The thought of dahi vada conjures up images of soft cold vada in cold curd which melts when placed on the tongue. It was a favorite dish of my family with Mom looking for excuses to prepare it. The best part about dadi vada is that it can be prepared 2-3 days in advance of the occasion and keeps well for a couple of days later also.
200 gms urad dal
100 gms curd
Soak urad dal overnight. Drain the water and grind it in a mixer. Add a little salt to it. Since the curd will also have salt, make sure the salt added to vada compensates it. The consistency of the vada mixture should be such that it does not flow freely. Heat oil in a pan to fry the vada. Now comes the difficult part. Spread a wet muslin cloth on a rolling board. Wet the cloth with water. Place a small ball of vada mix on it and spread into a flat ball while making a hole in the middle. Lift the vada carefully and fry it in the oil till golden brown. Drop the fried vada into a pot of water till soft. Squeeze out the water and keep aside.
Lifting the vada off the cloth takes some practice. You can make the vada on your hand also. Wet the palm of your hand and prepare the vada on it for frying.
Mix curd with a little water to make it thin. Add a little salt and mix properly. Take a container with a flat base and pour a thin layer of curd in it. Put a layer of vada on it. Pour another layer of curd and then another layer of vada and so on till all the vadas are covered with curd. The vadas will soak the curd and become soft. Refrigerate. The left over curd can be used to garnish the dahi vada.
To serve, place 2 dahi vada on a plate. Pour a few spoonfuls of beaten curd over it. Add tamarind chutney and sprinkle white salt, black salt, red chilli powder and roasted zeera powder on it. Use aloo bhujia to top it off.
Tip: You can use ready-made vada mix also to directly prepare the vadas.