No Fry Dahi Bhalla Chaat

March 12, 2019 (Updated: June 18, 2019) By Aneesha |

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A healthier recipe for Dahi Bhalla chaat, one of THE most popular street foods in North-India. Creamy and delicious pan-fried lentil fritters are soaked in Indian spiced yogurt and garnished with zesty chutney and tangy chaat masala.

No Fry Dahi Bhalle Chaat served in a black bowl, garnished with chutney and cilantro

Dahi Bhalla, pronounced as Duh-ee Bhuh-laa, are also known as Dahi Vada. Dahi means yogurt and bhalla refers to the fried lentil fitters, so Dahi-Bhalla means lentil fritters soaked in yogurt.

Traditionally, the Bhalla, or lentil fritters, are deep fried and then added to yogurt. In this healthier recipe for Dahi-Bhalla, I use a non-stick stuffed-pancake pan/ Aebleskiver pan to pan-fry the fritters using very little oil, and get the same golden color and texture on these fritters.

Dahi Bhalla is served as a snack (chaat), appetizer, or as a side dish in an Indian meal. If is often part of the menu during celebrations and Indian festivities like Holi and Diwali.

A bite of dahi bhalle with tamarind chutney dropping off the spoon

What is Chaat

Chaat, pronounced as ‘ch-aa-t’, is a broad term used for street food snacks served across India. All dishes included under this umbrella are bursting with sweet, spicy, crispy, crunchy and tangy flavors that can make your taste buds dance, literally!

There are many theories about the origin of the word ‘Chaat’, but the most common one is that it could be a derivative of two Hindi words- Chaatna, and Chatpata. Chaatna, means ‘to lick/ devour’, and Chatpata means food that is sweet, spicy and tangy. So, if you’re in an Indian restaurant eating something finger-licking good that hits all your flavor senses, you are having Chaat my friends!

Popular chaat items include GolGappe, Aloo Tikki, Pakora, Bhel Puri, Samosa, Papdi Chaat, Matar Chaat and Dahi Bhalle.

No Fry Dahi Bhalla Recipe – How to Make Dahi Bhalla without Frying

Step 1: Soak Dal

Rinse Urad dal and soak over night in 3 cups of water, or for 6-8 hours.

Step 2: Blend Dal

Rinse dal and drain. Add to blender with ginger, chili, spices and blend to a smooth paste. The batter should be similar to a cake batter consistency. I use Blentec blender and that works really well for this step.

Step 3: Pan-fry Bhalle

Heat a Stuffed Pancake Pan on medium heat. I add a few drops of oil. Using two spoons, or a cookie spoon, I pour batter in the greased cavities of the pan. Let the bhalle fry for 3-4 mins on the first side, covered. Flip them and cook for another 3-4 minutes covered. Remove them on a plate lined with paper towels. That soaks the extra grease.

Step 4: Soak Bhalle

Add warm water to a wide bowl and add the dahi bhalle. Don’t overcrowd the bowl, split the bhalle in a few batches if doing a large quantity. Let them soak for 20 minutes. Soaking Bhalle makes them softer and gives them a creamier texture.

Step 5: Add Bhalle in Seasoned Yogurt

Add salt, spices, sugar (optional) and water to yogurt and whisk till smooth. Gently squeeze out the water from the bhalle and add them to the yogurt. Coat them in yogurt and refrigerate them for 2-3 hours. This allows them to soak in the yogurt. Garnish with cilantro chutney, julienned ginger and cilantro before serving and Enjoy!

No fry lentil fritters called Dahi Bhalle soaked in a spicy tangy yogurt.

What is the Difference between Dahi-Bhalla and Dahi-Vada

Dahi Bhalla and Dahi Vada are two names of the same dish. It is commonly referred to as Dahi Bhalle in the northern part of India, particularly Delhi and Punjab. Down south, Vada is made in a donut shape in some places, but the ingredients and process are the same.

Can I freeze Bhalle

Yes you can! I always make extra and freeze them for later use. It is a great make-ahead item for parties and festivities. Here is how I do it:

After pan-frying them, I remove them on plate lined with paper towels. That soaks the extra grease. I cool them completely and transfer to a gallon size freezer bag. I gently press it while closing it to let out the air from the bag.

You can store them in the freezer for 2 months. To use them, thaw them overnight in the refrigerator. Soak them hot water and follow the remaining steps to serve them.

