Dahi Bhalla – Tips to Make Soft Bhalla

Make the softest Dahi Bhalla with this fool-proof recipe!

These lentil fritters are dunked in yogurt and topped with spicy and sweet chutneys. No celebration in my house was complete without them.

dahi bhalla served in a bowl and garnished with chutneys with two spoons kept on on side and bowls of spices in the background

If there was one thing which mom always made for all festivals, it was this- Dahi Bhalla!

Whether it was Holi, Diwali or Raksha Bandhan, these were always on the table.

Dahi Bada is what we call them in eastern Uttar Pradesh, in Delhi they are usually called Dahi Bhalla.

Well, whatever you call them the bottom line is they are delicious and a must have for festivals.

So what are dahi bhalle? These are deep fried fritters made with lentils.

They are served with topping of yogurt and chutneys and that’s what makes them so delectable.

My mom always made dahi bada with urad dal dhuli (split & dehusked black gram lentil).

However I use a combination of 2 dals- urad dal and moong dal dhuli (split & dehusked mung beans).

I learnt to make dahi bhalla this way from my mother-in-law. She makes them the best!

Tips to Make Soft Bhalla

When I first started making them, my dahi bhalle won’t be soft.

Once, they even burst into oil, yeah I have had my share of kitchen disasters.

But over the years, I have learnt some tips which make the softest and fluffiest dahi bhalla and I am excited to share those with you guys!

Use half moong and half urad dal: like I said, my mother-in-law does this and I have learnt this from her. If you prefer a more prominent urad dal flavor, you can do 75% urad dal and 25% moong dal.

But I do 50-50!

Do not add a lot of water to grind the dal: just enough the grind them to a thick paste.

Don’t forget salt in batter: when grinding the batter, remember to add salt to it.

Beat the batter using stand mixer: very important to aerate the batter and for that I usually use my stand mixer.

You can use your hand mixer or even use a whisk and mix with your hands until batter looks fluffy.

Once whisked well, batter will change color and become lighter, look aerated and almost double in size.

To test if it’s done, drop some batter in a bowl full of water, the batter should float. Which means it’s light and airy and ready for frying.

dahi bhalla cut into half to show the texture of the bhalla

Make equal sized bhalla by using a ice cream scoop: I use a mini ice cream scoop to drop bhalla into hot oil. This way they all are of similar size and I don’t have dip my hands into the batter either.

Heat oil at correct temperature: for the bhalla, the oil should be on medium heat. If too hot, the bhalle will become brown quickly but will be under-cooked from inside.

If the oil is cold, it will soak a lot of oil. So medium heat is what it needs to be.

Soak fried bhalle in warm water water for 15 to 20 minutes: once the bhallas are fried let them cool a bit and then dip them in warm (not lukewarm) water for 15 to 20 minutes.

The bhallas will increase in size and become really soft.

Then you squeeze water from each bhalla carefully by pressing between your palm and transfer to a container and add yogurt.

Freezing the Dahi Bhalla

These bhalla freeze so well and honestly I love this about them!

I often make a big batch (because I hate frying) so I will make a big batch one and then freeze them to use later.

To freeze, fry the bhallas and let them cool down completely.

Then transfer to a freezer bag, I line the bag with sheet of paper towel first.

Squeeze all the air out of the freezer bag and freeze. Oh and don’t forget to write down the date on the bag before you freeze it.

I have successfully frozen these for up to 2 months.

picture of dahi bhalla placed in a freezer bag and date is labelled on the bag

When you want to eat them, simply heat water in a pan and then add the frozen bhallas to the hot water.

Let it remain like that for 20 to 30 minutes. Then squeeze the water from the bhalla carefully by pressing between your palms and then dunk them in yogurt and follow the rest of the steps as it is.

I hope these tips will be helpful and you will give these dahi bhalla a try soon!

 

Method

1- Rinse the dals with water and soak overnight in 3 to 4 cups water.

2- In the morning, drain the water and transfer the drained dal to a blender along with 1/3 cup water (approx), salt and cumin seeds.

3- Grind the mixture to a smooth paste.

4- Then transfer the batter to a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment. You can also use a hand mixer here or use your hands and mix with a whisk/spoon.

Beat at medium speed for 5 minutes (using the whisk attachment) until the batter doubles in size and becomes fluffy.

It will also become lighter in color. If mixing by hands, whisk for around 10 minutes.

step by step picture collage of making dahi bhalla

5- To check if the batter is ready for frying, drop some of it in a jar of water, it should float which means it’s airy and ready to fry.

6- Heat oil in a kadai on medium heat. Oil should neither be too hot, nor too cold. If it’s too hot- bhalla will become brown quickly but will be raw from inside.

Once the oil is heated, use a ice cream scoop or use your hands to drop batter into the hot oil. Do not overcrowd the kadai, give enough space for the bhallas to fry.

7- Fry the bhalla on medium heat, stir often.

8- Fry until they turn golden brown, this will take around 8-9 minutes on medium heat. Remove fried bhalla on paper towel.

