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Dahi Bhalla: The Desi Indian Street Snack

We Indians love Chaats, in fact Chaats in India are extremely popular not in our country but even across the globe. Our Indian street food items like pani puri, bhel puri, samosas, chana Ragadas, Jhal muri, vegetable cutlets, dhokla doesn’t need any formal introduction, I feel the name is enough to describe how delicious they are. We make them regularly in our kitchen, but eating them on the streets gives a different level of pleasure. One of the immensely popular and preferred Indian street snack item in India is the Dahi bhallas, trust me they are so delicious that one can just never say no to it. They are also known as Dahi Vada or Curd Vada.

Dahi bhalla: A Must Try North Indian Snack

Dahi bhalla the name itself is making me salivate, like what we say in hindi- “Muh Mein Pani Aa Gaya”. When it comes to street food in north india Dahi Bhallas are one of immensely popular chaat item. Be it any occasion, festival, wedding or parties somehow Dahi Bhallas are always a part of the menu. Preferred by all and relished by all, Dahi Bhallas are high on taste. Fried dumplings (Black Gram\ Urad Daal) dipped into spicy yogurt crowned with sweet and tangy tamrind chutney and for a bit of kick some red chilli powder and black salt. This snack taste absolutely refreshing, it’s the perfect combination of sweet and savory ingredients. Dahi bhallas taste absolutely divine and just melt in the mouth. In fact, one’s taste buds might get confused with the sweet and salty kicks of this dish. If you haven’t tried having them yet, you are surely missing something in life.

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Dahi bhalla: Connection With South India

Being from North India I knew this very dish from my childhood, but when I moved into south I was surprised to eat the South-Indian version of these Dahi bhallas. In South India Dahi Bhallas are known as Curd Vada, unlike the North Indian version these are totally savoury mostly the regular Vadas dipped into Curd which has some really good tadka of mustard seeds, curry leaves and some urad daal. I feel the tadka makes a total difference and takes the South Indian version to a really good level when it comes to taste, and you got to trust me they are absolutely delicious.

Dahi Bhalla: Have Some Patience

I remember the long procedure of making this delicious dish. I always helped my mother in preparing them, the procedure is a bit long with lots of steps but the outcome was always delicious. When I was a child I just couldn’t hold my patience when I came to know Ma was making them, the procedure of soaking and then grinding the lentils to the correct consistency does take some time, but for me it was always hard to wait. The funny part was post Ma fried them and added them into water, I couldn’t wait for that 2 minutes for the dumplings to get soaked up.

Let me give you a glimpse of this long procedure of making dahi bhallas. Don’t be scared its long but very simple. To start with one needs to soak black gram overnight and then wash them and grind it with no or very little water to get that perfect batter. My mom used to then whisk that batter with a pinch of salt, whisking the batter can be a tiring task because it needs to go on and on until the batter feels light and fluffy. Post you get the batter right the dumplings need to be fried up in hot oil, we used to make dumplings with a stuffing of some dry fruits. Fry the dumplings till you get that light golden colur and then drop them into some hot water for about 2 minutes. Now comes to assembling part, take a dumpling and squeeze out the water, add it to some sweet yogurt and top it up with some tangy and sweet tamarind chutney. Over that sprinkle some roasted cumin powder, red chilli powder, some sev and coriander leaves. Tadaaa! What are you waiting for? Hog right into your bowl of delicious Dahi Bhallas.

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Dahi Bhalla: A Snack For Every Celebration

For me Dahi Bhallas have been a part of all celebrations, it’s a snack which tops the menu when it comes to any festival, party or wedding. In fact, when it comes to Indian cuisine, I feel one of the most common appetizer in the menu is Dahi bhalla. In India many people prepare the Dahi Bhalla on the Holi festival.

Do Taste It On The Roadside Chaatwala’s Shop

I know moms are the best cook and nothing can beat the taste of their hands. But trust me our bhallas taste much tastier at the local Chaatwala shop. Somehow it tastes totally different from our homemade ones. I remember getting my plate of Dahi Bhalla customized by that Chaatwala Bhaiya, since I love curd I used to make sure my bhallas were floating in curd and even had enough of that sweet and tangy Imly (Tamrind) chutney.

There are many versions of Dahi Bhallas made across different states of India. In Gujarat the Dahi Bhallas are sweet and spicy with liberal amount of curd and in Punjab the Dahi Bhallas are salty with loads of curd. Different sizes, shapes and stuffing make these bhallas absolutely different from each other yet nothing can beat them when it comes to taste. Best part about this very dish is that people of all age groups love it, especially children. I am sure you too would want to eat this delicious dish, won’t you?

Featured Photo of ‘Dahi Vada from Sameer Goyal’ by Sameer Goyal under CC BY-SA 2.0



Meghna is an MBA HR by profession, she has 5 years of corporate experience in HR and Admin. She has a very simple style of writing this is one reason why her work reaches easily to different types of people. Apart from writing she also loves to shop be it real or window she can spend hours shopping :).

Currently, her little one keeps her occupied. However, her passion for writing still forces her to take some time out time and pen down her thoughts into words. She truly loves both her jobs, looking after her naughty little kid at time same time create quality content for the website.

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