Make better than restaurant Dahi kabab that are crisp on the outside and soft, with a melt-in-the-mouth inside. When I say better than restaurant you know what I mean, these are extremely delicious, unique tasting with a punch of flavors from the herbs and garam masala. I am sure once you make these, you won’t go back to the traditional restaurant dahi kabab anymore. Serve these with a side of Coriander chutney, Mint chutney or Green chutney.
Dahi kabab translates to yogurt kababs where “Dahi” is a Hindi word for “Curd” (Indian yogurt) and “Kabab” here means a “Patty”. Also known as Dahi ke kabab, these are vegetarian patties made with curd as the primary ingredient. Various ingredients like spices, herbs & gram flour are used to flavor them.
You will find numerous ways to make dahi kabab. Bread crumbs, onions, nuts, paneer and even cheese can be tasted in some versions.
In India, all kababs are not meat based and this version of vegetarian dahi kabab are more common in the North Indian restaurants. These are not a very common Snack or appetizer made in the households except for occasions.
Traditionally these are made with strained Curd (Dahi) also known as Hung curd in Indian cuisine. Since the texture of the hung curd is too moist even after straining, it is necessary to use an ingredient that can soak up the moisture. So gram flour or dried bread crumbs (not fresh) are used.
To flavor the mixture, onions, garam masala, ginger, garlic, green chilies and coriander leaves are used. Chopped nuts like cashews and almonds add some texture when you bite into the kababs. Without nuts your dahi kababs will not have any texture as it is made mostly with smooth curd.
The mixture is shaped to patties and pan fried, shallow fried or deep fried as per convenience. Yes in Indian restaurants, some kind of kababs are also deep fried.
My tried and test recipe will help you make the best dahi kabab that are super crisp on the outside, soft inside and the aroma of gram flour is unbeatable. You won’t feel that you are eating bland chunks of cooked yogurt & gram flour.
The key ingredient in my recipe is the crumbled Paneer which balances the tang in yogurt and adds a wonderful texture to your dahi kabab.
To make the recipe easier use store bought Greek yogurt or toned yogurt and store bought paneer. This step will help you make these under 30 minutes.
These dahi kabab are best shallow fried, baked or air fried. Though you can pan fry them, they won’t have the same crusty exterior like the other versions.
How to Make Dahi Kabab (Stepwise Photos)
1. Place a sieve over a bowl and line it with a muslin cloth.
2. Pour 2 cups of fresh curd to the cloth. Bring together the edges and gently wring to drain up excess whey.
3. Leave it on the sieve.
4. Place a heavy bowl or a couple of bowls over the curd pack. This helps to remove the excess whey completely. Refrigerate for 12 to 14 hours (everything together – bowl, seive, curd along with the weight).
5. Hung curd will be ready. Make sure it has no more whey in it.
6. Add that to a mixing bowl. Also add in crumbled paneer, ginger paste, garam masala and salt.
7. Next add onions, cashews, coriander leaves and green chilies. Since we do not use red chili powder here add enough green chilies .
8. Add bread crumbs. I used about half cup.
Shape Dahi Kabab
9. Bring everything together and make a ball. Make sure you do not knead it at all. Otherwise moisture from onions begin to release. Make sure salt, chilli spice and garam masala is good enough. Otherwise you can add them now.
10. The mixture has to be non sticky. As you can see in the picture the mixture did not stick up to my fingers even though I did not grease my fingers. Otherwise dahi kabab will soak up oil. If the mixture is sticky, then use more bread crumbs. Make equal sized balls.
11. Next flatten and then join the cracks if any.
12. Finally roll all of these in besan. Shake off the excess flour. This prevents the oil turning messy. Set aside for 5 to 7 mins.
13. These can be grilled on a grill pan or in a preheated oven. They can also be shallow fried. Heat the oil on a medium flame. Drop the dahi kababs one after the other and fry on a medium heat.
14. Lastly flip. Then fry until golden and crisp on both the sides. Drain to a absorbent tissue.
Serve dahi kabab hot with mint chutney.
Dahi: The key to making the best dahi ke kabab is to use fresh curd that is not sour tasting. If dahi has even a slight sour flavor it will ruin the entire dish.
Also using paneer and hung curd that has no dripping whey is very important. This helps to prevent the kababs from soaking up lot of oil.
Paneer adds a texture to the kababs so do not skip it. Otherwise the kababs will taste like curd and flour dough.
To make dahi kabab I have used homemade paneer and dahi or curd. You can also use store bought ones for convenience. I made the paneer the previous night and hung it to get rid of the whey completely.
Similarly I made the hung curd the previous night and refrigerated both of them. Do use a good flavorful garam masala otherwise the kababs will taste bland.
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- 2 cups plain yogurt (curd or ¾ cup Greek yogurt or hung curd)
- 1¼ cup paneer crumbled (or ¾ cup bread crumbs)
- 10 cashewnuts chopped finely
- ¼ cup onions (optional) very finely chopped
- 1½ teaspoons ginger paste
- 2 green chilies chopped or paste (use as needed)
- 1 to 1 ¼ teaspoons garam masala
- 3 tablespoons coriander leaves – finely chopped
- Salt as needed
- ½ cup bread crumbs (or substitute with powdered poha)
- 2 to 3 tablespoons besan (gram flour) (or substitute with sattu, roasted chana dal flour)
- Oil as needed for shallow frying
Make Greek yogurt or hung curd (skip if you have it)
- Place a strainer over a large deep bowl. Spread a thin muslin cloth or cheese cloth over the strainer. Pour the curd and bring together the edges of the cloth. Then wring the cloth to drain up excess whey from curd. (check pics in the post)
- Place 2 to 3 heavy ceramic bowl or a heavy object over the pack of yogurt. Refrigerate the whole thing for 12 to 14 hours. The whey drips and gets collected to the bowl. Later hung curd is ready.
How to Make Dahi Kabab
- Crumble paneer and add it to a mixing bowl along with hung curd.
- Add all the other ingredients – ginger, garlic, chilli, garam masala, onions, cashews and coriander leaves.
- Mix well just to make a non sticky dough. If the dough is still sticky add more bread crumbs.
- Divide the dough to equal sized balls. Flatten them.
- Then roll them in besan or any flour you prefer. Shake them off gently to remove excess flour. Set aside for 5 to 7 mins.
- Heat up oil for shallow frying. Test if the oil is hot enough by dropping a small portion of the mixture. It should sizzle, rise up and not turn brown.
- Gently drop the dahi kabab one after the other. Regulate the flame to medium.
- Do not disturb them for a few minutes. When one side turns golden, flip them and fry on the other side as well.
- Fry all the dahi kababs in batches until golden and crisp.
- Serve dahi kabab hot with coriander chutney, green chutney or mint chutney.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
© Swasthi’s Recipes
Dahi kabab recipe first published in May 2017. Updated and republished in May 2022.