Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Lahori Dahi Bhalla

This is one thing I have missed most when it comes to the foods of my home town. The combination of lentil dumplings in yogurt with so many sweet, spicy, crunchy and fresh elements going on is like a flavour bomb in your mouth. This recipe is long and needs some patience to be made as there are quite a few components to it but trust me on that "it is well worth the effort". Best part is the fried dumplings can be frozen for over a month so if you make a bigger batch, its easy to keep and putting it together just takes a few minutes.
Its a vegetarian dish which beats any meat based item easily. I grew up eating these and when I moved to Canada, it was impossible to find it here. So after many attempts, finally I am presenting it here so proudly :) I will try to write the recipe in multiple steps to make it easy for you to understand and follow.
It has following items included in one plate:

  • Bhalas : Bhalas are fried dumplings made out of lentils. Lentils used for this purpose are called Maash or Urad washed.
  • Phulkis: Phulkis are fried dumplings made out of chickpea flour and spices.
  • Potatoes: Boiled and cubed
  • Salad: Salad includes lettuce, radish, tomato, onion and cabbage
  • Yogurt : Yougurt flavoured with salt, sugar and cumin powder.
  • Tamarind Chutney : Its a sweet and sour concoction made of tamarind pulp and spices.
  • Green yogurt Chutney : This chutney is made out of mint and coriander leaves, very much like a nut free pesto and then mixed with yogurt. A good digestive aid.
  • Chat Masala: Chat masala is a mix of different spices like garam masala used as for sprinkling on top of the food ready to be eaten. It has smokey, spicy and sour flavour.

Now lets move on to the ingredients and processes to make them.

Bhallas Ingredients

Urad Lentils        1 Cup
Salt                     1/4 tsp
Ginger                 1/4 inch pc
Baking Soda       1 pinch
Water                 as required
Oil                      for deep frying


Wash and soak the lentils in hot water for 2 hours. Drain the water after two hours.
Using a blender, make a smooth paste out of lentils and ginger. You can add water to achieve a pour-able consistency.
Add baking soda and salt and mix well.
Let it sit on the counter for one hour to ferment.
Fry the dumpling on medium high in your desired size.
Once out of the oil, soak them in water for 10 mins.
Press gently using the palm of your hands to squeeze the water out and put them on a plate.

Phulki Ingredients

ChickPea flour      1 cup
Salt                       1/4 tsp
Red Chili               1/4 tsp
Baking Soda         1 pinch
Water                   as required
Oil                        for frying


Mix everything together to a smooth paste. It should be too thin or thick.
Fry tiny dumplings on medium high until golden brown.
Once out of the oil, soak them in water for 10 mins.
Press gently using the palm of your hands to squeeze the water out and put them on a plate.

Yogurt Mix

Yogurt                      4  cups
Sugar                       1 tbsp
Salt                          1 tsp
Cumin Powder         1/4 tsp
Red Chili Powder     1/6 tsp


Mix Everything together and add 1/4 cup of water. Keep refrigerated.

Tamarind Chutney

Tamarind Pulp          2 inch pc
Sugar                       2 tbsp
Salt                          1/4 tsp
Red chili flakes         1/4 tsp
Water                      1/2 cup


Put everything in a pot and cook till it starts boiling. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
Cool down and refrigerate.

Green Chutney

Find the recipe of  Green Mint chutney here.


Potatoes                   2 Boiled and cubed
Lettuce                     sliced thinly
Radish                      2 juliened
Tomatoes                 1 chopped
Cabbage                  1/4 cup very thinly sliced
Onion                       1/4 cup very thinly sliced

Now start layering the ingredients in the following sequence:

    • Chickpea dumplings 
    • Potatoes
    • Lentil Dumpling
    • Yogurt Mix
    • Mint Chutney
    • Tamarind Chutney
    • Sprinkle of Chat masala
    • Salad

You can serve in individual plates or as a big bowl in the above picture.

You can keep the dumplings right after frying in the freezer for later use. When needed just soak them in hot water ad they are ready.

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