, my everyday cooking is full of short-cuts or as you so nicely put, “creative cooking” 🙂 Just today, I made a Thai curry that had tomato ketchup, coriander-cumin-chilli powder – that I normally use for rasam – and almond butter in it. Now the end product was delicious and my friend who had stopped by for dinner loved it, and she is so used to my way of cooking now that she didn’t even bat an eyelid when I told her how I made it 🙂 So, yes, we are all there.

        On that note, I have actually made appam with the dosa batter and it comes out really well. It almost tastes like bonda and am pretty sure dunked in sweet dahi, it will be delicious. Given that I have a small batch of dosa batter left over in my fridge, may be I should just try that tmw…

  10. Mads

    February 7, 2012 at 9:27 PM

    A Pakka Delhi dish 🙂 I have still not tried it though AD and I love sweet Dahi vadas 🙂 Looking at your recipe, I have to try them soon…


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