Dahi Vada is an Indian snack, or chaat, eaten in both the Northern and Southern parts of the subcontinent. Dosa restaurant does a version of the dish that is beautiful both in aesthetics and in flavor.
Beneath the latte-like-art of chutneys and yogurt pictured above are two savory Indian donuts, or "vadas," which make the foundation of the dish. The vadas are prepared with lentils that are soaked overnight then ground along with cumin, coriander, mustard seeds, and onions. Water is then added to form the batter, which is deep-fried until golden. The vadas are allowed to cool to touch before being smashed and topped with seasoned Straus yogurt ("dahi") and two chutneys made in-house.
The dish's components contrast in every dimension: You get the warm donuts that soak in the creamy, cool yogurt -- a wonderfully pleasing differentiation amongst temperature and texture. The theme of contradiction continues to thread through the flavors and colors. The saltiness of the snow-white yogurt is countered with alternating Christmas-colored stripes of both a sweet and sour dark red tamarind sauce and a spicy bright green chutney of chile, cilantro, and mint. This is indeed a cornucopia of sensory pleasure and is the perfect start to Dosa's eponymous dish.
You can find Dahi Vada on the menus of both the Fillmore and Valencia Dosa locations.
Follow @streetfoodsf for all things delicious.