The most wonderful part of an Indian festival is perhaps the food.
Raksha Bandhan celebrations are a great time to conjure up Chef Sabyasachi Gorai‘s soft Dahi Vadas that also, interestingly, contain walnuts.
Generously topped with yoghurt, it can be had as a side dish to a fancy meal or as a snack.
Chef Saby manages 12 restaurants between various metros and travels many days in a month. He says many of his ideas come to him at airport lounges.
He doesn’t like eating in restaurants and prefers cadging invites to meals at people’s homes. You are welcome to invite the chef over for a home-cooked meal.
For the vadas
- ¾ cup urad dal or split white lentils
- ¼ tsp hing or asafoetida
- 1 tsp ginger-green chilly paste
- Salt to taste
- Oil for deep frying
- 2 cups finely chopped walnuts
- Cold filtered/mineral/boiled water
For the yoghurt
- 1 cup whisked yoghurt
- 2 tbsp sugar
- Pinch black salt
- Salt to taste
- Chilly powder, for sprinkling
- Roasted jeera or cumin powder, for sprinkling
- 2 tbsp finely chopped green dhania or coriander or cilantro, to garnish
- Few mint leaves, to garnish
- Chopped walnuts, to garnish
- Pomegranate, to garnish
- Green chutney, to serve
- Soak the urad dal in water in a deep bowl for about 2 hours.
Drain well and blend in a mixer to a coarse paste.
Add water up to ¼ cup to reach the desired consistency.
Transfer the mixture into a bowl.
Add the asafoetida, ginger-green chilly paste, salt, finely chopped walnuts and 1½ tbsp of water.
- Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed kadhai or frying pan over medium-high heat.
Wet a deep ladle with a little water, pour 1 tbsp of the batter in it and pour into the hot oil.
Deep-fry the vada over medium heat till it turns golden brown.
Up to 2-3 vadas can be deep-fried at a time in a batch.
Repeat the process till the batter is finished.
Soak the deep-fried vadas immediately in a bowl of cold water for 20 minutes.
Squeeze out the excess water by pressing the vadas gently between your palms.
- In a bowl mix the yoghurt, sugar, black salt, regular salt.
- For serving, arrange the vadas in a large flat serving dish and spread the yoghurt mixture evenly over it.
Finally sprinkle a little of the chilly powder and the cumin powder.
Garnish with the chopped coriander, pomegranate, chopped walnuts, mint and serve with a dollop of green chutney over each vada.
Editor’s Note: For Jain Dahi Vadas, skip the ginger.
For vegan, Dahi Vadas, use vegan yoghurt instead of regular yoghurt.
You might considering serving the Dahi Vadas with imli chutney too.
To make imli chutney use the preparation for imli chutney in this recipe.
To make green chutney use the preparation for green chutney in this recipe.
What will you cook along with the Dahi Vadas? What about Rachna‘s Peas Pulau? And Sangita Agrawal‘s Afghani Paneer?
Chef Sabyasachi Gorai is a consultant chef and mentor.
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