Mumbai Street Food Series : Dahi Wadas

Mumbai has a ton of good street food and is a city of a millions of street hawkers. I was lucky to grow up eating all of it! Right from vada pavs to pav bhajis, to chaats, to dosas to name a few! Mumbai is known for its quintessential street food, where you can stand and eat, starting from breakfast to lunch to snacks to dinner to even dessert! If you ever get a chance to try this experience, do not miss it, but make sure that your tummy can handle it ! 🙂 When I go back to visit, I have to make pit stops at all my favorite places. These foods that I grew up eating right from my school days to college days, takes me back to fond memories of my childhood with beloved family and friends. Dahi wadas is one of the street foods as well and is a form of chaat( savory street snack ).

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Mommy used to make dahi wadas quite often. They were a family favorite snack/food/dinner to eat. Some dinners would just be dahi wadas, and we would be so satisfied with these fluffy snacks! Mum would make melt-in-your-mouth wadas, and they were a favorite amongst my friends as well, who would frequent home just to eat mom’s delicious food! She loved to feed people! That was so charming about her. And people enjoyed her food! She could cook for 50 people, and feed them and be completely satisfied that she did so. Whenever I make the Street foods, it reminds me of home, because chaat was invariably there almost everyday at home. We would have chaat after school, it used to be our snack, and some dinners would be just a lot of chaat! How blissful is that?!

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Now my kids are addicted to chaat too, and all the street food that I make at home. That makes me very happy that I can show them a glimpse of my childhood in the present, such that they can enjoy it too! They love it when I make the dahi wadas. The wadas are essentially made of lentils only, along with ginger, green chillies and some salt. The lentils are soaked overnight, and then ground to a pastey consistency. Small balls are deep fried. They are so crispy and delicious when they just come out of the hot oil! They are then soaked in room temperature water for a few seconds, and then the water is squeezed out by pressing it between the palm of your hands. You can store these in the fridge for upto 3-4 days.

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I make a yogurt sauce with a little water, sugar and salt. I spread it on top of a bowl with a few wadas. Then the date-tamarind chutney(recipe is here) is drizzled over the wadas, followed by a sprinkle of red chilli powder, freshly ground cumin powder, salt, chickpea noodles(sev) and cilantro. Eat it immediately, and it is irresistible! I cannot imagine anyone not liking this delicious savory snack! This is as authentic as it can get, and the process is slightly long, but then delicious foods, always take love and time to make ;).

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I hope you get a chance to make this mouth-watering dish! If you do, please do not forget to tag #thejamlab and/or leave a comment below on the blog post.

 

Much love,

XO

Amisha

 

Mumbai Street Food Series : Dahi Wadas

Ingredients

  • Makes about 50 wadas
  • For the Wadas:
  • 2 cups urad daal(split and skinless black gram lentil)
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 green chillies
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp grated ginger
  • 4 tbsp water ( to add later)
  • For the sweetened yogurt(DAHI) :
  • (This measurement is for about 20 vadas)
  • 2 cups plain yogurt(not greek)
  • 1 ½ cup water
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar or 1 ½ tbsp. granulated sugar
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • Date-Tamarind Chutney:
  • (Search on blog for the recipe)
  • This chutney is usually thick. I thin it out by adding water 2 tbsp at a time, until it reaches the consistency slightly thicker than the sweetened yogurt.
  • Ganish:
  • 3 tbsp cumin seeds(toasted for 5 minutes on a pan and ground into a fine powder)
  • Red chilli powder
  • Salt
  • Thin Sev (chickpea noodles – found in Indian grocery stores)
  • 1 cup Finely chopped cilantro
  • Vegetable oil for frying

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, add in the urad daal, and wash it under cold running water, to remove any dirt. Wash it 3-4 times thoroughly. Drain out all the water. Now add in the 3 cups of water, cover with a lid and let it soak overnight or for 8 hours.
  2. Next morning drain out all the water, add the lentils to a high speed blender. Add in about 4 tbsp water, green chillies, ginger, salt and blend till it becomes a smooth paste about 2-3 minutes. You may need to add 2 tbsp more of water, but only if the mixture is not smooth. It needs to be smooth when touched between the index finger and the thumb. Cover it and keep it for half hour.
  3. Now whip the mixture vigorously with either your hand or a handheld mixer for 2 minutes to aerate the batter properly so that the wadas are fluffy in the final assembly of this dish.
  4. Heat vegetable oil on medium to high heat for 5 minutes. Keep a large plate with paper towels ready to drain the excess oil. Add a drop of the batter and if it rises to the top immediately, the oil is hot enough. Else you will have to wait for a minute more for it to heat up. Using 2 tablespoons, drop heapfuls of batter into the oil, releasing with the other tablespoon. You can also use a one tablespoon ice cream scoop for the same. I usually put the batter in the hot oil with my hands, but do not do it if you have not done it before and are not comfortable with it. The little wadas will start browning. Cook on each side for a minute each, until brown. Remove it from the hot oil onto the paper towel to drain the excess oil. Do the same for all the entire batter. OR you could even make half, and store the other half of the batter in the freezer for upto 2 months.
  5. Keep a large bowl with cold water ready. Add the vadas into the cold water and let it soak the water for a minute. Start squeezing the water out from the vada, by placing the vada between your two palms and squeezing lightly. Place it on a separate clean plate. Repeat the process for all the vadas. If not serving immediately, you can keep it in an air tight container in the fridge upto 3 days.
  6. For the dahi, or yogurt, add all the ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk well to combine, till the yogurt mixture is smooth. It should be the consistency of heavy cream. If it is thinner, add in more yogurt. If it is thicker, add in little bit of water to thin it out.
  7. To assemble:
  8. To serve in a large platter, spread all the vadas evenly on the platter. Pour the yogurt slowly over the vadas. The vadas should be covered with all the yogurt mixture. Spread ribbons of the date-tamarind chutney, all over the platter. Sprinkle red chilli powder, cumin powder and salt, one after the other to your liking. You can taste one and see if the seasoning is OK. I usually sprinkle enough to cover each vada. Sprinkle the sev on the top, again to cover each vada. Garnish with the chopped cilantro.
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