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 yogurt that tastes between sweet and savory. Plus, it had sprinkles of spices.
But that was because I just got to know Pakistani foods through my husband and his family. So I was not used to having lots of spices in my food.
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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.
If you go to Indonesia, there are only some parts of Indonesia that have dishes that 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 many Indonesian foods use coconut milk, unlike Pakistani foods that use yogurt 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 flavored and spiced yogurt and tamarind sauce.
Dahi itself means yogurt, and Baray can be translated as dumplings. So yeah, Dahi Baray in Urdu literally means yogurt (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 yogurt 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 chili powder instead.
How to make Dahi Baray
The main ingredient for this appetizer dish is the Urid dal (black lentils the husks have been removed leaving the inner parts that are white in color), yogurt, 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 of 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 tablespoons 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 color, 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 the dumplings carefully as much as you can without breaking the dumplings. Set aside.
Fourthly, in a bowl mix 1 ½ cups of natural yogurt (I sometimes use Greek-style yogurt as well), ½ milk, 2 tablespoons of sugar, and a pinch of salt. Stir well and put the dumplings in the yogurt mix. Make sure all the dumplings are fully covered and soaked in the yogurt.
Fifthly, mix 1 tablespoon of tamarind paste with 3-4 tablespoons of water, 1 teaspoon of sugar, and a pinch of chili powder. You can add more chili powder if you prefer. Stir well.
Sixthly, arrange the dumplings in a serving bowl, pour over the remaining yogurt mix, and drizzle the tamarind sauce mix over it. If you like, you can sprinkle Chaat Masala, chili 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 noodle made of gram flour.
Ways To Enjoy
Enjoy your Dahi Baray as your snacks and starters on a hot summer day or any day you like.
So however you have these dumplings, do let me know how you like it. I will be grateful if you can leave comments on how you find this allegedly healthy dish.
More Pakistani snacks recipes
If you enjoyed reading this post and find this Dahi Baray recipe useful, feel free to share it and pin it. I would love you to leave your views about the recipe in the comments below. It will be interesting to know how you like the dish.
Lastly, don’t forget to check my other Pakistani snack recipes that you may love.
- Khaman Dhokla: steamed-chickpea cake with spicy lemony drizzle.
- Halwa Puri: semolina pudding with fried flatbread.
- Aloo Paratha: potato-stuffed flatbread.
- Kadhi Pakora: pakora dumplings in spicy yogurt sauce.
- Vegetable Pakora: Pakistani-style vegetable fritters.
All the best.
Pakistani Dahi Baray
- Mixing bowls.
- Food processor or
- Frying pan
- Slotted spoon
- 1 cup urid dal
- 1-2 tablespoons cooked rice
- ½ cup water
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- cooking oil for deep frying
- 1 ½ cup yogurt natural or Greek-style
- ½ cup Milk
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon tamarind paste
- 3-4 tablespoons water
- chaat masala chili powder, or paprika powder
- Thin Savian crisps optional
- Soak the lentils overnight, preferably. Or at least 2-3 hours.
- 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.
- 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.
- Then soak the dumplings in hot water for a few minutes.
- Squeeze the water out of the dumplings carefully until the dumplings spring back to their shape. Set aside.
- 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.
- Then put the dumplings in the yoghurt mixture and let them soak the yoghurt in.
- In another bowl (small) mix the tamarind, 3-4 tbsp water, 1 tbsp of sugar, and a pinch of salt. Mix well. Set aside.
- 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 ?).
- If using, you scatter and garnish your Dahi Baray with crispy thin Savian.
- You can make the dumplings in batches and freeze them. Take however many you need when you want to eat/ or serve, and leave to submerge in hot boiling water for about 2-3 minutes. Squeeze the water out before adding the dumplings to the spiced yogurt.
Nutritional info in this recipe is only estimate using online calculator. You should refer to it as a guide only. Please verify with your own data if you seek an accurate info.