Dahi Vada – Indian Appetizer Recipe

Dahi Vada are dumplings made from split black gram beans (urad daal) and soaked in a yogurt sauce. Sweet, tangy and spicy toppings such as tamarind chutney, coriander chutney, red chili powder, etc are layered on to make dahi vada a super delicious appetizer or chaat item.

Prep Time: Overnight or minimum 6 hrs soaking/ 10 minutes grinding time/ 25 minutes assembling time
Cooking Time: approx 20 minutes
Chill Time: minimum 1 hour
Makes approx 15 vadas


Split Black Gram (Urad daal) – 1 cup
Water – little over 1/2 cup for grinding
Roasted Cumin Powder – 1/4 tsp for the batter
Salt – to taste
Oil – for deep frying
Yogurt – 2 cups, well beaten
Water or Milk to thin yogurt – as needed
Chaat Masala – to taste, for garnishing
Roasted Cumin Powder – to taste, for garnishing
Red Chili Powder – to taste, for garnishing
Green Chutney – to taste, for garnishing
Tamarind Chutney – to taste, for garnishing
Cilantro/Coriander – finely chopped, for garnishing


1. Soak Urad Daal for minimum of 6 hrs or overnight if possible.
2. Drain off all of the water and grind daal in a blender using very little water.
3. Remove batter into a bowl and add Salt and Roasted Cumin Powder.
4. Whip the batter with a spoon to make it light and fluffy.
5. Heat Oil on medium heat.
6. To make the vadas, wet you hand and scoop up a small portion of batter in your hand.
7. Using your thumb, make a small hole in the center of the batter.
8. Gently flip the batter into the hot oil. Repeat process for all the batter.
9. Allow the vada to cook until golden brown on one side and then flip to the other side and cook again.
10. Remove the vada onto a paper towel lined plate and let them cool for a few minutes.
11. Take a medium bowl filled with water and add a little salt to it.
12. Drop the cooled vada into the water and allow them to soak for 15-20 minutes.
13. Remove vada and gently press them in your palms to squeeze out the water.
14. Place squeezed vada into a serving platter or dish.
15. Add enough water (or milk if your yogurt is sour) to yogurt to make it pouring consistency.
16. Pour yogurt over the vada to completely coat and submerge them.
17. Sprinkle Chaat Masala, Roasted Cumin Powder, Red Chili Powder to taste over the yogurt.
18. Top with Coriander or Mint Chutney and Tamarind Chutney.
19. Garnish with chopped cilantro/coriander leaves.
20. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

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0 thoughts on “Dahi Vada – Indian Appetizer Recipe

  1. Will the vadas be hard if I use gram flour (besan) or moong flour along with the urad? Does it matter if they are too old or fresh?

  2. Hi Hetal and Anju

    Whenever my wife make Dahi Bada’s they EXPLODE. Some even jump out of oil. Oil and dahi dadas splatters every where. What can she do to make normal Dahi Bada’s other than putting on bomb diffusion gear while frying these exploding things.

    1. Hi Pradeep,

      Hmmmm… the only thing I can think of is that she has too much water on her hands and the water is causing the oil to “explode”.

    1. Hi Meenu,

      We have never tried using urad powder to make dahi bhalla…sorry. I have tried it in dosa and it did not work out for me.

  3. Hello Hetal and Anuja,

    enjoyed your recipe. can I make the batter ahead of time and make the vadas the next day? What should i keep in mind?

    thank you.

  4. Hi Hetal and Anuja,
    Thanks for this wonderful recipe.I have tried lots of your recipe and all come out to be really good specially ras malai,daal makhani,jeera rice,spinach pulao, walnut bread and lots more.I have one query.For this recipe can I whisk the yogurt with the ingredients you use for garnishing and add to vada or add the garnishing in layers on top of vada while refrigerating.I am going to make 30 vadas so have to keep them in layers

    1. Hi Manjistha,

      Layering dahi vada is probably not a good idea. The whole presentation is each individual vada covered with the garnishing. The different colors and garnish make the dish. If you layer them, the bottom ones will look bad and they may clump together. I would suggest using different pans and placing them in a single layer. If you don’t have that many pans, you can even use the disposable foil pans available at grocery stores.

