Main Course

BM #1 – AAE – Day 14 – Dahi Vada | Yogurt Dumplings

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Not many know that I belong to a hotelier family. My maternal grandfather owned a South Indian hotel in Nagpur. It was called “Shanti Bhavan”. Placed right on a popular square in a prime location, Shanti Bhavan was a pure veg restaurant. Known for the delicious South Indian delicacies, Shanti Bhavan was famous for its hot steaming idlis, dosas, samosas and dahi vada’s. My grandfather was a great businessman and had a knack of managing business. Over the years the business saw a downhill as he started growing older and finally sold off the business. The new owner did not change the name, interiors, or the essence of the dishes as the heart of the restaurant was the cuisine and unique taste. He just added Shree in front of Shanti Bhavan 🙂

I have beautiful childhood memories of this place. Every year when we would visit our maternal grandparents, my uncle would take me and my cousin to the restaurant in the mornings. There was a secret staircase and a small room where my cousin and me would make drawings, share stories, and play games. And whenever we would be hungry, walk into the hotel kitchen and grab something. The chefs would be happy and delighted to serve our little tummies. I clicked this picture on my recent visit to Nagpur. Whenever I visit Nagpur, I make it a point to visit here and order some food to see if there is a change in the taste. There is a little bit of change. Its inevitable. But what cannot change is the memories of that place.

Today I am sharing the Dahi Vada recipe served in the restaurant as my grandfather used to make it back then.

For the batter:
1 cup urad dal, white lentil, soaked in water for 2 hours
Salt as per taste,
Oil for frying,

For tempering:
500 ml curd,
2 tsp mustard seeds,
A pinch of asafeotida,
8-10 curry leaves,
1 tsp of ginger, chopped finely,
Salt as per taste,
1 tbsp oil,

For garnishing:
1/2 cup chopped coriander,
6-7 green chillies, finely chopped,
1/2 cup of carrot, grated,


  1. Make a fine paste of the soaked white lentil without adding water. Add very less water as you need a very thick batter. Do not add salt until you are ready to fry them as it will make the batter runny.
  2. Heat oil in a pan for deep frying.
  3. Wet your palms with water. Now using your fingers, take a lemon sized batter and flatten it on your left palm. Now put this into the heated oil and deep fry.
  4. Keep a big vessel half filled with water. Once the vada’s have turned golden brown, remove and drop them in the water. Allow it to be immersed while you get on with the rest of the preparations.
  5. In another vessel, beat the curd. Add salt to taste, ginger, some green chillies, green coriander and little carrot. Reserve the rest for garnishing.
  6. For tempering, heat 1 tbsp oil, add mustard seeds. Once they crackle, add the asafoetida and curry leaves. Put this tempering in the curd and mix well. 
  7. The vada’s by now would have soaked the water. Gently press the water out of the vada’s and put them in the curd mixture. Mix well.
  8. Allow it to rest in the refridergator for 30 mins before serving.
  9. Garnish with grated carrot, green coriander and green chillies and serve chilled.

Serve this as a snack or a starter. Its quite filling. I am sure you will love this Dahi Vada from Shree Shanti Bhavan 🙂

Read more about my blogging marathon, here and here
Hop over at my SIL’s blog as she is running this Marathon with me.

One Comment

  1. Thanks a ton for posting this lovely pic of the then Shanti Bhavan 😉 really .. nostalgic memories of our Thatha's hotel. The awesome samosas & dahi vadas… Lovely pics of the heavenly Shanti Bhavan type dahi Vadas…

    keep it coming, my dear niece ..!
    Radha Didi