Pakistani Dahi Baray recipe

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The first time I had this Dahi Baray, I must admit that I didn’t like it. I found it strange to have a sort of dumpling with yoghurt that tastes between sweet and savoury. Plus, it had sprinkles of spices. 

But that was because I just landed into my husband’s family 😄. So I was not used to having lots of spices in my food. 

As an Indonesian, I was accustomed to spices to some extent. But the way the Indonesians use spices is different from Pakistani or Indian people. 


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Pakistani Dahi Baray - lentil dumplings in yoghurt sauce

If you go to Indonesia, there are only some parts of Indonesia that have dishes which similarly use a lot of spices as Pakistanis/ Indians. 

People from Sumatra island have many dishes that use many different spices. My dad was from North Sumatra, and his traditional food was quite spicy and rich. The distinguished difference is that much Indonesian food uses coconut milk, unlike Pakistani food that uses yoghurt in many dishes.

Anyway, it took me a few times of trying Dahi Baray before I found myself liking it. 

I’m quite grateful that I’m blessed with a very compromising taste bud. I can adapt and appreciate many different foods and cuisines that I almost always end up liking. 

And this Dahi Baray is one of them. 

What is Dahi Baray?

For those who wonder what exactly this Dahi Baray is, it is basically dumplings that are made of Urid dal (Vigna mungo) that you enjoy with flavoured and spiced yoghurt and tamarind sauce.

Dahi itself means yoghurt, and Baray can be translated as dumplings. So yeah, Dahi Baray in Urdu literally means yoghurt (with) dumplings in English. And some Indians call this dish Dahi Bhalla, and some others call it Dahi Verde. 

When you make this right, the dumplings taste fluffy and light with yoghurt that tastes a little bit sweet and tangy because of the tamarind sauce. It’s topped with Chaat masala just before serving. It’s this Chaat masala that initially put me off. Because some people can sprinkle this spice a little bit too much for my liking.

So, now I know how to make this Dahi Baray, I can always adjust and tweak how much spice I want to put. Sometimes I even substitute the chaat masala with paprika powder or just chilli instead 😊.

How to make Dahi Baray

The main ingredient for this appetizer dish is the Urid dal (black lentils that the husks have been removed leaving the inner parts that are white in colour), yoghurt, and tamarind sauce.

Firstly, you have to soak 1 cup of the lentils overnight, preferably. Although I soaked it for about 2-3 hours in hot water a few times before. And it worked fine.

The idea is that you want the lentils to be plumped up with water. Making it nice and fluffy when you make it into dumplings.

frying daal pakora for dahi baray
frying the daal pakora/ lentil dumplings for Dahi Baray

Secondly, you would grind the lentils into almost like a paste. A food processor will do a good job for this. If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a normal blender. But make sure, you pulse it every now and again. And try to stir the lentils every so often. Otherwise, the thick blended lentils will overwork your blender 😊.

If you can, put 1-2 tablespoon of cooked rice into your lentils, together with ½ teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of baking powder. This little tip can make your dumpling even softer, fluffier, and tastier. Pssst….it’s been my secret tip you know 😉.

ready fried daal pakora for dahi baray
ready fried daal pakoras/ lentil dumplings for the Dahi Baray

Thirdly, deep fry the lentils mixture by sliding one teaspoon each into the oil. When they’re golden yellow in colour, they’re done. Then, you want to pour hot boiling water over the dumplings and let them soak in water for a few minutes before you drain the water. Squeeze the water out of dumplings carefully as much as you can without breaking the dumplings. Set aside.

Fourthly, in a bowl mix 1 ½ cup of natural yoghurt (I sometimes use Greek-style yoghurt as well), ½ milk, 2 tablespoons of sugar, and a pinch of salt. Stir well and put the dumplings in the yoghurt mix. Make sure all the dumplings are fully covered and soaked in the yoghurt.  

Fifthly, mix 1 tablespoon of tamarind paste with 3-4 tablespoons of water, 1 teaspoon of sugar, and a pinch of chilli powder. You can add more chilli powder if you prefer. Stir well.

Sixthly, arrange the dumplings in a serving bowl, pour over the remaining yoghurt mix, and drizzle the tamarind sauce mix over it. If you like, you can sprinkle Chaat Masala, chilli powder, or paprika powder on the top. You can also have Dahi Baray with crispy thin Savian on the top. It’s a type of crispy noodles made of gram flour. 

Lastly, enjoy your Dahi Baray as your starter, or as an afternoon snack on a hot summer day. This dish is often enjoyed for breaking the fast in Ramadan (Islamic fasting month) too. 

So however you have these dumplings, do let me know how you like it. I will be grateful if you can leave in the comments on how you find this allegedly healthy dish.

Dahi Baray - Pakistani daal pakora with yoghurt sauce

Pakistani Dahi Baray

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes

Dahi Baray is literally lentil dumplings soaked in yoghurt sauce. They're fluffy and light with creamy yoghurt sauce and tamarind sauce drizzle. A perfect starter for summer days.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Urid dal
  • 1-2 tbsp Cooked rice
  • ½ cup water
  • Salt
  • ¼ tsp Baking soda
  • Cooking oil for deep frying
  • 1 ½ cup Yoghurt (natural or Greek-style)
  • ½ cup Milk
  • 3 tbsp Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Tamarind paste
  • 3-4 tbsp Water
  • Chaat masala, chilli powder, or paprika powder
  • Thin Savian crisps (optional)

Instructions

  1. Soak the lentils overnight, preferably. Or at least 2-3 hours.
  2. Drain the lentils, put it in a blender or food processor together with the rice, ½ tsp of salt, and ½ cup of water. Blend it until it becomes a fine smooth paste.
  3. Heat the oil in a frying pan. Using two teaspoons, scoop and slide the batter into the hot oil one by one. Fry until all the dumplings look golden yellow and they’re floating on top of the oil.
  4. Then soak the dumplings in hot water for a few minutes.
  5. Squeeze the water out of the dumplings carefully until the dumplings spring back to their shape. Set aside.
  6. Get yoghurt mixture ready by mixing 1 ½ cup of yoghurt, ½ cup of milk, 2 tbsp of sugar, and a pinch of salt. Stir it well until the sugar dissolves. 
  7. Then put the dumplings in the yoghurt mixture and let them soak the yoghurt in.
  8. In another bowl (small) mix the tamarind, 3-4 tbsp water, 1 tbsp of sugar, and a pinch of salt. Mix well. Set aside. 
  9. Arrange the dumplings in a serving dish. Pour over the remaining yoghurt mixture, drizzle the tamarind sauce mix, and sprinkle the spice that you like (either Chaat masala, chilli powder, or paprika. You can even mix all the 3 of them as much your taste bud allows 😃).
  10. If using, you scatter and garnish your Dahi Baray with crispy thin Savian.
  11. Delicious.
Nutrition Information
Yield 8 Serving Size 1 Amount Per Serving Calories 192Total Fat 9gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 5gCholesterol 16mgSodium 471mgCarbohydrates 20gFiber 2gSugar 9gProtein 9g

The nutrition calculation you find here is just a guide provided by online nutrition calculator. You should not use to substitute advice from nutritionists or health practitioners.

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Lastly, don’t forget to check my other recipes that you may equally love.

All the best.

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