Festivals are for special recipes and dahi gujiya are very popular during festivals in north indian homes. My grandmother used to make them on Holi and Diwali. The lentil batter is shaped into shape of gujiyas and they are stuffed with , chopped nuts, ginger, green chillies and raisins.
The soft and spongy gujiyas are a burst of tangy, spicy, sweet and salty. They take a few extra minutes than your usual dahi bade and biting into chopped nuts as you eat them is just heavenly.
If you do no want the stuff, you can use the recipe to make vadas as usual, minus the stuffing part, the recipe remains the same.I soak the gujiyas in hing water for about half hour and that makes a lot of difference. You can make ahead and store them for 4-5 days easily. Just fry and keep in the fridge. When you are ready to swerve, soak them in hot water before dunking in the yogurt.
Ingredients (makes 10-12 gujiyas)
For the Gujiyas/vada
- 1 cup split urad daal
- ⅓ cup split yellow mung daal
- 1 inch piece of ginger, roughly chopped
- 1 green chilli, roughly chopped (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon hing
- ½ teaspoon of salt
For the stuffing
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
- 2 green chillies (to taste)
- 2-3 tablespoon chopped cashews
- 1 tablespoon raisins
- 1 tablespoon chironji (if you can find, I could not)
- 3-4 cups hot water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon hing
For the yogurt
- 2.5 cups thick yourt
- ½ cup to ¾ cup cold water (depending on how thick or thin you like the yogurt)
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon red chilli powder
- ½ tablespoon chaat masala (or to taste)
- 1 teaspoon kala namak
- ¼ teaspoon roasted cumin powder
- Salt to taste
Garnishes While Serving
- Tamarind & green chutneys (to taste)
- Chopped green chillies (to taste)
- Bhujiya sev (to taste)
- Pomegranate arils (to taste)
- Chopped Cilantro (to taste)
- Extra spices (same as above) for sprinking on top (see notes)
- You can adjust the different spices and sugar in yogurt to your taste. I usually mix most spices that I sprinkle on top with the yogurt itself. It tastes a lot better.
- Skip the stuffing part and make the regular vadas and dunk them in yogurt. Add 2-3 tablespoons of water to the lentil batter in that case and then make vadas.
Step 1 :- Soak the Lentils
Place both the lentils in a large bowl and wash them a few times until the water runs clear. Soak them for not more than 5 hours. I usually soak them right in the morning when I am making chai, and make bade/gujiya at noon. If you soak them for a long time, lentil fritters tend to become oily.
Step 2 Grind the Lentils
Discard all the water from the lentils. Place them in the a high speed blender like Vitamix along with hing, green chillies and ginger. Start the blender slowly and then gradually increase the speed to medium. If you feel that the lentils need water to grind, add 1 tablespoon at a time. Don't go beyond 2 tablespoon, use a scraper to scrape the sides of the blender. Grind everything to a almost smooth batter with just a little texture. The consistency of the batter has to be thick and pasty for the gujiyas. If you plan to make just vada without the stuffing, add extra 2 tablespoon of water to the batter after grinding.
Transfer the ground lentils to a large wide bowl. In another small bowl, add 1 cup water.Keep the small bowl nearby. Start whipping the ground lentils rigorously with your hands in a circular motion. Whip them for 5-7 minutes until they are fluffy. To test if the lentils are fluffy, drop a tiny amount of ground lentils in the water in the small bowl, they should immediately float on the water. If the batter drops and settles at the bottom of water, you need to whip more. If needed, you can use a hand beater to whip the lentils.
Once lentils are whipped, add salt and whip again for 2-3 minutes.
Set enough oil in a large iron kadai or wide pan for heating up on medium low.
Step 3:-Shaping the gujiyas (Skip this step for vada)
Place a slightly thick piece of plastic (like a ziplock bag, don't use cling film) on a flat surface. Spread a few drops of water on the plastic. Take a lime sized ball of the lentil batter. Place it on the plastic. Dip your hands in little water and flatten the lentil batter into a 3 inch circle, do not spread very thin. Put ½ tablespoon of nut stuffing on one half of the circle (don't add too much), lift the plastic and fold over the other half of the lentil circle to make a semi circle ( gujiya). Using wet hands, press the ends to seal nicely and make the shape neater if you wish.
Step 4:- Frying the gujiya
To check the temperature of oil, drop a little lentil batter into the oil, if it sizzles and rises up immediately, oil is too hot, if it drops to the bottom, the oil is cold.The oil should be medium hot. Carefully, peel the plastic away from the gujiya and place them in the oil. For making vada, you can drop little portions of lentil batter with a spoon in hot oil. Fry them in oil flipping once or twice till they are lightly golden.
Fry all the gujiyas/vadas same way and drain on paper towel. Fry in batches, don't fry more than 2-3 gujiyas or 3-4 vadas at a time.
Step 5:- Soaking the gujiyas
Heat up 3-4 cups of water and add it to a large bowl. Mix in the salt and hing. Add the fried gujiyas to the warm water and press down with the help of a small plate (smaller than the diameter of the bowl). The more the area of the gujiyas will be soaked, they will be softer. Let them soak for about 20 minutes. They will become super soft and will fluff up slightly.
Take them out of the water, gently press between palms of you hands to remove water. Place the gujiyas in a container/plate, put the lid/cover and refrigerate for ablest 1.5 hours till the are chilled.
Step 6:-Make the Yogurt
While the gujiyas are chilling, you can make the yogurt. Beat the yogurt to smooth using a whisk, add water to thin out per desired consistency and then mix with all the spices and sugar. Taste and adjust the spices as you wish. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
In a wide dish, add about ¾ cup of yogurt that we made. Layer the chilled gujiyas in a single layer. Pour another ¾ cup of yogurt on top. Reserve the remaining yogurt for when serving. Chill everything in the fridge for 3-4 hours.
Serve the chilled gujiyas as you wish with extra yogurt and garnishes.