Fluffy and soft Dahi Baray or Dahi bada chaat will surely melt in your mouth with the delectable flavor of creamy yogurt spiced with green and tamarind chutney. It’s a popular Pakistani and North Indian street food chaat recipe prepared with golden fried lentil fritters. Simple, authentic and easy going dahi bade that you would love to make.
What is Dahi Baray?
Dahi Bhalla Vs. Vada Vs. Dahi Bada
Dahi means yogurt and Baray are fried and soaked lentil dumplings. It’s a popular street food of Pakistan and India so people call it by different names. People from North Indian side call it Dahi Bhalla, South Indian recognize as Dahi Vada. Karachi and Mumbai people call it Dahi Baray or Dahi Bada.
When it comes to making dahi baray then soft bada/Bhalla (lentil dumpling) is the main job to accomplish. In this recipe, I will share the secrets of making soft and fluffy dahi baray that will simply melt in your mouth.
Dahi baray basically falls in the category of chaat like dahi Bhalla chaat or dahi vada chaat. The lentil ratio is paramount to make soft Baray or Bhalla. Here I used soaked moong and maash (urad) dal spiced up with spices and blend to make fine paste. Deep fried and soaked in water to make soft bara then dipped into creamy whisked yogurt. Topped with tamarind and green chutney and sprinkle a pinch of red chili and chaat masala. Believe me, it turned out so well and extremely soft, just melt out in my mouth.
Dahi Baray is one of the signature dish of Ramadan iftar and Eid. I personally make it in a bunch and freeze it to make quick dahi Bhalla chaat.
You can spiced it with savory or sweet flavor. Locally it's famous as meethay dahi baray or Mash ki dal ke dahi bara chaat. People used to make it with gram flour (besan) or lentils (dal).
Dahi baray recipe Pakistani only topped with chutney but if you are making north indian style then there is some additional toppings of sev, and papri so you can your own platter of dahi bhalla papri chaat by following the same recipe.
Lentils: Used moong and urad dal. Alternative of moong is chana dal. Moong dal create softest version compared to chana.
Yogurt: Use fresh and thick yogurt to make creamy style dahi baray.
Spices: Salt, red chili, and chaat masala.
Garlic and Green Chili: Used in lentil batter to spice and garlicky flavor.
Chutney: Used for topping.
How to Make Dahi Baray
Making dahi baray is the step by step process that may lead you to present soft and creamy dahi baray with balanced spices and appetizing serving. Let's start!
Soak the Lentils
Yes, lentil soaking is one of the most important step to make soft dahi baray. Overnight soaking is good but 6 to 7 hours are recommended. If you forget to soak then at least soak it for 3 hours in hot water.
In a deep bowl, add ⅓ cup moong dal and ½ cup ural (mash) dal. Wash it and filled with water for 7 hours to get soaked.
Prepare Lentil Paste (Baray Batter)
Drain the water from soaked dal and wash with tap water. Now add in a blender with ½ cup water. Spice up with salt, cumin, garlic cloves and green chilies.
Give it a good blend.
Now add a pinch of baking soda (soda bicarbonate) and blend again.
Preheat the oil in a wok. Filled the batter in deep spoon and pour in oil with static hand. Keep the temperature high while pouring. Once the Bhalla starts to cook it will leave the bottom and start to float on the surface of oil. Turn the temperature to medium heat to cook from inside. Take it out as it turned to golden brown color.
Soak the Fried Baray
Fill the bowl with luke warm water and dip the fried baray in it. Soak for ½ an hour. Don’t soak for long time. Once the baray become soft then gently squeeze with hand and take it out to dip in yogurt sauce.
Prepare the Yogurt (dahi) for Baray
In a bowl, add yogurt, salt, red chili powder, chaat masala. Whisk well to make a thick paste. Add milk and water to manage yogurt consistency. Note the yogurt consistency at 03:11 (Video).
