Dahi Vada: The Cool Snack
Evening snacks are essential to maintain a healthy diet as it is important to fill the gap between lunch and dinner. According to my choice, the evening snack should be healthy without compromising the taste. Dahi vada is a popular snack in India which is available as a street food in the nooks and corners of Indian streets, but it is an easy to cook recipe, can be made at home. When prepared at home, it becomes much healthier and if you add the secret ingredient i.e. love, taste generates wonders. The most interesting thing about this dish is that, it plays with all the palates of the taste catalogue that a tongue can feel and comes out as a delicious treat. My eyes are losing track of what I am writing as I can only see the delicious yogurt coated balls in front of me. Okay, back on track, so what was I telling? Yeah, this is a quick recipe and can be prepared without much hassle. It used to be a difficult task earlier, however with increasing consumerism and the market becoming more consumer friendly, rather producing laziness as a by-product of its expansion, cooking has become a child's play. I have seen my mother soaking the pulses overnight and then grinding it to make the batter for frying; now-a-days, we get ground pulses in the supermarkets, so it's just the matter of mixing the ingredients and performing the art of cooking.
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Yields: Serves four
Fennel seeds - One and half teaspoons
Curd/Yogurt - 1 medium sized bowl
Mint leaves - 2 sprigs
Coriander/cilantro leaves - 3 sprigs (1 sprig, finely chopped)
Black salt - half a teaspoon
Roasted cumin seed and coriander powder - half a teaspoon
Red chili powder - a pinch
Tamarind and dates sauce - according to taste (I will be providing the recipe below)
Salt - a pinch (to taste)
Baking soda - half a teaspoon
Bhujia sev - for garnishing (optional)
Water - as required
Oil - to fry
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Take black gram flour in a bowl and add fennel seeds in it. Add a pinch of salt and baking soda and mix well. Now add some water to it and make a paste. Heat oil in a wok. Now make balls from the paste we just prepared and deep fry them. Take water in a bowl and soak the fried balls in it for two minutes.
Take mint leaves and coriander/ cilantro leaves and put them in a blending bowl. Add little salt and a little water. Blend it in a blender.
Take yogurt or curd in a bowl and stir it vigorously, so that there is no lump left. If you are concerned about calories, you can use low fat yogurt.
Take out the fried balls from water and put them in a plate. Pour stirred yogurt over it. Now add the mint and coriander leaves mixture. Add tamarind and dates sauce, a pinch of black salt, roasted cumin seed and coriander powder, chili powder and chopped coriander leaves.
Garnish with bhujia sev. Serve cold.
This is how it looks like
Recipe for Tamarind and Dates Sauce
Soak tamarinds in water for an hour and smash it. Take out the extract in a blending utensil. Now de-seed 7-8 dates and add to the blending bowl. Add salt to taste and 2 teaspoons of sugar to counter the sourness. Add cumin seed powder, coriander powder and half a teaspoon red chili powder. Add little water to the ingredients in the bowl and blend in a blender.
Now heat oil in a pan. Add 1/4th teaspoon of fenugreek seeds, 1/4th teaspoon of mustard seeds and a dried red chili (or dried chili flakes) to the oil. Once the seeds start spluttering add the mixture of tamarind and dates into it. Let it come to boil and turn the oven off. This can be stored for a week in the refrigerator. This sauce enhances the taste of any snack.
Tamarind and Dates Sauce
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