Sometimes only GITS will do. If you have time to clean, wash and soak the black lentils overnight before grinding to a paste with salt, ginger and bicarbonate of soda then of course the results will be infinitely tastier, but when I want to cut corners I always turn to the little box of GITS in my cupboard. Dahi Vada (or Doi Boda as we call them in Bengali) is my street food of choice whenever I visit Bangladesh. Savoury doughnuts of spiced lentils are fried, soaked briefly in water and then combined with cool, thick yoghurt. This is garnished with coriander, chilli powder, tamarind and roasted cumin and served chilled.
Most Asian shops sell these packet mixes for around £1.50. The Vada mix is already prepared so you just add water, fry, soak briefly, drain and mix with the seasoned yoghurt. This creamy tangy mess is the most perfect thing to eat when it’s hot outside (or when you want to evoke sunnier climes). It’s good as a side dish, perhaps with a simple dahl and some steamed basmati rice. I sometimes like it on it’s own with chopped tomatoes and some crisp shredded lettuce mixed in.