Just like Channa Chaat, Dahi Baray are a quintessential snack/appetizer in Pakistani and Indian homes. Dahi Baray are basically lentil based dumplings that are soaked in a spiced yogurt mixture, and are served cold. Traditionally, lentils are soaked overnight and then pureed to form a batter the next day.
Me, using traditional methods? Yeah right!
Why would I use a harder method when an easier one is available? The lentils used in this recipe, Urad or black gram/matpe beans, can be found in any Indian or Pakistani grocery store in FLOUR FORM! Therefore, we don’t need to soak n’ grind! (And less dishes to wash 😉 )
Also, this recipe produces a large number of dumplings. What I like to do is use as many as I need and freeze the remaining. They frozen dumplings can be quickly thawed in the microwave, and are ready to go when you need them. I like to make a large batch especially during Ramadan, so iftar, or break-fast time, is easier and faster.
This recipe is also courtesy of my mother in-law, so it’s a guaranteed winner 😉
For Lentil Fritters/ Baray:
- 2 cups black matpe flour/ urad flour
- ½ teaspoon garam masala
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
- 2 green chilies, grated
- 2 cups water
- Oil, for frying
For Yogurt Mixture/ Dahi:
- 3 parts yogurt
- 1 part water or milk
- Sugar, to taste
- Salt, to taste
- Cumin powder, to taste
- Red chili powder, to taste
- Chaat masala
- Tamarind Chutney
- Cilantro, chopped, optional
- Onions, finely diced, optional
- Garbanzo beans, optional
Make Lentil Fritters/ Baray:
Combine all of the ingredients for the Baray in a large bowl and mix until smooth. Cover and let it stand for no more than 30 minutes.
Heat oil in a large vessel over medium-high heat. To check the temperature of the oil, drop a small amount of batter into the oil. If the oil starts bubbling and the batter starts making its way upward, the temperature is perfect. Stir the Baray batter, and use a tablespoon to drop spoonfuls of batter into the oil. Cook until the Baray are golden on both sides. Transfer to a paper-towel lined tray. Cool slightly.
Fill a large bowl with lukewarm water. Transfer the Baray to the water and allow them to soak for a few minutes. Squeeze the water out of the Baray using the palms of both hands, and arrange them in a serving dish.
Make Yogurt Mixture/Dahi:
Depending on how many Baray are being used, combine yogurt and water (or milk) in a large bowl and mix until smooth. Add sugar, salt cumin powder, and red chili powder as desired and mix well. Pour over Baray and allow them to soak, refrigerated, for at least one hour before serving.
Serve with garnish. Refrigerate leftovers.
Note: Once cooled completely, the fritters can be frozen to use at a later time. To use, leave desired amount out at room temperature. Once thawed, soak in lukewarm water and use as directed.