This classic recipe just got healthier and lighter on stomach. By some easy twists and tweaks, you will be able to enjoy your favorite dahi-baray in a much mindful way.
Dahi baray (also known as dahi bhalle, dahi wade, dahi bade) are a famous Indian street food. These are particularly popular during Ramadan (fasting month for Muslims) at iftar time (time for breaking the fast). They are usually made by grinding lentils and deep frying it to make dumplings. These dumplings are then added to a yogurt sauce before being topped with different kinds of chutneys and chaat masala.
How is this version healthier?
There are a few tweaks to the classic recipe which makes this version healthier and lighter on the stomach.
- Baked instead of deep fried: I bake my baras instead of deep frying them, keeping all the ingredients same. They come out really soft, light and non-greasy. Tasting them you won’t feel that they are any different from the regular(fried?) ones.
- Hing (asafoetida) water immersion: Since maash daal could be particularly heavy on the stomach, we use hing in this recipe. Hing helps in digestion. We submerge the baras into hing water which also make the baras moist and soft.
- Kefir instead of yogurt: I use kefir instead of dahi (yogurt) to make my dahi-baray. Kefir is a fermented drink which has a good amount of probiotics. It is healthy for the gut and lighter on the stomach. However, yogurt isn’t a bad option too. You can of course opt for it if kefir is not available to you.
- Date and tamarind chuntey (without sugar) instead of any sugar-loaded chutney: Dates are rich in fiber and iron. We replace these for sugar in our meethi chutney, which makes it more nutritious. You will find the recipe of our date and tamarind chutney here.
Does it taste exactly like the regular dahi-baray?
Yes! You will hardly be able to tell that these are any different than the ones that are deep fried. The ingredients are all the same. Only the method of cooking them is different here.
Can you freeze the baras?
Yes! These baras are freezer-friendly. I always make a big batch and freeze some to save time later. Freeze them into a ziplock bag or an airtight container just after baking (when they reach room temperature). When needed for consumption, you can defrost them and then soak into water to get a moist and fluffy consistency.
What ingredients would you need to make these dahi-baras?
Notes on ingredients:
- Maash (urad) daal and moong (mung spilt) daal are available at most Indian stores.
- Baking soda is available by the name Kaiser Natron in Germany. Don’t confuse it with baking powder. It won’t give you the same results.
- Kefir is available at most well stocked grocery stores like Edeka, Rewe, Real etc. You can substitute it with beaten yogurt, mixed with some water.
- Hing (asafoetida) is often available at many Indian stores. If you can’t find it, just skip it.
- Black salt is available at Indian stores.
- Roasted ground cumin could be made at home, simply by roasting cumin seeds until fragrant and then grinding them into powder.
- Green chutney: This is my spicy mint and coriander chutney. I prefer making my own at home. You can find the recipe here.
- Sweet chutney: I make this one at home too without added sugar, using dates and tamarind. You will find the recipe here.
- Chaat masala is also easily available at Indian stores. My favorite one is MDH chunky chaat masala.
Another essential for making these baked baras is a silicone tray mold. This allows you to easily take out the baras after being baked without breaking them. I highly recommend you to invest in one. Here is the link of the one which I am using.
Watch the video below to easily follow the recipe
Baked Dahi-Baray (with kefir)
- silicone mold tray (linked above)
For the baked baras
- 200 grams (1 cup) Maash (urad) daal
- 100 grams (½ cup) Moong daal
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- 5 cm piece of ginger (peeled and roghly chopped)
- 2 green chilies (roughly chopped)
- 2 tsp salt
- 200 ml water
- ½ tsp baking soda
- juice of half lemon
For the hing water
- 1 liter warm water
- a pinch of hing (asafoetida) (optional)
For the dahi mixture
- 500 ml kefir (substitute beaten yogurt mixed with water)
- 1 tsp roasted ground cumin
- ½ tsp red chili powder
- ½ tsp black salt
- 2-3 Tbsp green chutney (recipe linked below)
- 2-3 Tbsp sweet chutney (recipe linked below)
- 1 tsp chaat masala
- a handful of pomegranate seeds
- a few coriander leaves
- Wash the maash and moong daals thoroughly until the water comes out clear. Soak overnight or at least 5 hours.
- Drain all the excess water from the daal and transfer to a blender jar. Add the cumin seeds, ginger, green chilies, salt and water into the blender jar. Blend until a smooth paste is formed. Then transfer to a big bowl.
- Add the baking soda and lemon juice and mix until very well combined.
- Set the oven to preheat at 180° Celsius.
- Grease all the molds in the the silicone tray lightly with olive oil using a brush. Pour a tablespoon of batter into each mold.
- Bake at 180° Celsius for 15 minutes.
- Take put from the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes before taking the baras out of the tray. (If you are planning to freeze some, do it at this point).
- In the meantime, prepare the hing water by adding the hing to the water. If you are not using hing, you may just skip hing and use plain warm water.
- Transfer your baked baras to the prepared hing water. Make sure to submerge them completely with water and let them soak for 10 minutes.
- In the meanwhile prepare the dahi mixture by adding the roasted ground cumin, red chili and black salt into the kefir (or yogurt). Keep aside until needed.
- Take the baras out of the water, one at a time. Place it onto your palm and press gently with your fingers to squeeze out the liquid from it. You do not need to get rid of all the liquid, just a gently squeeze is enough. Make sure not to break the baras. Place the baras in a single layer onto a serving dish.
- You may keep it in the refrigerator for an hour to let the baras soak the yogurt and chutneys. Serve!