IF you are brown, I don’t need to explain Meethe Dahi baray to you. But on the off chance you are not, these are lentil fritters in a sweet and spicy yogurt sauce, topped off with the iconic Dahi bara Masala. They are super soft, delicious AND filling! And pretty much one of THE most popular street foods in India and Pakistan
I love making dahi barays as much as I love to freeze them! I always have them in a ziplock back in my freezer right before Ramadan and Life can’t get easier than that! Bonus, also used in mix chickpea chat!
How to make Dahi baray
Preparing the Lentil Batter
Different families have different dal (lentil) ratio to make these dahi barays. I make it mostly out of yellow lentils (moong ki daal) and a little bit of maash dal. A mix of these two dals give a sooper soft dahi bara!
Soak the daal for 4 to 5 hours or overnight. This step is pretty important! Don’t be hasty if you wan’t your dahi baras to come out soft and fluffy.
The soaked lentils will of course, puff up into double the quantity. These lentils go in the blender with a small piece of ginger.
Ginger: These dals are sort of flatulent. The ginger reduces their flatulent qualities so that it doesn’t give you gas.
Blend the lentils in a blender with as little water as possible. Make sure to get a smooth paste like mix.
Seasoning and resting
Pour the batter in a bowl and whisk with a spoon for 2 to 3 mins. It makes the batter airy and light. Add all the seasonings and then cover the mix and set aside.
This resting period also helps in getting soft and airy lentil fritters.
When you are ready to fry, add baking soda to the batter, right before frying. Don’t let the batter sit for a long time once the baking soda is added.
Tip: Mix Baking soda with a tablespoon of water and THEN add to the batter. This will allow the soda to be mixed well in the batter.
Frying the Lentil fritters
The shape of the dahi baray are a personal choice. You can either go for a more ball shaped dahi baray or flat disc like ones. The only difference between them is the way you fry them.
Shallow frying fritters – Gives you flat disc shaped dahi baray
Deep frying fritters – Gives you round thicker dahi baray
Air frying or baking – Flat disc shaped dahi baray.
I prefer shallow frying because obviously its the healthier choice, I can control how much oil I want to use. But also, generally in my family everybody prefers these as well. So win win!
Use a tablespoon to drop spoonful of batter into the pan and spread it out to form circles. Make sure your oil is at medium flame and hot already when you add the batter.
TIP: Always add fritters to oil once the oil is already hot so that the fritters don’t absorb a lot of oil.
When the fritter turn golden brown on one side, flip them over. Don’t overcrowd the pan when the batter is raw, the fritters will stick to each other. Once they are cooked on one side, then you can add more to the pan.
Fry all the fritters and set it aside. If you are going to make them right away, then dip them in water. And then directly in the yogurt sauce.
If you are making these ahead of time, then wait for the fritters to cool down and then put it in a zip lock bag and freeze. DON’T dip in water.
Making the yogurt sauce.
The yogurt sauce is basically just salt, sugar, water, yogurt and dahi bara masala. You can skip the dahi bara masala in the yogurt if you want but you would still definitely need some to sprinkle on top.
Don’t worry if it looks to watery. After you add the fritters, the fritters soak up a significant amount of the mix and your yogurt with thicken up again. If you start with a thick yogurt, it’ll almost dry up after the fritters are added to it.
For fresh dahi barays, that are already dipped in water, just dip them in the yogurt directly and refrigerate.
For the frozen batch, you’ll need to boil the fritters in water. No need to thaw or anything, just put them directly in the boiling water for 3 to 4 mins. Gentle pick each fritter up and dip them in the yogurt sauce. Refrigerate!
Refrigeration is important to allow the dahi baras to soak up all the yogurt and thicken it.
Sprinkle the signature dahi bara masala on top, along with chat masala and sweet tamarind chutney and ENJOY!
Alternates, fixes and Remixes
- You can make “Namkeen Dahi baray” with the same recipe. Simply skip sugar in the yogurt and increase the salt by 1/4th tsp.
- You can also buy pre-made Dahi bara masala. But don’t skip it.
- If your yogurt sauce dries too much, add more beaten yogurt on top of the dahi baray.
- You can also add more toppings of your choice, like chips, pomegranate seeds and mint leaves.