  5. hello hetal n anuja, I’ve a quick question for you. which blender do you use for making idli and vada batter? I’ve seen you guys use magic bullet for some stuff, food processor for some and some other blender for some stuff. can you please tell me the brand and specs (like power of motor)of food processor and blender do you use ?

    1. Hi Shirisha,

      For Idli/Dosa, we use an Indian style mixie or stone grinder (depending on the quantity we are making). Some of our equipment is pretty old so we don’t even know if they make those models anymore. When buying grinders/blenders, etc, look at the watts. Buy the most watts you can afford…the more watts, the more power you will get. Cuisinart and Black and Decker are some of the brands we’ve used before.

  6. My husband very much Dahivada person. From your way to make dahivada he is sooooo happy. This is only way work perfectly. Thanks.

  7. Hello,
    To whip the batter to make it light and fluffy, can I use the electric whipper?
    Thank you in advance. Dani wada is my favorite dish can’t wait to make it:)

    1. Hi Newbee,

      hmmm…we have never used an electric whipper but the batter may be too thick and could potentially burn out the motor.

  8. I am not able to make by hand so I got Anjali machin. Can you please teach how to use that machin because it does not work.i search around and only for some girls it work. It will be a great help if you teach us.

    Please show us how to use that machin because tried all the tricks and I fail.

  9. Hi

    I love your recipe. I am a south indian and our dahi vadas are totally different. I will try this soon.

    Just a small suggestion. I dip my vadas in milk before putting them in the yogurt. It not only tastes good but also helps absorb the yogurt well.

    For those interested in the south indian dahi vada:

    To garnish the yogurt— Dilute the yogurt really well and add salt. In a little oil,fry some mustard seeds, hing, curry leaves, green or red chillies. Add it to the curd mix well.

    Now fry the vadas, put them in milk and let it stay there till you put in another batch in the oil. When this batch is frying,take the vadas from milk and put them in the garnished yogurt.

    You don’t have to squeeze the milk out as any milk that falls in the yogurt will dilute it and keep it fresh longer.

    Garnish with chopped cilantro.

    For parties just make them the previous day with the yogurt and all. Before serving just dilute some yogurt, add a little more(not too much)tadka and pour on to the vadas.

    Just remember to put your dahi vadas in a large spacious container as once the yogurt is all soaked up it will increase in size.

  10. Hi Hetal & Anuja,

    Love your recipes..the way you guys present them is superb.
    i have tried many of ur recipes and they turned out above my expectations.

    Only problem i have had is with dahi vada. every time i have tried them they turn out hard. i follow exactly ur step to step recipe.i am not able to figure out what goes wrong.

    Pls advice.

    1. HI Vibha,
      The only thing we can think of is the soaking – hope you are soaking the vadas for 20 mins? It makes a world of a difference…
      Thanks for the compliment 🙂

  11. Hi Hetal and Anuja,

    Thanks for all the lovely recipes. I tried making Dahi Vada today.But my problem was that I could not grind the dal properly in the Hamilton Beach Blender. Could you suggest me what blender did you guy s use in your video?

    Jyoti Jain

  12. Ladies,

    I made dahi wada yesterday and it turned our to be awesome !!!! exactly the way you guys showed it. Really happy !!! you ladies are wonderful.. keep up the good work.

  13. Hi

    i learned so many recipe’s through your website and thanks a lot .
    I have very different problem,
    i followed u r check list properly but i soaked overnight

    1. having enough oil,
    2. i whip properly until the batter is floating on the
    stable water (i.e fluffy )
    3. the batter is not watery and is standing on the spoon
    whit out falling.

    My Problem:

    when i started making vada 1st batch is good.
    but from 2nd batch onwards oil started splattering(after putting batter obviously it splatters but what happened is after cooking for 10 min ), what i observed is vadas are having crack’s on outer layer and it is totally separating and become like crispy shell to inside one.
    i changed the shape to very small balls ,even small ball is also cracking i never experienced ,and finally i stop making due to oil splattered on my hand .
    exploding like bomb oil splattered through out the stove top.

    please advise me what are the precautions i can take .
    not only for vada any kind out deep oil frying .
    waiting for u r reply.
    thank’s in advance

    with regards

    1. Hi yg,
      Sounds like a water issue…do you think that your hand is too wet. When water falls into hot oil, it crackles and explodes…try not to drip too much water when you are dropping the vadas.

