Dahi Vada – North Indian Snack

A great starter or a cold appetizer, Dahi Vada, is a popular North Indian street food fare. Basically, dahi vadas are lentil (black gram/urad dal) based savory balls which are smothered with frothy fresh curds and sprinkled with spices like chilli pwd, cumin pwd, chaat masala or black salt and liberally doused with a tangy-sweet tamarind chutney.

Another version of this yogurt based snack, known as Perugu garellu in Telugu and Thayir Vada in Tamil is prepared almost on the same lines as the dahi vada. Perugu garellu, a popular snack in Andhra is prepared by dunking black gram lentil vadas in curds and pouring a seasoning of mustard seeds, black gram dal and curry leaves over them.

I learnt this dahi vada recipe from a North Indian friend, who regularly makes it for pot-luck parties. Absolutely lip smacking snack and as you bite into a soft, melt-in-the-mouth, delicious vada, it leaves you will a myriad of contrasting flavors that tickle your taste buds, whetting your appetite for more.

I have a question hovering over my mind as I write this post. Are dahi vadas and dahi bhallas one and the same? I think they both mean the same recipe and are probably known by different names in different regions of the north. Any one shed some light?

Dahi Vada Recipe

Recipe source: North Indian friend

Prep & Cooking: 45 mts, soaking of lentils: 3 hours

Serves 6-8 persons

Cuisine: North Indian



1 cup black gram lentil (urad dal without skin) washed, soaked for 3 hours and ground to a fine paste adding very little water

2″ piece of ginger grated

2-3 green chillis finely chopped

salt to taste

oil for deep frying

2 cups thick fresh curd (take care the curd isn’t sour)

4 cups water

red chilli powder to taste

2 tbsps cumin seeds (slightly dr roasted and ground to a fine powder)

1-2 tbsps chaat masala (optional)

chopped coriander leaves to garnish

1 Combine the ground urad dal paste with grated ginger, chopped green chillis and salt.
2 Pre-heat oil in a deep frying vessel, place a plastic sheet in your palm and place a little urad dal batter and shape into a vada (like a doughnut) or like a big lemon sized ball and drop slowly into the hot oil. Deep fry on medium heat for sometime and then fry on high heat till golden brown.
3 Remove these deep fried vadas into a bowl of luke warm water and place them in it for 15-20 seconds. Remove and gently press between your palms so that excess water oozes out. Keep them aside.
4 Finish making vadas with the rest of the remaining batter and put them in water like you did for the earlier batch, remove excess water and keep aside.
5 Beat curds well till frothy (there shouldn’t be any lumps) and add the water, red chilli pwd, cumin pwd and salt.
6 Place the vadas in a serving bowl (as shown in the picture) and pour the curd mixture evenly all over the vadas, covering them completely.
7 Chill the vadas for sometime before serving. At the time of serving, take 2-3 vadas and place them in a serving plate and sprinkle some chaat powder and garnish with coriander leaves and tamarind chutney.


To make soft and fluffy vadas, take care to use good quality dal and when you grind the dal use very little water to make a fine paste. Beat the ground lentil batter well to incorporate air and the vadas should be fried in medium hot oil. It goes without saying that the lentils ground in a stone grinder gives the best batter for good vadas.

Dahi Vada – North Indian Snack

  Prepare time:
 Serves: 2

 Main Ingredients:

  •  urad dal
  •   yogurt


69 thoughts on “Dahi Vada – North Indian Snack

  1. yup, dahi vada is the same as dahi bhalla – I think punjabis call it bhalla. there is a south india version of dahi vada too which I enjoy more – there the curd is mixed with a ground paste of coconut, green chilly and coriander. yummmm!

    Thanks for your info on dahi bhalla, Charu. Yes, I do know the S. Indian version your talking of. Yummy!!

  2. Hi sailaja..I am seeing this blog for about a month,your each and every post is just amazing. Elegant presentation with luscious photos, dahi vada is another example. Btw i tried tomato chutney and it came out great.

    Thank you for your kind words on my blog, Sudha. I am so glad you liked the tomato chutney..:)

  3. Hello Sailu Garu,

    Your Presentation is excellent and mouth watering…

    Ok, One doubt i want to know how to prepare Ragi Malt or Ragi Ganji. If possible please give the details.


