Paleo Dahi Vada (gluten free, dairy free)


If you’re following a paleo diet and like Indian food, then you are in for a treat because I have come up with a recipe for grain-free and dairy-free, and legume-free dahi vada! These little paleo dough balls are smothered with creamy yogurt and topped with sweet and spicy chutneys, making for a super tasty Indian appetizer.

Paleo Dahi Vada

Lentil and Dairy-Free Dahi Vada?!

If you’ve never had dahi vada before – it is traditionally a fried lentil dumpling – but my recipe is lentil-free. I wanted to create a lentil-free recipe for those who can’t tolerate legumes and/or for those following a paleo diet. Another big difference between the traditional version and mine is that I don’t fry the fritters. Rather than deep frying the dumplings, my recipe calls for baking them in an oven using a donut pan OR you can also use a donut maker if you have one.

This is an Indian street food and it goes by many different names – it’s also known as dahi baray, dahi bhalla and well, a lot of other names.

I actually came up with this paleo version several years ago when I wrote this Paleo Indian eCookbook – it has 100+ Paleo Indian recipes and this recipe for dahi vada one of them. Instead of lentils, my recipe calls for a combination of paleo friendly flours: almond flour, arrowroot flour and coconut flour. The coconut flour does a great job of soaking up the coconut yogurt.

You’ll want to have some chutneys handy to top these dahi vadas – a few of my favorites: chaat sauce, tamarind chutney and green chutney. You can make these sauces and freeze them flat in a zip lock bag – that’s what I do – then just break off a frozen piece and thaw as needed.

I hope you love this appetizer! It’s perfect on a hot day – the cool and creamy dahi and chutneys will absolutely cool you down. Enjoy!

Paleo Dahi Vada

Paleo Dahi Vada (gluten free, dairy free)

Paleo Dahi Vada

Paleo Dahi Vada (gluten free, dairy free)

This popular Indian appetizer is made by soaking vadas in dahi, a thick yogurt and then topping them with sweet and spicy chutneys. The coconut flour in these vadas does a great job of soaking in the coconut yogurt. I’ve stuffed the vadas with chopped cashews and raisins, which adds great flavor and texture when serving them in creamy dahi.
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  • 1 cup almond flour
  • ½ cup arrowroot flour
  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 inch ginger minced
  • ½ Serrano pepper minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons melted ghee
  • Golden raisins chopped
  • Cashews chopped

To Assemble:

  • 1 cup dairy-free yogurt or regular works too, plus more for serving
  • Tamarind Chutney and/or Chaat Sauce adjust to taste
  • Green chutney adjust to taste
  • Pinch of Kashmiri chili powder for color, optional


  • Preheat a donut hole maker OR if using a donut pan, preheat oven to 350°F .
  • Add the almond flour, arrowroot flour, coconut flour, baking soda, ginger, Serrano pepper, salt and cumin in a bowl and mix well.
  • Then, add the coconut milk and ghee to the bowl and mix until smooth.
  • Scoop the batter into a ziplock bag, seal the top, and snip one of the bottom corners.
  • Pipe the batter into the mold, filling it halfway. Add half a cashew and 1 raisin to the batter, then continue to pipe until the mold is completely full. It will need to be full in order to create a round shape. If it spills over, that’s okay, you can trim off the edges after they have cooled.
  • Cook until the donut machine indicator light goes off OR For the oven, bake for 15 minutes. Then remove and cool on a wire rack.

To Assemble:

  • Add the vadas to a bowl and pour the dahi on top. Mix well to make sure all vadas are covered in dahi. Keep this in the fridge for at least 20 minutes (2-3 hours is ideal) to soak up the dahi.
  • When serving, add more dahi if needed and top with chutney and Kashmiri chili powder.


  • you can find dairy-free yogurt at grocery stores like whole foods or trader joes. If you’d like to see my homemade coconut yogurt recipe then check out my Paleo Indian eBook.
  • If you are using a donut pan, the shape will obviously be different but both shapes work and taste delicious 🙂
Did you make this recipe?Tag @myheartbeets on Instagram and hashtag it #myheartbeets!

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Find out more about my cookbooks Indian Food Under Pressure and South Asian Persuasion.

About Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley. Thanks for being here! I truly believe that food brings us closer together. Gather around a table with good food and good people, and you’ll have the ingredients you need to create some happy memories. My hope is that you find recipes here that you can’t wait to share with family and friends.


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  1. Dakota F says

    I forgot to mention in the last comment, thank you for the recipe! I’ll certainly have to try it, even though I’m going to substitute the ghee with some oil to be purely dairy-free but that’s no worries!

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