      1. always step away and don’t stand too close to the oil.
      2. don’t drop in the food with a splash
      3. don’t wear synthetics while frying
      You may want to invest in a deep-fryer if you fry a lot.
      Hope that helps!

      1. Thanks Anuja.
        I used the deep fryer .
        Next time i will take precautions .
        once again thanks for u r reply.

  14. hi, hetal and anuja,
    i am planning to prepare in my son birthday.shall i put in curd before everybody comes it will be tasty or give one suggestion it easy for me


    1. Hi Lakshmi,

      You can add most of the yogurt beforehand so that the vadas can absorb it. Just a little before your guests arrive, you can add more yogurt so that they don’t look like they are dry. Garnish after you add the remaining yogurt.

  15. Hi Hetal and Anuja,
    Thanks for this receipe,I faced a different problem in doing this..I soaked the vada in curd for more than 4 hrs but still the vada didnt absorb the curd and it is hard too..why do i face this ?


        1. Hi Charu,

          The only thing I can think of is that the vadas did not get cooked properly from the inside (it can happen if the oil is too hot and the outside gets brown fast but the inside remains uncooked). In this case, they will not absorb any liquid.

    1. Vadas really need to be fried, but honestly we’ve not tried to bake them. Maybe if anyone one else has attempted to bake vadas, they can comment.

  16. Hi Hetal and Anuja,

    Thanks for this recipe. I have a potluck tomorrow. I am planning to make the vadas today and refrigerate it. Should I be soaking the vadas in the water tomoro when assembling everything or should I be doing it today before putting the vadas in the refrigerator or should I assemble everything with yogurt and just leave the garnishing part for tomorrow.


    1. Hi Lavanya,

      You can fry the vadas today and keep them in a tightly covered container (or ziploc bag) in the fridge. Tomorrow, soak them in warm water with a bit of salt in it. Squeeze out the water and follow the remaining steps. If you do any of the other steps today, the vadas will not hold shape. Be sure to have the yogurt on the thinner side as the vadas will continue to soak it up, else, they will look dry. Good luck!

        1. Hi Hetal,

          It turned out really good and it was definitely a big hit in the potluck! 🙂

          Happy New Year to u and ur family.


  17. Hi,
    My vadas have gotli’s, i.e when you squeeze out the water after soaking them, you dont feel sponge feeling, there is kind of another ball in it, and outer cover becomes different.
    Can you suggest how can I form a uniform ball?, Pls answer soon, as I have a potluck coming …

    1. Hi Mamta,

      The hard center forms if your heat is too high. The outside becomes brown before the inside has a chance to cook. If you reduce your heat, your vadas should be fine. Good luck!

      1. Thanks Hetal, for your such a prompt reply.
        I am one of the fans of your website and try almost all the dishes. Appreciate your tip, will try again.

  18. Hi all,

    I read in one of the comments that you used chana dal flour. I want to tell you all that most of the times while blending, the batter becomes very fluidy so to bring the consistency back to thick I always add some urad dal flour. Believe me, it works and the vadas are perfect any shape you want… 🙂

    Hope this helps those who face the same problem.


  19. Thanks Hetal and Anuja I tried this recipe first time this karwachauth and it turned out just perfect, Everyone loved it..
    Thanks for the recipes..keep up the good work..

  20. This is SOOO good! I just recently started trying to make Indian chaats, and ooo I love this! Thanks so much!

    I also found a trick – if I added too much water, I just add a little gram flour and it works great and I can make the hole and everything 😉

    I also had the problem of the vadas sticking to the bottom of the pan – in my case it was because I didn’t have enough oil in the pan. Now I make sure to have enough so when I drop the vadas in they never hit the bottom, then there’s no problem.

    I love the vadas by themselves, too! A great, healthier substitute if you’re in the mood for donuts.

    1. Hi Nulasha,

      Thanks for sharing your tip about the gram flour. Had a question…is it gram flour (besan) that you are using or black gram flour (urad flour)?

      1. I used chana dal gram flour since that’s what I have at home. I’m sure the urad flour would work great, too, probably better, since we’re using urad dal. I don’t have any though since I never use it.

  21. Thanks for the great directions. I add a pinch of hing to the dal batter to help alleviate the “not so digestion friendly” characteristic of urad dal. I also have heard of alot of cooks adding baking soda — is it an unnecessary addition?

