Lentil Bhajia or Vati Dal na Bhajia

Lentil Bhajia or Vati Dal na Bhajia are a kind of fritters made from ground lentils and spices. These Lentil Bhajia or Vati Dal na Bhajia are a popular street food in India where these are deep fried and served hot on the roadside with a sweet and sour type of tangy chutney made from tamarind.

Ingredients to make about 20 bhajias :

  • 2 cups of Chickpea Dall (Chana dall)
  • 1/2 cup of dry potato mash (available in most supermarkets. SMASH is a popular brand in UK but any brand is fine)
  • 1 medium onion (I used red onions to give the bhajias a bit of colour)
  • 3-4 green chillies blended finely (as per taste)
  • small piece of ginger (I used one teaspoon of blended ginger)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 2 pinches of soda bicarbonate (don’t use more)
  • 1 teaspoon ajwain ((also known as carom seeds)
  • 2 teaspoons of whole coriander
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds
  • small bunch of fresh coriander
  • Oil for frying (I used sunflower oil)

(Note:  Ingredients such as ajwain, coriander and sesame seeds make the bhajias tasty but don’t worry if you haven’t got them – the bhajias will still taste fine as long as the basic ingredients are used.)


1.  Clean, wash and soak the chana dall in plenty of  cold water overnight.
2.  On the next day – Drain the dall in a colander and wash it again in lots of cold water.


3.  Grind the dall to a coarse mixture in a blender.  I used the sharp chopping blade and didnot add any water to blend the dall.  If you do need to add water to blend the dall – you will have to add either Chick pea flour or potato mash to help bind the mixture.

Photobucket4. The mixture should look fairly dry.
5.  Transfer the blended mixture to a mixing bowl.
6.  Grate the Onions and add them to the mixture.
7.  Add the finely blended green chillies and ginger to the mixture.
8.  Add the salt, turmeric, ajwain, whole coriander, sesame seeds, chopped fresh coriander to the mixture.

9. Mix all the ingredients and you will find that at this stage the mixture doesn’t bind well. Some recipes suggest adding chick pea flour to bind the mixture.  I have always preferred to used potato mash. You can experiment and decide which taste you prefer.

10. Add the potato mash. I needed a little less than half a cup so go with your instincts. I added the potato mash, soda bicarbonate and then mixed it well and covered it for 5 minutes. The potato mash helps to soak up any moisture and also binds the mixture.

11.   Heat the oil in a wok.
12.  Whilst the oil is heating, and divide the mixture into small flat balls.  I managed to get 20. Arrange these flat balls on a greased plate.


13. Once the oil is hot, take 6 balls at a time and deep fry them until they are golden brown and crisp. Lower the heat slightly and keep cooking the bhajias,  turning them often  during the frying so that they cook well and you don’t get an uncooked centre.   The Lentil Bhajia or Vati Dal na Bhajia will expand slightly as the recipe has soda bicarbonate.


14.   Drain the Lentil Bhajia or Vati Dal na Bhajia on a kitchen  paper and serve with chutney and a hot cup of masala chai.