Set the Bhalla in presenting dish. Sprinkle chaat masala at the top layer of bhallas. Evenly pour the yogurt.
7. Dahi Baray Topping
I always feel excited to go for this step as it's make the chaat more tempting and scrumptious. Here are recipes of my toppings to follow.
Store and Freeze
You can store the dahi Bhalla in 3 ways:
Dahi Bhalla Batter: Yes, you can store the dahi Bhalla batter in refrigerator for 12 hours. Don’t store for long time otherwise it will loose the puffiness. Always give a good mix before frying the Bhalla.
Baray (fritters): You can store them in refrigerator for 3 days. Make sure, it’s soaked after frying and squeezed well before placing it the in refrigerator.
When you need it, simply spray with water and microwave for 2 to 3 minutes. Otherwise, keep it on room temperature.
Dahi Baray: Yes, you can store the leftover dahi baray in refrigerator for 2 to 3 days in air tight container. If the yogurt is soaked after 3 days, add fresh yogurt spiced up with chaat masala, salt and sprinkle of red chili.
Avoid to freeze dahi Bhalla batter as it will lose the consistency and ability of water retention. As you make batter, try to fry it to get puffy baray. Frozen batter looses the puffines and will be flat after frying.
Freeze the fried baray/Bhalla: From a very long time, I am using frozen dahi baray that I make at home and it’s very effective to make quick dahi Bhalla chaat with evening tea.
Place all the baray (Fried+Soaked+Squeezed) in a big tray with some distance. You can use wax paper to avoid sticking at bottom. Keep it in freezer for 1 hour to get hard. Once it’s hard, take out tray and store the Bhalla in air tight bag or container.
Freezer life of baray is 2 months. Don’t store longer as it’s free from preservatives.
Soft Dahi Bada Tips
- To make soft dahi baray the imperative is to focus on the ratio of lentils.
- Properly soak the daal. Maximum soaking time: 7 to 8 hours. Minimum: 3 to 4 hours.
- Don't avoid moong daal, it will help to make the soft baray also will not be heavy for the stomach after eating.
- The addition of Baking soda in baray mixture is compulsory otherwise it will get hard during frying and will not rise like a sponge.
- Don’t exceed the quantity of baking soda otherwise the baray will be mushy or mixed with yogurt.
- Monitor the consistency of baray before frying. It should be semi-thick and runny but should not thin.
- Always add baray for frying at high temperature otherwise it will stick on pan and deform the shape.
- Use a scoopy spoon to place baray for frying. It will help to maintain street style Baray shape.
- Baray batter is sticky so always use right pan for frying. I used nonstick wok.
- Don’t flip or turn the Baray until it gets hard. As the Bade will cook from bottom, it will float on oil then you can flip the side.
- Initially place baray on high heat then turn it to medium to fry from inside.
- As the bada start getting hard while frying then turn the temperature to medium to get fry from inside.
- Soaking bade in lukewarm water is important to it make soft and juicy.
- Never leave the bada in water for long time. As it get soft, squeeze water and take it out and place in dish to pour the yogurt.
- Use thick yogurt to drench baray.
- Tamarind and green chutney will work as a taste enhancer for your dahi baray chaat.
Street style dahi bada chaat contains so many other spices and ingredients that make it super scrumptious. For me, the original dahi baray with a sprinkle of chaat masala is enough but you can make it more tempting by making few additions.
- Boiled Chickpeas (chole)
- Cubes of boiled potatoes
- Finely sliced onions
- Freshly Chopped cilantro (green coriander)
- Green chilies (chopped)
Q & A
Following reasons are anticipated that makes hard Bhalla:
Dal is not properly soaked
Use baking soda after grinding the dal.
Properly whisk before frying.
Never leave the batter for long time.
Batter should not too thick. It needs to be thick and runny to get a better result.
Never fry on ultra high heat.
Soak the bara right after frying.
Yes, you can!
Use moong dal with urad (mash dal) as it will add the softness in bara.
