Dahi Bhalla (Fried Lentil Balls in Yogurt)

Dahi Bhalla in plate

Lentil balls smothered in sweetened yogurt and topped with a variety of chutneys and spices. So soft, they will melt in your mouth! 




1. Wash and soak the urad and mung lentils overnight in a large bowl with enough water to cover the lentils. In the morning, drain the excess liquid in a sieve or colander. 

2. Grind the lentils in a food processor to get a thick batter. You can add a few splashes of water while grinding but the consistency needs to be thick.

3. Transfer the batter to another bowl and whisk with an electric beater until the batter becomes light and airy (8-10 minutes).

4. Add the onion paste, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp red chilli powder, 1 tsp cumin powder and 0.5 tsp baking powder. Mix well. 

5. Heat the oil in a wok or karahi to medium-hot and drop tablespoonfuls of the batter in it. Wait for a few seconds before flipping, let the balls turn golden brown and take them out with a slotted spoon onto a kitchen-paper lined platter.  

6. Take some hot water in a large bowl, dissolve 1 tsp salt in it, and drop the fried balls in it. Let the balls soak in the water for ten minutes. 

7. Take one ball in the palm of your hand and squeeze out all the water gently without breaking the ball. Repeat for all of the balls.

8. Take the yogurt in a bowl and add the 2 tsp sugar, 1 tsp salt and half a cup water to it. Whisk lightly with a fork. Drop the balls in the yogurt. Alternatively, arrange the balls in a bowl and pour the whisked yogurt on top of them. Keep this bowl in the refrigerator for a minimum of 30 minutes to allow the balls to soak in the yogurt. 

9. When ready to serve, drizzle the tamarind chutney and coriander chutney (if using) on top of the balls.

10. Finish by sprinkling the remaining red chilli powder, cumin and/or chaat masala. Dahi Bhalle are ready to be served. 



1. Make sure the oil is medium hot before dropping the batter in it. To test the temperature, drop a small amount in the oil. It should rise and turn golden brown in a few seconds. 

2. Don’t overcrowd the wok as the balls tend to expand a bit. It will be difficult to flip them if there are too many in there. Rather, fry the balls in several batches.

3. The dahi bare can be kept in the fridge, assembled with the yogurt or unassembled for a couple of days only. If you want to keep them for longer, don’t soak the balls in water after frying them. Instead, keep the balls you want to save in a ziploc bag in the freezer. When you want to use them, place the bag in hot water and thaw. Then proceed with the rest of the steps for fresh dahi bare. 

4. In the prep time below, I have not included the time it takes to soak the lentils overnight. 

5. To get roasted and powdered cumin, take a few tablespoons of dry cumin seeds in a small frypan and roast on medium heat for a few minutes. Take of the hob when the seeds turn dark and fragrant. Grind in a spice or clean coffee grinder and use as required. 


Keywords: dahi bhalla, dahi vada, Indian snack, Indian street food