You know how you just take some things for granted and don’t think about them very much?
Well, for me Dahi Baray are one of those things. They have been there at every ‘tea’ that I have been to for just about my entire life and my mother makes a variation (Dahi Phulki/Dahi Boondi) but I never thought about how to make them or what goes in and not because I don’t like them. I can certainly polish off an immense amount of dahi baray, especially the savoury and spicy kind. So much so that I am now grateful that I am pregnant and don’t have to justify how much I eat. I just never thought about how to make them because someone else always did.
This summer I decided to be brave and make Dahi Baray for a potluck lunch and playdate a friend was hosting. Is it brave or foolish to try something a little tricky for the first time for a crowd? Let’s just pretend it is brave since that is the kind of thing I do with some regularity.
The good news is that all is well that ends well and to ensure that it was not some kind of fluke I made them again today for a friend who was visiting from out of town. The very empty dish speaks for itself 🙂
Note Added June 3, 2016: I was recently trying to remember where it was that I learnt to make these and then I remembered that it was on a phone call to my feisty nani who is no longer in the best health. I write this here so that I never forget again that this is one of the many things I learnt from Nanna, the lady that once wore ghararas, carried a paan daan, always used talcum powder in the summer and made some of the best food I have ever eaten.
Dahi Baray Tips and Tricks
Dahi Baray are easy enough, but here are four must knows tips for the softest dahi baray.
1.) Soak your Maash ki daal in advance - overnight is best, but six hours works too. The daal has to be able to break down to grind
2.) Don't add too much water with your Maash ki Daal - you'll end up with watery dahi baray.
3.) If you do end up with watery dahi baray then just add a little besan to the batter and it will fix them! Start with a tbsp or two and do a test batch.
How to Freeze the Baray
Once you fry the fritters for the dahi baray then let them cool completely and put in a ziploc bag, making sure to squeeze all the air out that you can. Then you can freeze them and pull them out as needed. Just defrost at room temperature and give them a warm salted water bath and proceed.
Dahi Baray Always Remind Me Of...
Tried these Dahi Baray? Rate the recipe below! I'd love to see yours so do tag me in your recreations on Instagram!
- Yogurt 2 pounds or about 1 ½ times a 750g yogurt carton
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 ½ tsp red chilli powder
- 1 to 1 ½ tsp cumin powder
- 1 cup ma’ash/urad daal – the white kind covered with water and soaked overnight
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon cumin powder
- ½ teaspoon red chilli powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Chaat Masala Powder
- Red Chilli Powder
- Tamarind Chutney
- Finely Chopped Cilantro
- Coriander/Mint Chutney
Combine the yogurt, sugar and spices along with ½ cup of water and whisk. I suggest starting with half the amount of chilli powder and cumin powder unless like me you are a fan.
Taste and check seasoning. Put it in the fridge while you work on the dumplings.
Drain the lentils and reserve the water. Grind them with ¼-1/3 cup of the soaking water in to a thick paste. I have strong blender and ¼ cup works well. When you run a spoon through them they will leave pronounced tracks
Take a spatula and transfer the ground paste into a bowl and add the salt, red chilli powder, cumin powder and baking soda.
Whisk energetically to create volume in the batter, about 4-5 minutes with a large whisk.
Heat add 2 inches of oil and put on medium-high heat for the oil to heat through.
Meanwhile get another pan or bowl – at least 10 inches in diameter and fill it ⅔ of the way with water. Add a pinch of salt in the water
Now get a tray or platter and line it with paper towels to help drain the grease from the dumplings.
Once the oil heats up then gently place a dollop of the batter into the hot oil.
After a minute and a half the dumpling will turn a lovely golden color at which point you should turn them over and cook for another minute and a half.
Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels.
Put the dumplings in the water bath for a few minutes
Pour a layer of yogurt mix into your dish of choice.
Remove the dumplings from the water one by one, gently squeezing them beneath your palms to drain the excess water and then lay them out in rows on top of the yogurt until your dish is filled.
Top with enough of the yogurt to adequately cover the dumplings and refrigerate.
Leave it for atleast an hour so the flavours soak through the dumplings.
Top with your garnishes of choice
If there is too much water in the maash ki daal mix the baray will be mushy which is why I start with a smaller amount. However, if you do accidentally put too much liquid then you can always fix your dahi baray by adding a little besan to the batter.
Variations: to amp up the spice you can add some green chilies into the dahi baray or even put a baghaar of curry leaves, cumin, and dried red chilies over top.