Niveen shares a recipe for Fauzia’s Famous Dahi Barre – a dish taught to her by her mother and passed down from her grandmother who was born in Hyderabad, India. Deep fried fritters with chopped onions and spices are submerged in a flavorful and tantalizing yogurt sauce, topped with traditional tamarind chutney. A must try!
Dough for Dahi Barre:
Add two Tbsp. of urad daal (lentil) flour and one Tbsp. of gram flour into a small bowl. Mix with a fork. Add one Tbsp. of lemon juice, chopped parsley, chopped mint, and one small chopped onion. Add water, enough so that when mixed it will be a little thinner than cake batter. Add one tsp. of baking soda into the mixture to make it fluffy. Let soak overnight.
Imli (tamarind) Chutney:
Mix one tamarind block into a small bowl of warm water. Strain into a sauce pan. Add one tsp. of vinegar, 1/2 tsp. of red chili powder, a bit of salt (Pink himalayan) to taste, 1/2 tsp. of cumin powder, and one tsp. sugar. Stir together, and boil on the stove. Let cool.
Add two cups of plain yogurt into an empty bowl. Add one cup of heated milk with two Tbsp. of sugar already mixed into the milk. Whisk together until smooth. Add chopped parsley and chopped mint. Add salt to taste.
Heat oil in a pan before frying the fritters. Add batter to the pan one tablespoon at a time. You can fry a few of them at the same time, just make sure they are separated enough to not stick together. Turn them over pretty quickly when a golden brown so they don’t burn. Poke with fork so they cook evenly inside. Prepare a plate with paper towels, this will soak up the excess oil when the fritters are placed onto the plate. Add fried fritters into the yogurt sauce, submerging them gently. Add Chutney as a garnish. Garnish with a pinch of red chili powder and a little bit of cumin powder.
Pakoras (chickpea battered fritters), sometimes known as the French fries of South Asia, are enjoyed throughout the year in households across the world – and never more so than in the month of Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting. Pakoras have a special place at the break fast table during this month as part of the iftar (or fast breaking meal) for traditional Pakistanis. In the episode above, Maria shares a recipe for pakoras handed down to her by her mother, who comes from a small town outside of Lahore in Pakistan. The recipe consists very simply of chickpea flour, water, chopped onions and chopped potatoes. Dollops of the batter are added by the spoonful to pre-heated oil in a deep frying pan to produce mouth-watering appetizers best enjoyed fresh and hot!
To make batter, combine 1 1/2 cups of chickpea flour (known in South Asian grocery stores as “basin”) with 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of ground cumin and no more than 1 teaspoon of red pepper (to taste). To this mixture add at least 1 cup of water and stir. The batter should be a nice consistency – not too watery, not too thick. Then add 1 potato chopped into small pieces and 1/2 an onion chopped into small pieces.
In a frying pan, add enough oil (Maria prefers vegetable oil) to deep fry dollops of batter. Let the oil heat for a bit on a medium setting on the stove. Then with a ladle or spoon (Maria prefers using a tablespoon), spoon batter into the frying pan. The pakoras should cook for about 5 to 7 minutes or until they are a uniform golden brown. You may turn them over to ensure both sides have a chance to brown. Remove the pakoras from the oil when finished and allow to sit on a paper towel to absorb any excess oil.
Enjoy these treats with various chutneys (tamarind, chili, mango, etc) or sauces (kids love ketchup)!