Dahi vada vs. dahi bhalla, which is it? It’s both – they is samesies. It’s just dependent on where you live. In Pakistan, Punjab, and Delhi it’s traditionally known as a dahi bhalla. Most other places it’s a dahi vada.
A dahi bhalla is light, spongy, fluffy, and so so good. They take on a lot of the flavor of the ingredients you put over them, so I like to load them with mint and tamarind chutneys, lots of pepper, and cumin. They’re perfect on a hot summer day or even as an appetizer before dinner. You see them anywhere from road size stands to weddings.
You can make them from scratch by soaking the daal (lentils) and then blending, spicing, frying, etc. etc. I take the easy way out and buy a mix – you’re guaranteed a great finished product. In a lot less time. Inevitably, I’m busy and just don’t have the time to dedicate it to being in the kitchen all day, so any time I can take a shortcut, I definitely do.
You can keep these in the fridge a couple days but definitely don’t make the chaat and then stick it in the fridge. It’ll turn to absolute mush. Keep the bhallas aside and add them to the yogurt just before serving.