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.
Dahi baray Recipe
Dahi baray or the lentil fritters
- 2 cups yellow lentil moong dal
- 1/2 cup white lentils mash ki dal
- 1/2 tsp crushed red chili flakes
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 small piece of ginger or 1 tsp ginger paste
- 1/2 tsp garam masala powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- Oil for frying
Yogurt Sauce for meethey dahi baray (sweet) (for a batch of 8 to 10 dahi baray)
- 1 cup yogurt
- 1 cup water
- 4 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp dahi bara masala
- Dahi bara masala
- Sweet Tamarind chutney
- Chat masala
- Soak both the lentils in water for 4 hours or overnight.
- Blend the lentils in a food processor with as little water as possible along with a piece of ginger to make a smooth paste. (try to keep water between 1/4 to 1/2 cup)
- Pour the lentil paste in a bowl and add salt, cumin seeds, crush red chili and garam masala powder. Beat the batter with a spoon or a whisk for 2 to 3 mins.
- Cover the dough and let it rest for another hour.
- Mix baking soda in 1 tbsp water and add it to the lentil batter. Mix well.
- In a frying pan add a little oil on medium flame.
- Drop spoonfuls of lentil batter and fry on one side until golden brown and the flip to fry the other side.
- To assemble on the same day
- Remove the fritters from oil and directly dip into a bowl of room temperature water.
- Remove from water after 5 mins and dip it into the yogurt sauce.
- Let it sit in the fridge for an hour before serving
To assemble later
- Let the fried lentil fritters cool down. Then put them in a ziplock bag and freeze them.
- Whenever you need to make a batch, remove dahi barays from freezer, no need to thaw.
- Boil water in a sauce pan and dip the frozen dahi bareys in it.
- Let the bareys boil for 3 to 4 mins.
- Remove from water and directly add to the yogurt mix.
- Cover and refrigerate for an hour
- Adjust the seasoning in the yogurt and quantity according to your liking.
- Yogurt SauceMix all the ingredients mentioned and adjust the seasoning according to your taste. The measurements given will give you Meethe dahi baray or sweet dahi baray.
- GarnishServe garnished with chat masala, sweet Tamarind chutney and dahi bara masala.