My hubby loves dhai baray for iftar – actually for any time of the year – and I never actually had them until I knew he liked them so I had to learn how to make them. They take some time getting used to but they do end up becoming a favourite. Here is a simple recipe for you to enjoy this Ramadan.
Besan – 1 cup
Water – add as needed
Salt – 1 tsp
Red Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder – 1/3 tsp
Baking Powder – 1 tsp
Potato – 1 medium chopped (see method for how to chop)
Yogurt Mixture Ingredients:
Yogurt – 2 – 3 cups
Sugar – 3 tsp
Salt – 1 tsp
Coriander – 1/4 cup chopped
Chaat Masala – 3 tsp
The first thing you need to know is how to cut the potato. Normally I don’t believe that people put potato in their dhai baray but I do and people love it. Take your potato and cut it length wise into four quarters. Then just simple cut the quarters into chips (like potato chips not french fries) and cut them about five millimetres thick. Does that make sense? So you have a bunch of triangles with one side being round.
For the Yogurt mixture just start off with adding the sugar and the salt into the yogurt. Make sure the yogurt isn’t too thick like pudding otherwise water it down a little so it’s like a thick liquidy cream. Use fat free yogurt and then you won’t need too much water or if you only have full fat yogurt you will have to water it down to cream it up. Taste that it is sweet and sour, not too sweet mind you. Put it in the fridge and start on the pakoras.
Okay so for your pakoras take your besan and add the salt, chilli, turmeric and baking powder. Mix in lukewarm water a little at a time until it becomes a good creamy paste. Add in your chopped potato’s and mix it all up. Get your oil ready and drop in a bit of the mixture to see if it’s hot enough. Add spoonfuls of your mixture with plenty of potato one at a time. You are looking to make a thick sort of pakora but not too thick as it won’t cook properly on the inside if it’s too big. Leave it on a medium heat for a while until it’s a nice orangey brown colour. Have a bowl of cold water ready on the side to drop your pakora into. This will cool it down quickly to put into your yogurt.
Leave it in the water for about 10 minutes until they are nice and soft. Then taking your yogurt mixture out of the fridge and put it into a nice bowl or serving dish. Take one pakora at a time, squeeze the water out of it as much as you can and drop each pakora into the yogurt. The yogurt should be enough that the pakora will only be peaking through the top. Now sprinkle your chaat masala and coriander on top and return to the fridge for an hour or so. Serve cold.
Just a note, a lot of people do put imli ki chutney into their dhai baray but you kind of have to make that ahead of time or buy it from the store. It’s not necessary but if you like it then use it as a garnish as well.