I think most visitors to this blog (at least those from India) will most probably heave deep sighs at the above. And since a pix of the dahi vadas is already up and I did promise the recipe would follow, here we go.
Preparation time: 1 hr and more (this is a slightly time consuming recipe, esp since you will need to deep fry the dumplings, overnight soak not taken into account here)
Urad ki dal (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urad_%28bean%29): 2 katori/cups; moong dal (see: http://www.foodsubs.com/Lentils.html) 1/3 katori
Ginger: peeled, grated fine/peeled and juiced: 20gm
Hing (Asafoetida): a pinch
Lal mirchi (red chilli powder): 1/2 tsp
Oil for deep frying
Dahi/Curd for serving: 400 gm
Imli (tamarind) ki chutney for the garnish (N number of ways of making this, every house has its own recipe, will put mine up shortly)
Salt (Kala namak): to taste
Bhuna Jeera (Roasted cumin powder): 1 tsp
Fresh Coriander: 1 sprig, washed, cleaned, chopped
Wash the dal well, twice or thrice, then soak overnight. In the morning, wash again, then put into the grinder jar and grind till smooth (if too thick, spoon in water, adding a cup or a half will lead to batter becoming watery). Once initial grinding is done, add in the grated/juiced ginger, hing, mirchi, run mixer again on high for about 2 min. Turn batter into a bowl, cover and keep aside.
Take a kadhai (or deep, thick bottomed wok), ensure it is absolutely dry, add oil for deep frying and place on flame. Heat the oil on high till it is nice and hot. Take a table spoon or bigger (depending on what size you want the vadas to be), spoon in batter into the hot oil, taking care not to spoon too many in at one go. By this time your oil will be smoking hot, so reduce flame, turn vadas/dumplings over in the oil carefully so as to ensure one side does not get burnt (Use a scooper that has holes in the spoon side so that the oil drains off – hindi mein “poney” kehte hain usko) I prefer my vadas to be light golden in color, you can fry them a darker golden if you so want. Once the vadas are fried to your desired color, scoop out and drain on paper. Try to finish all the batter in one go, keeping it for later would lead to batter turning sour.
Once all vadas are fried, place them in a tray/dish and keep aside.
The above quantity makes approximately about 25+ medium sized vadas/dumplings
Say about an hour or two before serving, heat up some water, soak the cooked vadas in it for about 7-10 min. Take out, squeeze the water out and get ready to lay the dish.
Gently whip the set curd, if too thick you may dilute it with a little cold milk, add salt (kala namak to taste), bhuna jeera and lal mirchi.
Would suggest you use a moderately deep serving bowl, layer the bottom with whipped curd and lay out the vadas, spoon some more whipped curd over this, add another layer of vadas and then curd, till all vadas have been covered. Drizzle imli ki chutney on top (you can drizzle between layers also – depends on how much effort you want to undertake) You may want to keep some extra curd at hand since the vadas will absorb all this curd. Sprinkle some bhuna jeera (as per taste and preference) and freshly chopped coriander on top, refrigerate. Serve cold (with extra dahi and imli ki chutney).
Makes for a delicious dish by itself or as a member of the chaat party!