Repeat until all batter is finished.

step by step picture collage of making dahi bhalla

9- Let the bhallas cool. Once cooled, add fried bhalla to warm water for 20 minutes. Bhalla will swell up and increase in size.

10- After 20 minutes, take each bhalla and squeeze gently between your palms to drain water, repeat with all the bhallas.

Meanwhile whisk 2 to 3 cups plain yogurt. Add little water or milk to thin it down.

11- Add bhalla to a bowl and then cover with the whisked yogurt.

Let it sit in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

12- Whisk the remaining 3 cups yogurt and add some salt and sugar to it. The yogurt should be thick but pouring consistency.

Take out the bhalla from the refrigerator, place each in serving tray.

Then pour the whisked yogurt all over. In total I used around 5 to 6 cups of yogurt here.

step by step picture collage of making dahi bhalla

Sprinkle cumin powder, red chili powder and salt on top.

Top the dahi bhalla with cilantro chutney, sweet chutney, sev and serve! You may also garnish with pomegranate arils, cilantro.

9 dahi bhalla arranged in a bowl and garnished with chutneys

If you’ve tried this Dahi Bhalla Recipe then don’t forget to rate the recipe! You can also follow me on FacebookInstagram to see what’s latest in my kitchen!

Dahi Bhalla

Soft Dahi Bhalla dunked in yogurt and topped with chutneys! These deep fried lentil fritters are popular street snack in North India!

dahi bhalla served in a bowl and garnished with chutneys with two spoons kept on on side and bowls of spices in the background
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Indian
Keyword dahi bhalla
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 38 small bhalla
Calories: 77 kcal
Author: Manali
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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup urad dal dhuli, 100 grams, split & dehusked black gram lentil
  • 1/2 cup moong dal dhuli, 100 grams, split & dehusked mung beans
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • water, to grind the dal, approx 1/3 cup water
  • oil, to fry the vadas, I used canola oil

To serve

  • 5-6 cups plain yogurt, or you can use more to taste
  • cilantro chutney, to drizzle on top
  • sweet tamarind chutney, to drizzle on top
  • cumin powder, to sprinkle
  • red chili powder, to sprinkle
  • salt, to sprinkle
  • sev, optional, to sprinkle

Instructions

  1. Rinse the dals with water and soak overnight in 3 to 4 cups water.

  2. In the morning, drain the water and transfer the drained dal to a blender along with 1/3 cup water (approx), salt and cumin seeds.

    Grind the mixture to a smooth paste.

  3. Then transfer the batter to a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment. You can also use a hand mixer here or use your hands and mix with a whisk/spoon.

    Beat at medium speed for 5 minutes (using the whisk attachment) until the batter doubles in size and becomes fluffy.

    It will also become lighter in color. If mixing by hands, whisk for around 10 minutes.

  4. To check if the batter is ready for frying, drop some of it in a jar of water, it should float which means it's airy and ready to fry.

  5. Heat oil in a kadai on medium heat. Oil should neither be too hot, nor too cold. If it's too hot- bhalla will become brown quickly but will be raw from inside.

  6. Once the oil is heated, use a ice cream scoop or use your hands to drop batter into the hot oil. Do not overcrowd the kadai, give enough space for the bhallas to fry.

  7. Fry the bhalla on medium heat, stir often. Fry until they turn golden brown, this will take around 8-9 minutes on medium heat. Remove fried bhalla on paper towel.

    Repeat until all batter is finished.

  8. Let the bhallas cool. Once cooled, add fried bhalla to warm water for 20 minutes. Bhalla will swell up and increase in size.

  9. After 20 minutes, take each bhalla and squeeze gently between your palms to drain water, repeat with all the bhallas.

  10. Meanwhile whisk 2 to 3 cups plain yogurt. Add little water or milk to thin it down.

    Add bhalla to a bowl and then cover with the whisked yogurt. Let it sit in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

  11. Whisk the remaining 3 cups yogurt and add some salt and sugar to it (to taste). The yogurt should be thick but pouring consistency.

  12. Take out the bhalla from the refrigerator, place each in serving tray.

    Then pour the whisked yogurt all over. In total I used around 5 to 6 cups of yogurt here.

  13. Sprinkle cumin powder, red chili powder and salt on top.

    Top the dahi bhalla with cilantro chutney, sweet chutney, sev and serve! You may also garnish with pomegranate arils.

Recipe Notes

  1. You may use 75% urad dal and 25% moong dal if you like more prominent flavor of urad dal in your bhalla.
  2. I haven't mentioned the amount of chutneys and all the garnishes since those are all to taste. Some people I know like lot of sweet chutney on their bhalla while some prefer it more spicy. So adjust that to taste. 
  3. You can even add ginger or green chilies to the dal while grinding it.
Nutrition Facts
Dahi Bhalla
Amount Per Serving
Calories 77 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 9%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 4mg 1%
Sodium 46mg 2%
Potassium 74mg 2%
Total Carbohydrates 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 2g
Protein 2g 4%
Vitamin A 0.7%
Vitamin C 0.3%
Calcium 4.1%
Iron 1.8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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