For the bhallas:

  • 1¼ cup washed Urad Dal (skinless black gram lentil), soaked in water overnight
  • 1 tablespoon ginger (freshly grated)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 green chilli, finely chopped
  • A pinch of Asafoetida
  • Oil, for deep frying

For the stuffing:

  • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons chopped raisins

For the yogurt (dahi):

  • 2-3 cups yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon roasted cumin powder
  • ¾ teaspoon red chilli powder (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon chat masala
  • Mint cilantro chutney
  • Tamarind Chutney
  • Salt, to taste
  • Water (as needed)
  • Cilantro (for garnish)


  1. Wash the dals thoroughly and then in some fresh water soak the lentils overnight or for 6-8 hours.
  2. Drain the water completely and transfer to a grinder of a food processor or a high power blender.
  3. Make sure all the water is drained as that is one of the key steps to getting light fluffy bhallas.
  4. Add the ginger, green chillies, asafoetida and salt. Using as little water as possible grind the dal- at first try to grind the dal mix with no water and add only in case your machine can not get a smooth paste. Add water one tablespoon at a time and grind it into a thick smooth paste.
  5. Transfer the ground lentil paste to a bowl and whisk it vigorously rotating your hand in a circular motion in one direction. This is what makes the bhallas/vadas light. Make sure you whisk in one direction. It takes about 8-10 minutes. You can check whether your bhallas are properly aerated by putting a drop of the batter in a glass of water. If it floats immediately your bhallas are ready to fry. If not continue. The batter should be beaten and thick enough that in case you overturn your bowl, the batter will not flow out, and just stay (similar to how stiffly beaten egg whites are when you overturn the bowl).
  6. Mix the walnut raisin mixture in a bowl and set aside.
  7. Heat a wok or pan with oil for deep frying. Wet a ladle with little water. Add 1 tablespoon of the Bhalla batter to it. Add a portion (about 1 teaspoon) of the chopped walnuts-raisin mix. Top with another tablespoon of the batter. Drop it in hot oil and deep fry on medium flame until golden brown. 2-3 vadas can be deep fried at a same time in the same batch.
  8. To make sure that you get fluffy bhallas another tip is to use a spoon to keep pouring the hot oil over the exposed bhallas, so that they are evenly cooked. Once golden, remove and drain on paper towels.
  9. Soak the bhallas in a bowl full of warm water for 30 minutes.
  10. Remove each bhalla and press between your palms to squeeze out excess water. You don’t have to squeeze all the water out just a light squeeze. Place the bhallas in a serving bowl.
  11. Whisk the yogurt (with water, if necessary) and salt till smooth. Add the yogurt to the bhallas. You can add sugar to your curd if desired.
  12. Top with the green chutney and tamarind chutney as required. Sprinkle red chilli powder, roasted cumin powder, roasted chopped walnuts and chaat masala. Garnish with chopped cilantro leaves.