Burns Road Lentil Dumplings In Yogurt Sauce / Burns Road Ke Dahi Baray

Karachi is arguably (not debatable in my opinion 😉 ) the foodie destination of Pakistan. The city is a melting pot of ethnicities, and that aspect of it is best represented in the food Karachi has to offer. Admittedly, I didn’t get to enjoy as much of the street food I had hoped to, but whatever I did manage to get was amazing!

I had mentioned previously that I’ve come back so inspired from the amazing eats of Karachi, and this recipe here is a direct result of that! Burns Road is an area in Karachi that is famous for a few reasons- all food related, by the way. The dahi baray (lentil based dumplings that are soaked in a spiced yogurt mixture, and served cold) of Burns Road are famous throughout Karachi! While most recipes call for urud lentils, these are actually made from finely ground moong dal (split yellow mung beans) flour. What also sets these dahi baray apart from others is how small the fritters are. I would describe them as being no bigger than one or two bites (traditionally, the baray are medium-sized patties/fritters).

I hounded the internet and fell upon this recipe, adapted it and tested it a few times, and now I can confidently say that you don’t have to travel to Pakistan to enjoy Burns Road Dahi Baray 🙂

 

 

Burns Road Ke Dahi Baray

Yield: 4 Servings

Ingredients:

Note: measurements are in actual measuring spoons/cups and not eating utensils.

For Yogurt Mixture/ Dahi:

  • 3 cups yogurt
  • 2 ½ tablespoons sugar
  • A few tablespoons milk or water, as needed
  • 2 cups chickpeas

For Lentil Fritters/ Baray:

  • ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons split yellow mung bean flour/ moong dal flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ – ½ cup water, as needed
  • Oil, for frying

For Garnish:

  • ¾ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ¾ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¾ teaspoon chaat masala

Directions:

Make Yogurt Mixture/ Dahi:

In a large bowl, whisk together yogurt and sugar until completely smooth. Add milk or water, as needed, and whisk until a smooth and thick consistency is reached. Add chickpeas and set aside.

Make Fritters/ Baray:

In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add water, a little bit at a time. Mix until smooth. The consistency of the batter should be so that when poured from a spoon, it falls off in dollops (not a steady stream).

Set aside a large bowl of cold water.

Heat oil in a large vessel over medium-high heat. To check the temperature of the oil, drop a small amount of batter into the oil. If the oil starts bubbling and the batter starts making its way upward, the temperature is perfect. Stir the batter, and use a teaspoon to drop spoonful’s of batter into the oil. Cook until the fritters are golden all around. Transfer to the water and allow them to soak for a few minutes. Squeeze the water out of the fritters using the palms of both hands, and arrange them in a serving dish.

Pour the prepared yogurt mixture over the fritters.

Make Garnish:

Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and lightly roast. Transfer seeds to a bowl and coarsely crush. Set aside.

Add red pepper flakes and chaat masala to the skillet and cook until lightly toasted, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to bowl with crushed cumin seeds and mix well. Sprinkle the spice mixture on top of the dahi baray (yogurt and fritters).

Serve cold.

Roasted Tomato Soup

Here in the Midwest the weather has finally started to cool down and we’re entering my favorite season of the year, Autumn! I love everything about it- the colors, the cooler weather, the fallen leaves, the longer nights, and the abundance of fall-centric produce (think apples, pumpkins, pears, etc.).

The cooler weather has me wanting to cook things that warm our bellies and souls. I personally am not a fan of smooth soups (I prefer some texture in my soup; something about the smoothness reminds me of baby food), but tomato soup is the sole exception. I like my tomato soup unadulterated and free of unnecessary frills (oooh fighting words!). I prefer the flavor of tomatoes to shine. I’ve tried my hand at many recipes, but my search for the ultimate grilled cheese partner in crime has come to an end, much thanks to Sarah at Flour & Spice. Her recipe results in a soup that lets the tomatoes be the star (rightfully so).

So go ahead and start warming up friends, it’s only going to get colder 😉

 

RoastedTomatoSoupPic

 

Roasted Tomato Soup

Yield: 4 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ pounds fresh tomatoes, quartered
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 onions, peeled and sliced
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 – 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450°F.

In a foil lined tray, combine tomatoes, garlic, and onions. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 30 to 40 minutes, until caramelized.

