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5 from 1 vote

Vegan Dahi Vada

Dahi Vada is a quintessential snack from the streets of cities like Bombay. Crispy, lentil-based vadas or dumplings are dunked into a spicy, sweet, tangy yogurt sauce. These vegan dahi vadas are made with a vegan "yogurt" created with tofu.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Snack
Cuisine: Indian
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword: Vegan Dahi Vada
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 196kcal


For the vada

  • 1 cup urad dal (black gram dal, soaked for 2 hours)
  • 1- inch knob ginger (chopped)
  • 3 green chili peppers (minced. Can use less if sensitive to heat)
  • Salt to taste
  • Vegetable oil for deep frying (heated to around 360 degrees)

For the dahi or spiced yogurt

  • 12 oz silken firm tofu
  • ½ cup nondairy milk (add more if the yogurt sauce is too thick)
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (roasted, powdered)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chat masala (optional)
  • Salt to taste


Make the vada

  • Drain the soaked dal thoroughly. Place in a food processor with the ginger and chillies and salt and process into a coarse, fairly solid paste.
  • Form the vadas by picking up a lump of the batter, about one inch in diameter, and pressing it out on the palm of your hand (I like dampening my palms with some water to prevent the batter from sticking.)
  • Drop the vadas one by one into the hot oil without overcrowding them. Flip the vada when the underside turns golden-brown. Remove to a rack or a paper towel when the vada is golden-brown all over.
  • Tip: Always ensure your oil is not too hot or too cold. Too cold oil will cause the food to absorb the oil, which is bad for your waistline, of course, but will also end up in soggy vadas. Oil that is too hot will cause the outside of the vada to brown rapidly, before the inside gets cooked.

For the spiced yogurt sauce

  • Place all the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.
  • To serve the vadas, pool some of the sauce in the platter, place the vadas in the center, and pour more sauce on top. I like my vadas to be more on the crispy side, so I tend not to pour sauce over the top, but it's up to you, really. You can also sprinkle some paprika and some roasted, powdered cumin on top, for a little extra zing.


Calories: 196kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Potassium: 44mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 248IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 3mg