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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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.
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 ?.
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.
If you enjoyed reading this post and find the recipe useful, feel free to share it and pin it. I would love you to leave your views on this Dahi Baray in the comments too. It will be interesting to know how you like the dish.
Lastly, don’t forget to check my other recipes that you may equally love.
- Gado-gado Jakarta: vegetable salad with peanut sauce from Jakarta.
- Lontong sayur Betawi: hard-boiled rice with vegetable curry.
- Indonesian Mung bean fritters: perkedel kacang Hijau.
- Simple pasta with curly Kale and Broccoli stir-fry.
- The hassle-free microwave sweet potato gratin.
- Indonesian sweetcorn fritters: perkedel jagung.
All the best.