  4. Sailu,
    You’re teasing me with those pictures. Btw, there’s another version of perugu vada/ Thayir vadai that I’ve seen only my grandma and grandaunts make. It’s lentil vada (paruppu vadai)soaked in “mor kuzhambu”/ “majjiga chaaru”. I’m not sure if this version is popular.


    Yes, Faffer, we prepare in seasoned buttermilk too, the traditional version of perugu vada/thayir vada.

  5. Hi Sailu,
    Wonderful pics, the fresh sprig of coriander in the vadas looks great. Dahi vada is one of my favourites. I have tried making them with garellu but have never tried the Northie version.

    You should try the North Indian version, Priya. Very tasty!

  6. Hi Sailu,
    Yummy dahi vada .I am trying to post comment but it is not opening i dont know why – wordpress.
    Photos looks nice.I will try this one day .
    Thanks for sharing.

    I have been having some server problems past few days and is in the process of being fixed. I appreciate your patience, Vineela.

  7. dahi vada ?

    wowoow…yummy yummy…

    your blog looks like full of recipies. I should visit here more often.

    Thanks for dropping by, Prash. Be do come back..:)

  8. Hey Sailu- Looks awesome! My mouth is watering! Thanks so much for your encouraging comment on my blog!

    Your most welcome, PS..:)

  9. Sailu gaaru,

    Noru oorinchelaa undi mee dahi vada. sankranthi muggulaa chakkaga alankarinchaaru kooda 🙂 I am so hungry for your dahi vadas.. BTW, Did you ever try putting ‘kaara boondhi’ in the curd along with the vadas. It tastes heavenly.

    Cheers, Nav

    Nav, nenu kaara boondhi curd low try chayyalaydu. Try chayyali..:)

  10. This is exactly how I make it. Sometimes I add green chutney too along with tamarind chutney in diamond pattern. Your pics look mouth watering. Bhalla has a combination of Urad dal and moong dal.

    Krithika, I do make green chutney too at times and it tastes great..:). Thanks for the info on Bhalla, never knew moong dal was added too for the vadas.

  11. The best looking Dahi vada ever made !!! I am going to copy your style of presentation next time when I make thair vada for a party. Super fantastic job !!!!!

    I hope your friends like your presentation of thayir vada, Archana..:)

  12. Hey Sailu..
    I have been wanting to eat dahi vada for such a long time and make it for my potluck but was thinking how to present it but now I can follow your pattern. But I am quite intrigued by the combination of tamarind chutney over dahi vada..Does the combo complement each other?
    BTW I have tagged you for a meme..Check out my blog

    Yes, BDSN, they complement each other and its a great combo you wouldnt want to miss..:):). Try it.

  13. This is my first comment. My mouth started watering looking at your Dahi vada beautifully done!! I have visited your site few times and really love the pictures and presentation. I bet you make Mysore rasam more beautiful than I too. Looking forward to participate in upcoming Jihva for dal event.

    Thanks for dropping by my blog, Madhu. Naa, Mysore rasam is your speciality..:). Eager to see what you come up with for the upcoming Jihva for Dal.

  14. The difference between north indian dahi bhalla and south indian dahi vada is the curd is sweet, almost like sweet lassi in the north idian version and the vadas are soaked for a long time or first soaked in water and then in the curd mixture, so it just melts in your mouth. The ones I have had in Bombay were just heavenly, more than the vadas, the curd mixture was lip smacking good. Your presentation is very good.

    Yes, Simi, your right in saying the curd is sweet in the N. Indian dahi vadas unlike S. Indian version which is not sweet but more savory.

  15. Hi Sailu, I was planning to go hunting for something like this. I tasted a dish with the same yogurt/tamarind. It also contained chickpeas and diced potato with the vada. Am glad to know the proper name vada… I was thinking of them as dumplings or fritters…
    Especially appreciate the tips on making them soft as the one time I tried (with a moong dal recipe) they came out hard as a rock 🙂

    All the best!

