Ramadan recipe: How to Make Dahi Baray (Lentil Fritters in Yoghurt Sauce)

"Dahi Baray" (also called "Dahi Vada") or fried lentils in yoghurt
"Dahi Baray" (also called "Dahi Vada") or fried lentils in yoghurt Copyright Canva
By Laiba Mubashar
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As Muslims around the world celebrate Eid-u-Fitr at the end of the holy month of Ramadan, the Euronews Culture team brings you another recipe for a popular dish that has a special place at the Ramadan table and is a must on the Eid menu.

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As Muslims around the world celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr at the end of the holy month of Ramadan, the Euronews Culture team brings you another recipe from the Ramadan table.

This time we’re looking at South Asia, home to one-third of the world’s Muslims, where Eid is being celebrated today. 

For the past four weeks, Muslims around the world have been fasting to celebrate Ramadan, the holiest month in the Islamic calendar. The fasts are observed daily from sunrise to sunset. During that period those people don't eat, drink, smoke, or engage in sexual activities until the fast is “opened” at the Iftar food table. 

The month of Ramadan continues until a crescent moon is spotted. Since the Islamic lunar calendar is 11 days shorter than the widely used Gregorian solar calendar, Eid falls on a different day each year. 

The 1.8 billion Muslims in the world are spread across different countries from east to west. Oftentimes, this means the first day of Eid can vary between different Islamic countries depending on the moon sighting in each country. 

This year, for example, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE, and most countries in the Middle East started celebrating Eid yesterday (Friday, 21 April) whereas, in Pakistan, India, and even Morocco, Eid starts today (Saturday, 22 April). 

Today, as most of South Asia celebrates Eid, we are sharing with you a recipe for Dahi Baray (lentil fritters in yoghurt) – fried or steamed fritters made from pounded lentils in a sweet, tangy, or spicy yoghurt sauce.

Growing up in Pakistan, I have had Dahi Baray countless times. They’re eaten all year round – as a snack, an appetizer, or a side dish – but have a special place at the Ramadan Iftar table and also on the Eid feast table.

Dahi Baray

Serves: 3-5 persons

Total time: Up to 1 hour

Ingredients:

For the baras:

½ Cup yellow lentils (moong daal)

½ tsp Carom seeds (Ajwain)

1 cup sifted gram flour

1 tbs corn oil

¼ tsp baking soda

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1 tsp (or to taste) red chilli powder

½ tsp turmeric powder

1 tbs salt

Cooking oil for deep frying

Lukewarm water as required

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For the yoghurt sauce:

4-5 tbs (or to taste) sugar

1 cup yoghurt

¼ tsp salt

½ cup milk

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4-5 tbs cream

Optional:

Imli chutney (Tamarind sauce)

Coriander sauce

Dahi bara masala/Chaat masala to taste

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Canva
Fried dahi baras with yoghurt sauce, tamarind sauce, coriander sauce, and relevant spices.Canva

Instructions:

Preparation:

1. In a spice mixer, add yellow lentils and carom seeds. Grind to make a fine powder & set aside.

2. In a bowl, add gram flour, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, and the ground lentil powder and mix well.

3. Gradually add water and whisk well until a thick batter is formed.

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4. Add corn oil and whisk for 2 minutes. Cover and let it rest for 15 minutes.

5. After 15 minutes, add baking soda to the mix and whisk.

6. In a frying pan, heat some oil. Take out the batter using a big spoon and make circular shapes (for the baras) in the oil. Fry on medium-low heat until golden brown.

7. In a bowl, pour some lukewarm water and add 1 tsp salt.

8. Take out the fried baras from the pan and soak them in the bowl of water for 15-20 minutes.

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9. While the baras are being soaked, prepare the yoghurt sauce. Pour yoghurt in a bowl. Add 4-5 tbs of sugar, ¼ tsp salt, 4-5 tbs of cream, and ½ cup milk. Whisk well.

Assembling:

10. Take out the baras from the bowl of water and gently squeeze each piece (bara) in your palm to remove the excess water.

11. Line up a serving dish with the baras and pour the yoghurt mix on top. Sprinkle some dahi bara masala (available in Indian supermarkets) or chaat masala (available in most supermarkets).

Canva
Dahi Baray in a serving dishCanva

Feel free to pour some imli chutney (tamarind sauce) and/or coriander sauce, both of which you can easily find in an Indian supermarket.

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Some people also like to add boiled potatoes and onions to the final assembly dish but just the baras alone with the yoghurt sauce makes a fine treat!

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