1. Give sufficient time to soak the dal.
2. Properly grind the dal in blender.
3. Avoid to add much water while grinding dal.
4. Monitor the batter consistency. Make it firm (in between thick and thin).
5. Fry on medium heat to cook inside.
6. Don’t forget to soak Bhalla in a deep filled water bowl.
7. Gently squeeze with hand after soaking.
Main reason is to cook on high heat. Always scoop small bhalla in heated oil and as it starts to get hard then turn the heat to medium so it can cook from inside. On high heat, baray will get golden brown from outside and inside will remain raw.
I personally avoid frying battered food in air fryer. It’s better to steam it or simply bake in muffin mould. It will turned out so well.
Use deep spoon. Fill the spoon with batter and pour in oil with a consistent non-shaky static hand.
Use ⅓ moon dal and ½ cup urad (Maash) ki dal.
Main reason is yogurt as Baray absorb it. You can increase the quantity of yogurt after are making before serving. Or add yogurt before an hour of serving.
If the batter is not properly whisked and pour with shaky hand then it will show cracks.
If it's runny then add chickpea flour or besan(gram flour).
You Might Like This
It's a simple recipe of dahi baray inspired with Pakistani street style. You can easily try this at home and I am sure your dahi baray will be as soft and scrumptious as mine. If you are uncertain at any step to follow the written recipe then please watch recipe video to quickly follow the steps. I am so overwhelmed if you share your experience to make dahi baray or share recipe with hashtag #hinzcooking
Dahi Baray (Dahi Bhalla Chaat)
- Frying Pan
- Preparation of Bhalla Paste:
- ⅓ cup Moong Dal
- ½ cup Mash Dal
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- ⅓ teaspoon Baking Soda
- ½ teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
- ½ teaspoon Cumin Seeds
- ½ teaspoon Coriander Seeds
- 2 cloves Garlic
- 2 Green Chilies
- 100 ml Water – 100 ml
- Oil – For Frying
- Preparation of Dahi Yogurt
- 1 cup Yogurt
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 100 ml Milk
- ⅓ teaspoon Red Chili Powder
- ½ teaspoon Chaat Masala
- 150 ml Water
- 2 teaspoon Imli Ki Chutney
- 2 teaspoon Green Chutney
- In a bowl, add moong and mash daal.
- Wash and fill with water.
- Soak the daal for 5 hours.
- Now drain water and add soaked daal in the blender.
- Also season with salt, red chili powder, baking soda, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, garlic cloves, and green chilies.
- Add 100 ml of water. Blend and make a thick paste.
- Now take a small portion of paste and deep fry as showing in the video.
- Fry the bhallas until get golden brown color.
- Take it out and immediately add in lukewarm water for 15 minutes to get soft.
- In the meanwhile, prepare yogurt (Dahi).
- In a bowl, add yogurt, salt, red chili powder, chaat masala.
- Whisk well to make a thick paste.
- Add milk and water to manage yogurt consistency.
- Note the yogurt consistency at 03:11 (Video).
- Now squeeze water from bhallas.
- Set in a platter.
- Sprinkle chaat masala at the top layer of bhallas.
- Pour the yogurt.
- Also pour imli ki chutney and green chutney to make it more delicious.
- Mash and moong dal used to prepare dahi baray. Make sure to use the right ratio as it will help to make the soft bada.
- Daal needs to be properly soaked before 8 hours. Overnight is best!
- Don't avoid moong daal, it will help to make the soft bada also will not be heavy for the stomach in eating.
- If you want extremely soft dahi bade then use a pinch of baking soda (soda bicarbonate in bada/bara mix.
- Initially fry bada on high heat as it starts to change color then turn the heat to medium.
- Soak baray in lukewarm water to make it soft and juicy.
Note: This recipe modified on 15 December 2022 with more information and quality pictures to enhance reader experience.
Simple, easy and tested recipe of dahi baray. Give it a try!