Dahi Bhalla – summer food


I love dahi bhalla’s. Everytime we had a party at home when I was little, the first thing my mum put on the menu was dahi bhalla. I used to love the way my mum arranged them so symmetrically and decorated them. And they tasted amazing.

So, the last time I made dahi bhalla (and put it in my beautiful bowl which I do not take out everyday, once a year is an event) I wasn’t sure how the end result would be so I didn’t bother with putting up a recipe and as luck would have it ,they turned out gorgeous. So yesterday evening I decided to make them again after so many months and to put up the recipe too. Now, it wasn’t as neat as I would have liked, however, tasted as gorgeous as the last time. We ( read north Indians) eat dahi bhalla with our food, my husband (read south Indians) eats it as pre-food dessert. (All their deserts are pre- food anyway which irks me no end)


 2 cups Dhuli urad dal ( translates into washed & halved black gram lentil)

salt to taste

oil for frying


Pre – Prep :

Soak the urad dal in water overnight or at least for 2-3 hours.

Preparation :

Grind in a mixer. Try to keep minimum water while doing so the paste is thick and not too goey. (Mine is this time) Add just a dash of salt. Be careful or you can easily over  season.

Put some water in a bowl for heating up and add a dash of salt to it. Keep aside to cool down while you make your bhalla’s.

Note: Originally the recipe calls for salt in the water and no salt in the paste, but that never gave consistent results to either my mum or mosi and they started using  just a little bit of salt in the paste and worked wonders.

Keep the oil to heat up. Now try to use a bigger wok with a little more oil so as to deep fry properly.

Note : I don’t re-use oil I have used for frying so this is an attempt to waste as little as possible. Last time I was making poori’s so I did all my frying in  a big wok/kadai and had perfect little bhalla’s. In this one, they tend to get a little chared.

Now, take the paste and a little cold water in a katori. Wet the fingers of both your hands so when you pick up the batter it won’t stick to your fingers.

Try to make circular ones and then punch a hole in their middle with a finger. The pic is hazy but you can see my batter is more goey than I would have liked and the hole is closing up. If the batter is thicker they will be easier to handle and will maintain shape.

Observe the hole in the middle has merged into a solid ball. And the charring. The hardest part in dahi bhalla is not burning your fingers when you transfer the bhalla from your fingers to the oil. Good luck with that.

Make as many as you like, several small ones, or big ones if you are using a bigger wok with generous amounts of oil.

Soak them in the bowl of salted not-too-warm-now water. Soak them for at least 1 hour or till absolutely soft.

Squeeze the water out of your bhalla’s. This is the wrong method and I am doing it because I am trying to hold my phone in the other.

To do it right, Put the bhalla in the palm of one hand and press with the palm of the other hand. Helps to maintain shape.

Arrange in a glass bowl

Or a pretty bowl if you have one. This is a pic from last time. The size of the bhalla’s is bigger and they are all the perfect even colour.

Take a cup of your favourite dahi, or if you have homemade then nothing like it. This cup is too thick, so I add water and beat it with a spoon to make it smoother. Add another dash of salt here. Just a dash. Or don’t.

Pour over the assembled bhalla’s like so

Or so )

Garnish with red chilli powder and garam masala powder like above

chill in over crowded fridge.



One thought on “Dahi Bhalla – summer food

  1. Ah! No wonder your husband eats them “pre-food”– pretty hard to resist!! (though one should never irk the cook– very bad form… : )

    Beautifully explained, lovely photos, a very well-organized post. Many bloggers could take a valuable lesson here!

    And your wonderful subtitle (“Blubberings of an Over-Active Imagination”) really made me laugh! : )


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