    1. Adding Baking Soda will lighten the vadas, but usually, they will absorb more oil. If you whip the batter enough, it should be fine. Baking soda is also used to make things crisp but since urad daal vadas are super crisp anyway, you don’t need the baking soda.

  22. i think i had enough oil for frying and i beat the batter with a whisk. but i had another problem, the daal didn’t grind very well, most of it was whole daal even though i soaked it for more than twelve hours. and the daal was pretty old like 3 or 4 years. could that be the reason????

    1. Yes, the old daal is probably the reason your vadas were sticking. After 12 hours, the daal should definitely have soaked. Urad daal can soak in little as 2 hours.

  23. Hi, Hetal aunty and Anuja aunty. i tried making this recipe but my vadas stick to the bottom of the pan. can you tell me why it does that???

    1. Hi Falguni,

      Here are 2 things I can think of:
      1. Did you have enough oil in the pan to allow the vada to deep fry?
      2. Did you whip up the batter (beat it really well with your hand) to be light and fluffy so that the vadas float on the oil?

  24. Hi Hetal and Anuja.

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipes with us. I have a query. I use Gits instant mix for dahi vada. Can i prepare the vadas from Gits one day before and freeze it and use it the next day. I have a party this friday so ur advice would be really helpful.
    Thank you once again.

    1. Hi Hetal and Anuja.
      Thanks for showing this interesting recipe.I wud like to know if i can fry the “VADAS” 2days before and keep them in fridge. Looking forward for new recipes. KEEP IT UP …BYE

      1. Hi Param,
        You can make the vadas ahead of time. They stay wonderful in the fridge (for a few days) and in the freezer (for a few months).

  25. Hi,
    has anybody tried vada using vadamaker r doughnut maker,cause i have tried vada thro vadamaker but for me the vada does not fall from the mould it gets stuck to it ,can anyone one tell the proper method to use it.

    1. Hi

      for the vada maker, the batter needs little more water than usual, add little water at a time and if you mix and scoop with a spoon, drop it, it should fall, if it is still stuck to the spoon, then it needs little water. If you make it too watery, it will absorb lot of oil.

  26. Hi Hetal and Anuja,

    I wanted to let you know that in india you can actually get a vada maker. so then you dont have to get your hands all messy with the urad dal. Here in USA you can buy a donot maker and that will do the same thing. I can never make the vada’s with my hand so this is a really good tip for those who struggle with this.

    1. I got vada maker but how it work? I found by hetal’s method it is more easy. There is no you tube about vada maker. I put udaddal which is grinded and press it and it is messy.

  27. Hi Sanchitha,

    Coconut sounds like a wonderful variation to dahi vada. Will definitely have to try it out next time. Thanks for the suggestion.

  28. Hey Hetal and Anuja,

    I love you recipes and everything that I have tried so far has tasted great!!! I do a small variation to this dahi vada . instead of just adding just the yogurt I grind some coconut and green chillies and mix it with the yougurt before pouring on the vadas. I’m south Indian so I like coconut. This is just a suggestions!

    you guys rock!


  29. hi
    hetal n anuja

    very nice recipe thanks

    can u show us some recipes of rice paper? i have rice paper but i dont have any idea, how to use it?


  30. hi
    well thanks for that recipe.
    I never knew that dahi vada can b made this way as well. I usually made it the same way like i make pakoras n then just after frying put it into the water for ONE minute maximum n then take it out squeeze out da water n then put it into the yogurt which is actually a raita. n that takes me all together 15 – 20 mins. Why does this style of making take so long?

    1. its taking them long coz they are presenting it to us and giving us instruction along the way.iam sure they will take 15 to 20 mins if they are doing it at home minus all the instructions.

  31. Hi Shivani,
    Rice Paper is available at most of the regular grocery stores in the international aisle. They look like ‘see-through papad’ and you have to (quick) dip them in water to make them soft…so look-out for them. We have seen them at Walmarts, Krogers and ofcourse, Oriental grocery stores.

  32. Hi Hetal & Anuja,

    Very Delicious Recipe!
    I would like to ask one more question about
    rice paper (usually used in Chinese Recipe)
    U Have Any Idea where do i get it from? Any special department store in USA?

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