    Linda, the chick peas and diced potatoes served with yogurt and tamarind chutney is the dahi papri chaat which is different from dahi vada. Vadas are urad dal dumplings or fritters which are soaked in yogurt and served with green chutney or tamarind chutney. Maybe I should blog dahi papri chaat for you..:)

  16. Dahi Vadas! Sailu,I am sure these taste heavenly ..:) especially with the chaat and sweet tamrind sauce served along with these. can imagine the taste.

    The dahi vadas are absolutely heavenly, Lera..:). They are always a hit with my family and friends.

  17. Hi Sailu,

    Those pictures are really cute. By the way what camera do you use? My mother also prepares a similar kind of vada and she calls it avada. I would definetely try this. 🙂

    I use a sony cybershot (digi cam), Sowjanya.

  18. Hi Sailu
    Lovely recipe and awesome presentation.Was wondering if u could post the recipe for the green chutney that goes along with dahi vadas.Thanks.

    Thank you for dropping by, Rekha. I will probably blog the green chutney too sometime.

  19. Hi Sailu,

    Dahiwada are my favorites. My mom use to make often. love it, will try this weekend.

    My fav too, Radha. Have a great weekend preparing and relishing dahiwadas..:)

  20. Wowwwwww
    Look at those straight lines of garnish – How did u ever do that. ???

    Oh, its as simple as drawing a line on a piece of paper, Revathi !!-:)

  21. Sailu,

    Oh it’s just heavenly!!! I like the way you dress up this snack, really very pretty! And that curd mixture sounds absolutely delicious! Wish I could have some now!

    Gattina, how I wish I could send over a plate of this delicious vadas…:(

  22. I asked what was in the dish that made me think it was vada/dumpling/fritter — it was some sort of wheat crisp? must have gone soft in the yogurt sauce, as they were not crispy at all by the time I got it. Tasted great though. You have an eager student anytime you want to blog dahi papri chaat 🙂

    Linda, I look forward to blogging dahi papri chaat, especially for you….:):)

  23. Hai Sailaja,

    That looks so yummy. wonderful presentation as always.

    One technical question, how do you rate a recipe?

    Hi Raji,

    Its simple…if you want to rate a recipe a ‘3 star’..all you have to do is put your cursor over the 3rd star and click it. I have had quite a few enquiries on how to rate a recipe..:)

  24. Yes, Dahi bhallas and Dhai wada are just synonyms…Your dahi wadas are definitely more photogenic than my dahibhallas that I had posted 2 months back!!

    That was what I thought too, Shynee.

  25. Wow sailu, The presentation is lovely, like a kolam! I quite like this dish, but have never made it at home..i think i must five it a try.

    As regards bhalla, I suppose its something to do with the shape, it’s just a long cylinder thats pressed in the hand with the marks of the fingers, where as vada is shaped like a ball! I could be wrong though!

    Whatever they mean, bhallas or vadas, one thing I am sure – I relish them..:):)

  26. Hi Sailu,
    Very nice presentation…
    My MIL makes these kind of vada’s and she soaks them in ‘more kulambhu’ – a curry made from butter milk.
    Have you tried ‘more kulambhu’, if so try soaking up these beautiful vada’s in them the taste is really great.
    I will blog about this curry sometime later.

    Sumi, I would love to see you blog your MIL’s recipe sometime. Amma also make perugu garellu in seasoned thick buttermilk. I guess you are talking of the same thing..:)

  27. Hi, am gonna make dahi vada for the v first time (although my mum used to make many times back in india). i wanna know if i can use black lentils with skin. Lemme knw as i wuld wanna make it sumtime soon. v nice presentation btw!

    Achyuta, you have to use urad dal without the skin.

  28. Looks great. I am a great fan of your site. I have seen soaking the vada in warm milk instead of water. Does this change the taste much?

    Thank you, Sashi. Yes, soaking in warm skimmed milk is absolutely fine, its not going to change the flavor much.

  29. Hi,
    Thanks Sailu.
    I impressed my wife. Now… whenever she is angry with me I prefer to cook Sailu’s Dahi Vada (coz she is crazy about dahi vada). Ur recipe is simply gr8.

  30. Hi Sailu,

    I was browsing for a good recipe for dahi-vada and I came across your site. You’ve made it sound so simple and yet delicious. I’m definitely going to try this one out!
    One question I had for you was about the dal you used. You’ve mentioned black lentil and yet you also specify thats its urad dal without the skin….that kinda confused me. Isnt black lentil the one with the skin and white lentil the one without? Please clarify! Thanks!

