Healthy Dahi Vada

I love Dahi vadas as much as any other Indian but the thought of deep frying and so much oil makes me hesitate. Granted that one presses the oil out of them, but there's still a whole lot remaining in the vadas, and then, so much oil wasted, not to speak of the mess it creates! Recently came up with a dahi vada recipe this way, which uses very little oil.  The key to it is using an appé patra (ie tawa /griddle used for making appé;  आप्पे पात्र in Marathi/Hindi)  to make these vadas instead of frying them. This process uses much less oil than deep frying and the resulting vadas taste really good!
 I do not have precise measurements and proportions for everything here as ingredients are usually adjusted according to personal tastes. 

1.5 cups urad dal

1 cup moong dal
Green chillies, small piece of ginger (as per taste)
Oil (little)
Dahi with whey, lightly whisked, to which salt and sugar are added. If no whey in the curds and very thick, then add a bit of water.
More dahi lightly whisked kept cooling in refrigerator.
Tamarind chutney
Chaat masala
Red chilli powder

Equipment: Non-stick appé tawa

Soak the dals in water for about 2 to 2.5 hours. Grind to a fine paste, adding water only as required. The consistency should be such that it is not too dense, can be dropped easily using a spoon, but not runny.
Keep the batter covered for 4 - 6 hours, till the batter begins to ferment. Time will vary depending upon the weather conditions. Do not let it ferment too much.
Once fermented add ground chillies, ginger and salt to taste and mix well.

Keep the appey griddle on low flame. Add about 3 drops of oil in each depression.
Spoon the mixture into each cup about 2/3rd full and cover with a lid for a minute. Remove lid. After a minute gently ease the sides of each vada and gently turn it so the cooked side comes up. Continue to cook on low flame till the vadas are done from inside. You will need to adjust the right time for your specific cooking burner so initially there will be some trial and error.
(Note: Add the oil drops each time before putting in the batter. You can of course do without these too once the first set of vadas is done. )

In a bowl keep the blended curd ready. Pop the hot vadas into this bowl and cover with the curd mixture. Keep adding the vadas to this bowl as they are done. Let vadas soak in the curds for approx two hours. An hour or two more usually does not hurt but after that it is wiser to put them into the fridge.

To serve: 
Take a bowl, place 2 – 3 vadas in it. Spoon some of the cold dahi over them. Add some tamarind chutney all over. Sprinkle chaat masala and chilli powder.

#Moong dal is easier to digest and lighter on the stomach hence used in the recipe.

#Most things such as chillies, ginger, chilli powder, tamarind chutney, chaat masala, to be adjusted as per taste. One or more of these can even be omitted altogether if you so desire.

#The traditional vadas also have a tadka with broken red chillies but not used it in my recipe to keep oil levels to minimum. And the vadas taste good even without it!