Dahi Bhalla – Taking Yogurt to the Next Level at Natraj in Delhi, India

By Mark Wiens 10 Comments
Chandni Chowk, Old Delhi, India
Chandni Chowk, Old Delhi, India

Before going to India, I considered yogurt to be a decent sweet fruity snack that went well with breakfast.

I loved it. But it wasn’t exactly something that made me lick my lips with anticipation, like a curry or a spicy stir fry.

Yogurt was yogurt.

Even in my initial exploration of the Kolkata street food scene I didn’t come across much yogurt, other than that epic mango lassi.

But when I arrived in North India, specifically Varanasi, and started to explore the diversity of Indian street food chaats, that’s when I gained a new appreciation for something known as “yogurt.”

When I got to Delhi, I was already a huge fan of chaats, and especially those ones where yogurt was a main ingredient.

Dahi bhall (dahi vada)
Dahi bhall (dahi vada)

You don’t just get a little plastic tub of blueberry yogurt in India, it normally comes plain, rich, and pure, and it’s then used in all sorts of Indian dishes and snacks, especially chaats.

One of the best things to do in Delhi is explore the hectic streets of Old Delhi’s Chandni Chowk.

Part of the reward is getting to taste all the incredible street food snacks at places like Natraj Dahi Bhalla Wala, a long standing local favorite for something known as dahi bhalla (also commonly known as a dahi vada).

Enjoying this delicious yogurt snack
Enjoying this delicious yogurt snack

What is Dahi Bhalla (Dahi Vada)?

A vada is deep fried piece of dough, you can sort of imagine it as a donut that’s not sweet and is lightly spiced.

The vadas are then soaked in water and combined with a number spices like garam masala, cumin, pepper, and chili flakes. The vadas form the base of a dahi bhalla.

Then comes the yogurt, a generous scoop of full fat creamy goodness.

On top of the yogurt was a dressing that tasted to me like sweet and sour tamarind juice combined with black pepper, just the right amount of chili, and finally a few pomegranate seeds to make things pretty.

It was outstanding!

Like pani puri, which is an explosion of perfect flavors combined in a single mouthful, dahi bhalla is another example of pure culinary harmony.

The chili was spicy but the yogurt countered the spice, the soft vadas complemented the other ingredients, and the entire combination was something truly marvelous.

I would definitely call it yogurt on the next level!

Natraj Dahi Bhalla Wala
Natraj Dahi Bhalla Wala

Natraj Dahi Bhalla Wala

Dahi bhalla (davi vada) gives yogurt a spicy and extremely refreshing twist, and it’s a dish I absolutely loved (but not quite as much as kulle chaat).

Price: 40 INR ($0.73).
Open hours: 11 am – 11 pm daily
Address: 1396, Main Road, Chandni Chowk, New Delhi
How to get there: Natraj is located right along the main road of Chandni Chowk. You can take the Metro to Chandni Chowk, and when you exit, follow Chandni Chowk road east and Natraj is on your left side, about 200 meters or so down the road, and it’s across the street to Gali Paranthe Wali.


View Delhi Travel Guide – Migrationology.com in a larger map

Note: If you’re going to Delhi, you might want to check out my Delhi Travel Guide, which gives you lots of tips on where to stay, what to do, and food to EAT!

10 comments. I'd love to hear from you!

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  • Vishal

    2 years ago

    Amazing…

  • palak

    4 years ago

    Dahi Bhalla is my favourite dish, I like Natraj Dahi Bhalla is in Old Delhi’s Chandni Chowk. I have obviously had Dahi Bhallas in many places before & had classified them as the good, the bad & the ugly. The one at Natraj was Super good.
    Thanks for sharing greatarticle.

  • Pradeep

    5 years ago

    Hey Mark,

    Your story inspire for food, I am in IT consultant and I have been travelling towards South East Asia for projects, and I am an VEGETARIAN. Now imagine. Still with the help of Internet I eat amazing dishes. If you happen to be in Malaysia JB town let me know.

  • preeti

    8 years ago

    This is possibly my favourite Indian dish, but it’s so much better in India. You are lucky you get to taste the best of it!

    I think I’ve got my parents addicted to your posts of India now, they do miss the food so thanks for the nostalgic moments!

    • Mark Wiens

      8 years ago

      Hey Preeti, glad you love it too. Thank you for introducing your parents to my blog!

  • Nisha

    8 years ago

    Dahi bhalla is my favourite! And Delhi is famous for these chats. In my current city Mumbai, I don’t get the same taste.

    So when I travel to Delhi, I keep a day aside for tasting the local street food. 🙂
    Thanks for this post,
    Slurrrrrrp

    P.S.- I checked, and I don’t have that 41 meals guide book. I am subscribed to your newsletter since ages. Probably it was introduced later which I missed to notice?

    • Mark Wiens

      8 years ago

      Hey Nisha, thanks for sharing, and glad you can come to Delhi every now and then to enjoy the dahi bhalla! I’ll email you the guide!

  • Partial Parallax

    8 years ago

    Always interesting to find out just how diverse the food is across India. It’s a huge country with so much to offer foodies and a place I really need to explore as every region seems to offer something completely different.
    Great post well written with awesome directions.

  • Maria

    8 years ago

    Thanks for the maps you insert, no I’m not in the ‘hood, but I love to check out the area after I read your posts and see what else is there. That way I have all the great details on the food from you and a little more info on the area. Thanks

    • Mark Wiens

      8 years ago

      Hey Maria, glad you like the maps. Hopefully others can find it!