Cooled Dahi Bhalla, lentil fritters, packed in freezer bag for storage
Freeze in storage bags
A spoonful of dahi bhalle with cilantro chutney and tamarind chutney

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No fry Dahi Bhalle served in a bowl garnished with cilantro and chutney

No Fry Dahi Bhalla Chaat

A no-fry recipe for Dahi Bhalla chaat, a popular Indian street food. Tasty pan-fried lentil fritters are soaked in seasoned yogurt & garnished with Indian spices and chutney.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate Recipe
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Soaking Time: 8 hours
Servings: 15
Calories: 64kcal
Author: Spice Cravings

Ingredients

Bhalla (makes 30 medium-size bhalle)

  • 1 cup urad dal soaked for 8 hours or overnight, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup + 2-3 tbsp water add as needed while grinding
  • 3/4 tsp salt adjust to taste
  • 1/2 tsp roasted cumin powder
  • 2 tsp ginger, grated or chopped (about 1/2 inch piece or 1/4 tsp ginger powder)
  • 2 green chilies, de-seeded (optional but recommended)
  • 1/2 tsp ajwain (carom seeds)

Dahi (Yogurt) – For soaking 10 bhalle- multiply as needed

Garnish

  • 2 tbsp Chopped cilantro
  • 1 tbsp julienned ginger
  • pomegranate seeds (optional)

Instructions

  • Soak lentils: Rinse and soak lentils in 3 times water, so for 1 cup of lentils, use 3 cups of water.  Soak overnight or for 8 hours. After that, rinse and drain the lentils.
    Soaking white lentils (Urad dal) for making dahi bhalla
  • Grind lentils: In a blender add lentils, water, ginger and spices.  Grind the lentils into a smooth paste. Adjust the water quantity as needed.  The end consistency should be like cake batter.
    Adding aromatics and spices to urad dal in the blender
  • Pan-Fry Bhalle: Heat the Stuffed Pancake Pan on medium heat.  Add few drop of oil to the cavities.  Using a medium cookie spoon, add batter into the cavities.  Cover the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes on the first side.  Flip using a fork or chopsticks and cook another 3-4 mins, or until the exterior looks golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. 
    Flipping dahi bhalla in a stuffed-pancake pan
  • Soak Bhalle in water: In a wide bowl add hot water. Add the cooked bhalle and let them soak for 15-20 minutes. This process makes them softer. After that, gently squeeze them to get rid of the water and keep aside.
  • Add to yogurt: Whisk yogurt (dahi) with water, salt, cugar, cumin and chaat masala.  Adjust seasoning to taste.  Add bhalle to yogurt, coating them well with the yogurt.  Cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.  This allows the bhalle to soak up some yogurt.  Garnish with cilantro and julienned ginger before serving.  You can also add a few teaspoons of Pomegranate seeds for garnish.

Notes

Serving Size: This recipe makes 30 medium-size dahi bhalla.  I have accounted for 2 Dahi-Bhalla per person to calculate the serving size in this recipe.  You can adjust it to your preference. 
Yogurt: I use homemade yogurt that I make in my multi-cooker cooker (Instant Pot), or store-bought 2% low-fat yogurt. 
If you are new to the Instant Pot, please read my FAQ on Instant Pot Terminology and Accessories to learn more.
Note: The nutrition facts below are my estimates.  If you are following any diet plan, I recommend cross-checking with your preferred nutrition calculator.

Nutrition

Calories: 64kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 269mg | Potassium: 50mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 35IU | Vitamin C: 1.4mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 1.1mg
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: chaat, diwali recipes, holi recipes, indian food recipes, instant pot indian vegetarian recipes
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Aneesha holding a glass of white wine Hi, I'm Aneesha, a foodie by birth and the mind, body and soul behind Spice Cravings. Here I share quick, easy & healthy Indian & global recipes that are low in effort and big on taste! A recipe doesn't make it on the blog unless it is tested multiple times and gets a thumbs-up from my taster-in-chief, my husband, and my teen-chefs, my twin girls!

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4 Comments

  • Reply
    Rahul G
    April 11, 2019 at 7:57 pm

    This is an excellent recipe

  • Reply
    Viral Shah
    March 24, 2019 at 9:42 pm

    I love your idea about using the pan. I made the dahi vada using the Gits Instant Mix and then using the pancake pan. I’ll try using your real recipe next time.

    • Reply
      aneeshasg
      March 24, 2019 at 10:17 pm

      Hi Viral, thank you! Yes, please do try this recipe, I am sure you will love the texture. I use this pan a lot, to make pakora for kadhi, vada with sambar and stuffed pancakes for my kids.

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