    Anita, its urad dal or black gram dal. It looks de-husked black gram which look white. The dal we use to prepare idlis and dosas. Hope that helps.:)

  31. Dahi Bhallay are also called Dahi Baray. However, a lot of families I know call the dish with small small ‘bhallas’ Dahi Bhallay. What you’ve made here is called Dhai Baray. Vada is the word for Bara in punjabi dialect. So, i’d say Dahi Bara is the same as Dahi Vada. There’s the story for you!

    Came across this site ages ago…been addicted ever since. Fanta-licious dishes! (that’s my word for fantastic + delicious!!) Your presentation is SUPERB. One request though; can you please also name the spices in Indian as well as English because many times the thing is there in my kitchen but i’m all confused as i don’t know its English name.

  32. hi sailu garu, how are u? all ur posts seems to be very very interesting andi. even i am from andhra. my mom preps very well and as i am in US i’m missing all those but i’m feeling very good with ur recepies. keep posting such interesting recipies shailu garu. thank u once again andi


  33. wonderful presentation Sailu. I’ve one question to ask… did you grind the urad in mixie or grinder (i don’t have our indian-type mixie here but have a grinder)? Thanks!

  34. i just want to know that dal batter should be beaten with hand or electric beater? i want to make moong dhulli dal bhalla , waiting for your reply

  35. We in Tanzania make it the same way but add little bit of sugar with the curd and then dot the dahivadas with tamrid thick chatney which is left a bit sour so as to get the taste of sweet and sour.

    Fantastic presentation and I am going to make dahi vada today and as such was looking for a better presentation.

  36. Pingback: Weotta Love Mumbai « Weotta
  37. hi sailu..u have been an inspiration to cook good food. Thanks. What Mr.Faffer said is about “Aamai vadai” its a favourite one of mine. But now mostly its gone out of memory of Tamil people and not many know about it. The usual restaurants that have them have given up ..post it if u get the recipe. Thanks n all the best.

  38. I have tried many of your recipes. Thanks for ur wonderful recipes. Can u pls post the recipe for fish cutlet.

    Thanks in advance,

  39. Hello sailugaru.

    This is Yasodha from VSP.
    nenu vada deep fry chestunnappudu vada out layer crack ayyi oil antha tullipoyindhi.
    so chinni punukulu try chesa avi kuda anthey ayyayi .
    clear ga cheppali antey pista nut ki outer layer ela crack untundo ala ne crack ayyi chala crispy ga maripoyindhi.
    pind oil lo vesinappudu bagane undhi vesina 3 4 min tarvata crack avvadam start avutunnayi .oil chetula meedaku stove antha tullipoyindhi.
    I used sufficient oil,
    batter fluffy ga undhi(water lo float ayyindhi).
    water takkuva use chesanu ,(batter spoon ki stick ayyi undhi jaripoledu)

    can u please suggest me what are the precautions i can take
    while deep drying any item .

    may be smooth paste la mixi lo grind chesa andhukani ila ayyindha.

    Thanks in advance
    with regards

  40. How come my dahi vada’s always go hard in the centre? Is there a way around this? The bhajia is cooked properly, and I throw it straight into cold water after frying. I’m now quite frustrated, how come they always go hard in the centre! Pls help.

    1. If the oil is too hot, the outside of the vada turns brown quickly and crisp before the inside gets a chance to cook. So you need to heat the oil just enough but not piping hot.

    2. Well add baking powder also so they get cooked in the center as well adding baking powder makes a lot of differenc add atleast half tea spoon for 4 to 5 people

  41. your receipes pics are the best even the way u wrote in the language that make us uderstand im your big fan and i hope u make more receipe forward best of luck

  42. Dahi vadas and Dahi bhallas are definitely different. I lived in Delhi where I learnt making of Dahi Bhallas. I will post the recipe shortly, after your consent here.

  43. Dahi vadas and Dahi bhallas are definitely different. I lived in Delhi where I learnt making of Dahi Bhallas. I will post the recipe shortly, after your consent here.

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