Wishing everyone a very Happy Diwali and a Prosperous New Year.”Diwali ” is the festival of lights. The triumph of good over evil and worshipping ” Laxmi” the goddess of wealth. Traditionally Diwali is the time when we light small oil lamps all around the house, make lots of good food and sweets. It’s a time for family and friends to get together. We also have a family “puja” on the main Diwali night followed by a lavish meal and lots of fireworks.
Another tradition is that we go to my friend Divya’s house for a Diwali party. Divya decorates the house beautifully and makes the most delicious Indian sweets.
This year, I made ‘Dahi Wadas” which is ground lentils deep fried, then soaked in water and put in a creamy yogurt mixture. This is everyone’s favorite dish especially Divya’s. It’s a given that going to her place or she coming over to mine, Dahi wadas have to be served. It’s refreshing to eat these soft dumplings in yogurt sauce with some hot and spicy Indian food.
They also taste great hot out of the frying pan. If serving at a party, you can make these ahead of time. After they are fried, cool them and put them away in an airtight container away in the freezer. When ready to use them, place them in a bowl of hot water for 2- 3 minutes to thaw them.
- 1 cup split white Urad bean ” Urad dal” plus 3 tablespoons of split yellow peas “moong dal” washed and soaked overnight in water or at least for 2 hours
- 1/2 inch piece of ginger( coarsely chopped)
- 1 green chilly chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds” Jeera” (optional)
- oil for frying
- 1 tub of Dannon yogurt ( or whatever is at home)
- 1/4 cup sugar – divided ( I like my yogurt mixture on the sweeter side)
- salt for taste
sprinkle of red chilly powder, cumin powder and chopped cilantro.
In a bowl mix 2 cups of yogurt with 2 tablespoons sugar and salt for taste. The mixture should look creamy, with no lumps. Add 1/2 cup water so that the consistency is thin, the wadas can soak all this wonderful yogurt mixture. Keep aside.
Heat oil in a kadhai ( to deep fry the wadas) on medium heat.
While the oil is heating, grind the lentils, green chilly, ginger and (cumin seeds- optional) in a mixer. You will need to add water (1/4 to 1/2 cup). Add water little by little to make sure it does not get runny. The consistency of the mixture has to be smooth but not thin.
After grinding the mixture, transfer the mixture into a bowl and add salt for taste. Fluff mixture by mixing well. By fluffing the batter the wadas turn out softer.
With your fingers start dropping the mixture in the hot oil in the form of a ball. Make sure the oil is hot, keep the gas on medium high heat as this will help them cook from inside.
Directly out of the hot oil, throw the cooked wadas in a bowl with lukewarm water. Repeat this procedure of frying the wadas and putting them in water till the batter gets over.
Squeeze the soaked wadas in the palms of your hands gently, to do away with the water and arrange them in a serving dish.
Pour the thin yogurt mixture over the wadas.
In another bowl, take 2 cups of yogurt, add salt and the remaining sugar. Mix well into a creamy consistency. Add a little water. This second yogurt mixture has to be thick which goes on top of the yogurt soaked dahi wadas.