Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Dahi Balle

Navarathri is just around the corner.  I normally call people over in two or three groups - so that we can actually have decent conversations with each other.  But, we only have one weekend to celebrate the festival this year.  So I have invited all my friends for an open house dinner on Sunday.  It is going to be a super busy weekend because I have a full day classes on Saturday, an hour or so away from home.  I don’t like to do potluck for Navrathri and cook all the food at home.  Most years, I spend the few days leading up to my party cooking.  This time though, my mom is here and I am not feeling too stressed about the cooking.

I tend to agonize about the menu for days before coming up with something I am happy with.  Even after that I keep obsessing about the food and other arrangements, worried that I won’t have enough,  or that I am forgetting some important detail that is going to mess up everything.  I make extensive lists, who's coming, age group, what I am going to give them with vetthilai paaku, what I have to make when, grocery lists etc.

Anyway, I have finalized the menu and am hoping that things turn out the way I want them to.  One of the things I am making is dahi balla.  This is a great dish to  make ahead of time because it freezes well.  It is also easier to make than regular medhu vadas because you don’t have to shape them into vadas, but can drop spoonfuls of dough into the oil – so it gets done much faster.

Here is what you need:

(To make about 20 – 25)

  • 1 cup whole urad dal (dehusked)
  • 3 – 4 green chilies
  • salt to taste
  • oil for deep frying
  • 1½ - 2 cups yogurt
  • salt to taste
  • ½ tsp. chili  powder
  • sprinkling of chaat masala
  • 1 tsp. fresh roasted and powdered cumin powder
  • tamarind chutney
  • cilantro chutney
  • cilantro
  • sev

Here is how I made it:

Soak the urad dal for a couple of hours.  Grind it along with the green chilies to a smooth paste adding very little water.
Add salt to the batter and mix well.
Heat oil in a deep pan.  Drop spoonfuls of dough (so that they look like doughnut holes) into the hot oil.  

Fry on medium heat till the vadas turn golden brown.


Remove from oil and immediately put these in hot water.  Let these sit in the hot water for about a minute.

Squeeze out the water completely and place these on a serving dish. Repeat till all the batter is done.
Meanwhile, beat the yogurt till it is creamy.  Add salt, chili powder, and chaat masala power. Mix well.
Pour this over the vadas.  Top with little more chili powder and the roasted cumin powder.
Just before serving, garnish with the chutneys, cilantro and sev.


  1. Hi Meena, thanks for your recipe. I wanted to know how you freeze the vadas?

    1. HI Pooja,

      I make the vadas, soak them in water, squeeze the water our, add the dahi on top and then cover it and freeze it.

      The day of the party, I take it out in the morning and by evening they are ready to serve!


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