If you’re following a paleo diet and like Indian food, then you are in for a treat because I have come up with a recipe for grain-free and dairy-free dahi vada! These little paleo dough balls are smothered with creamy yogurt and topped with sweet and spicy chutneys, making for a super tasty Indian appetizer.
If you’ve never had dahi vada before – it is traditionally a fried lentil dumpling – but my recipe is lentil-free. I wanted to create a lentil free recipe for those who can’t tolerate legumes and/or for those following a paleo diet. Another big difference between the traditional version and mine is that I don’t fry the fritters. Rather than deep frying the dumplings, my recipe calls for baking them in an oven using a donut pan OR you can also use a donut maker if you have one.
This is an Indian street food and it goes by many different names – it’s also known as dahi baray, dahi bhalla and well, a lot of other names.
I actually came up with this paleo version several years ago when I wrote this Paleo Indian eCookbook – it has 100+ Paleo Indian recipes and this recipe for dahi vada one of them. Instead of lentils, my recipe calls for a combination of paleo friendly flours: almond flour, arrowroot flour and coconut flour. The coconut flour does a great job of soaking up the coconut yogurt.
I have this funny feeling that there isn’t a single person out there searching for this recipe. I mean, dahi vada is a naturally gluten free dish so is there anyone out there who really needs a grain-free and dairy-free version? Maybe this is a recipe that you didn’t know you needed in your life. Maybe you’re already following a paleo diet and you happen to like Indian food and will want to try this? Whatever your sitch – you’ll definitely love this if you make it.
You’ll also want to have some chutneys handy to top these dahi vadas – a few of my favorites: chaat sauce, tamarind chutney and green chutney. You can make these sauces and freeze them – that’s what I do – then just break off a frozen piece and thaw as needed.
I hope you love this appetizer! It’s perfect on a hot day – the cool and creamy dahi and chutneys will absolutely cool you down. Enjoy!