Delhi-style lentil dumplings in yogurt

Delhi-style lentil dumplings in yogurt

By
From
I Love India
Makes
25 (can be halved)
Photographer
Martin Poole

This is one of the dishes my mother would make on special occasions, but it is also a really popular cooling and nutritious streetfood. The tastiest version I have eaten is in Old Delhi in the large market of Chandi Chowk, which is known for its streetfood. I make a big batch of the dahi bhalla dumplings and freeze them, so I can put together this dish fairly easily in less than 10 minutes. This is quite a taste sensation in the mouth: sweet, savoury, soft and spongey and creamy all in one bite. Also, it is much lighter than it seems, as the batter doesn’t absorb much oil. This is quite a traditional recipe but you can add other bits on top, like pomegranate seeds. Here, I cook up 25 so I can freeze half for another occcasion, but make up only half the quantity if you prefer; people normally eat one or two each maximum.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient

For the dumplings

Quantity Ingredient
210g urad dal, (split and skinned black lentils), soaked overnight
10g finely grated root ginger, (peeled weight)
1/2-1 indian green chilli, stalk removed, or to taste
vegetable oil
2/3 teaspoon baking powder
small handful chopped coriander
3/4 teaspoon salt

To make up half of them (for 12 dahi bhalla)

Quantity Ingredient
450g plain yogurt
90-110g water
salt
3 teaspoons sugar, plus more if needed
3/4 teaspoon roast and ground cumin seeds
see method for ingredients, to serve
tangy herb chutney, to serve

Method

  1. Drain off most of the water from the lentils, leaving 2–3 tbsp, and place in a blender. Add the ginger and green chilli and grind until the batter is pretty smooth (though it might have some tiny granules in it). You can add water if necessary to help the blades turn, but the less water you add the better. The batter should feel light and fluffy.
  2. Heat about 7.5cm oil in a medium-large karahi, wok or saucepan. It needs to be medium hot.
  3. Add the baking powder, coriander and salt to the batter and give it few extra whisks to incorporate as much air as possible.
  4. Place a bowl of water near the hob. Dunk your fingers in it and scoop up a large walnut-sized amount of batter. Using your thumb to help ease it off, let it slide into the hot oil. You need to be really close to the oil for it not to splash up, but do be careful. Don’t overcrowd the pan; you may need to fry the dumplings in 3 batches. Fry for 6–7 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove with a slotted spoon, draining off excess fat and place on kitchen paper. Repeat to cook the rest.
  5. When you are ready to eat, place the dumplings in a large bowl of recently boiled hot water for about 3–4 minutes, so they absorb all the water. Meanwhile, whisk together the yogurt, measured water, salt, sugar and roast cumin until smooth. The mixture should be the consistency of single cream.
  6. Add some cold water to the dumpling bowl so you don’t burn your fingers, and gently squeeze out the water. A lot of oil comes out as well. Place straight into a serving bowl or plate.
  7. Spoon over the yogurt so the dumplings are covered, then spoon or drizzle over first the tamarind chutney and then the coriander chutney, so each dumpling has some of both. Serve or refrigerate to use later. It is served both at room temperature and chilled.
Tags:
Back to top
    No results found
    No more results
      No results found
      No more results
        No results found
        No more results
          No results found
          No more results
            No results found
            No more results
              No results found
              No more results
              Please start typing to begin your search
              We're sorry but we had trouble running your search. Please try again