Maharaj Ganga Singh gives you two perfect excuses to make your tea-time extra special.
Garnished with fresh coriander leaves and dunked in whipped chilled curd, his recipe for the deep-fried Dahi Vada won't let you miss Mumbai street food.
Use leftover chapatis to make Paneer Cheese Lifafa and treat your family to a yummy snack that goes well with chai.
- 1 cup white urad dal or split black gram without the skin
- 1 cup green mung dal or green gram
- 1 cup chola or cholee dal or split cow peas or black eyed peas
- ½ tsp or more chopped green chilly
- 1 tsp or more ginger paste
- 1 tsp jeera or cumin seeds
- Pinch of hing or asafoetida
- Salt and black salt per taste
- 2½ cups curd or yoghurt, chilled
- ½ to 1 tsp chaat masala or as required
- ¼ to ½ tsp red chilly powder
- 1 tsp roasted jeera or cumin powder
- Oil for deep frying
- ¼ cup anar dana or pomegranate pearls, to garnish
- 2 tbsp chopped green dhania or coriander or cilantro leaves, to garnish
- Green chutney, to serve
- Imli or tamarind chutney, to serve
- Wash, drain and soak the lentils in a bowl filled with water for at least 5-6 hours.
Drain off the excess water and grind the soaked lentils in a mixer.
Add some of water during the grinding to get a smooth, thick batter.
Pour the mixture into a bowl, add the chopped green chilly, salt, ginger paste, hing and cumin seeds.
Stir briskly for a couple for minutes to incorporate air so as to form a light and fluffy batter.
- Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed kadhai or pan for deep frying.
Once the oil is hot, using a spoon, pour in the batter to form small 1.5 inch roundels or discs (somewhat smaller than a medu vada).
Fry in batches of 2-3 and keep flipping the vadas so they fry evenly.
Drain onto a plate lined with tissue or a paper towel.
Repeat the process to finish the batter.
Allow the vadas to cool for 2-3 minutes.
- Soak the vadas in bowl of chilled filtered water or mineral water for about 12-15 minutes.
Squeeze the excess water out of each vada and transfer onto a plate or bowl.
- Whisk the chilled curd until smooth and pour generously over the vadas.
Top with the green chutney and tamarind chutney as per taste (please see the pic above).
Sprinkle a pinch of red chilly powder, roasted cumin powder, chaat masala and black salt as per taste.
Garnish with fresh pomegranate pearls and coriander leaves. Serve.
Paneer Cheese Lifafa
Servings: 1 portion
- 2 lifafa chapatis or thin, larger, soft rotis that can be folded into a pocket/envelope
- 50 gm paneer, grated
- 50 gm cheese, grated
- 10 gm green chilly, finely chopped
- 5 gm fresh green dhania or coriander or cilantro
- 20 gm onion, chopped fine
- 15 gm red and yellow bell peppers or capsicums, chopped
- 10 gm green bell pepper or capsicum, chopped
- Salt to taste
- 2 gm dhania or coriander powder
- 1 tbsp maida or refined flour to make a slurry with a little water
- Oil, for deep frying
- Mayonnaise, for plating
- Schezwan sauce, to serve
- Combine the paneer and cheese in a bowl.
Add the chopped green chillies, fresh coriander, onion, bell peppers, capsicum and mix well.
Add the coriander powder, salt for seasoning. Mix well.
- Take a chapati and place stuffing mixture in the centre.
Fold the chapati to form an envelope or lifafa and seal the edges with a flour slurry of refined flour and water.
- Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed kadhai and deep fry the stuffed chapatis till crisp on both sides.
Drain onto a plate lined with tissue or a paper towel. Cut into half and place on a serving plate.
Drizzle mayonnaise strings on it and serve with Schezwan sauce.
Ganga Singh is the chef at Rasotsav, a vegetarian restaurant serving Rajasthani and Gujarati food in Mumbai.