Transfer roasted vegetables to a large cooking vessel. Increase heat to medium high, and add 3 cups of the vegetable broth, bay leaves, and butter. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.

Add sugar, thyme, and red pepper flakes. Remove and discard bay leaves. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth. If the soup is too thick, add more of the remaining broth to thin it out. Remove from heat and adjust seasonings.

Guest Post: Sarah of Flour & Spice

This Ramadan we’re having a handful of some of the interwebs (and mine) favorite bloggers share some yummies. We’re starting this party off with Sarah of Flour & Spice, and she is sharing something that is sure to be a hit with everyone!

Some background first- Sarah and I “met” a few years ago, and since then she has become a very close friend. She is my foodie spirit animal. She’s become one of those friends that you turn to for advice or just a good catch-up session. She recently revamped her site, and taking a quick look will give you a good idea of just how she rolls 😉

Asian-Corn-Fritters-4

Hello and Salam to all your amazing readers of My Ninja Naan! I am Sarah from over at Flour & Spice and it is wonderful to be here. Henna is a dear friend so although this is the first time I am ‘guest posting’ here to me it feels like going to the kind of friends house where you take your shoes off and comfortably sprawl on the couch as if you were at your own place and not someone else’s. She just makes me feel like we have been buddies from birth. Desi peeps will know there is an expression I really wanted to use there and didn’t 😉

Sometimes I like to class it up.

Speaking of changing things up, for those of us observing the month of Ramadan we may try and resist it and we definitely try and moderate it but there is something about fried food that becomes so appealing at ‘iftaar’ time. I don’t know if it’s the memory of bygone iftars or if it comes from a standalone craving that we have at the end of our fasts, but if I don’t fry something up there seems to be more than a little disappointment in the air. These simple corn fritters are such a fan way of mixing things up – all it takes is some simple ingredients and you have something light and sweet and spicy at the same time that is a nice change from the usual pakoras (chickpea flour fritters). These come together quickly and you can refrigerate the batter until needed, just mix well before frying. I adore these with some sriracha or sambal oelek but you are welcome to dip it in your condiment of choice.

 

Corn Fritters

Yield: 12-16 depending on size

1 cup fresh corn

¼ cup chopped scallions (green onions)

2-3 finely diced chillies

½ cup cornstarch

2 tablespoons flour

½ tsp baking soda

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 egg

Pinch of salt (or a lug of fish sauce – yum)

Pinch of pepper

Pinch of cayenne/ red chilli powder

1-2 tablespoons of cold water

Combine 1 tbsp of the water and all the remaining ingredients except corn in a bowl and mix till smooth. Stir in the corn. Add a little more water if needed so that you can easily drop the batter from a spoon. Heat oil in a frying pan and shallow fry a generous tablespoon of the batter for two minutes on each side on medium heat. Best when hot and served with a spicy condiment (IMHO).

Mango Chickpea Salad

Ramadan Kareem!

The holy month of Ramadan has graced us once again, and I pray that our fasts and prayers are accepted, and we leave the month renewed in faith and spirituality!

I had originally planned to post a recipe for every day of the month, but life got the best of me and I wasn’t able to prepare 30 days worth of recipes for the blog. I will however be posting family favorites regularly throughout the month, and I hope that you are able to take some inspiration from them 🙂

Recently I stopped by to pick up a few essential items from a local Indian grocer, and I stumbled upon freshly arrived mangoes! Now if you’re desi (person of South Asian descent), I’m sure you can imagine my excitement. If you’re not desi, let me explain: we live for mangoes. It’s in our DNA. The love for them courses through our blood.

We went through most of them as is, but I got creative with a few. Some were blitzed into milkshakes, and a few were chopped up and tossed into this delicious Mango Chickpea Salad (recipe from Green Evi). It’s amazing on its own, and would also pair well with a grilled protein as a main entrée.

 

MangoChickpeaSaladPic

 

Mango Chickpea Salad

Yield: 4 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups (one 14-ounce can) garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 mango, peeled and diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 green chili, seeded and diced small
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Handful cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • Ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:

Combine all ingredients together in a large bowl and toss to combine.

Refrigerate leftovers.

 

Tortillas

Several months ago, I attempted to make my own tortillas. I figured that since I’ve gotten the hang of homemade roti (Indian/Pakistani unleavened flatbread), that tortillas shouldn’t be too difficult. The verdict? Even easier!

These tortillas are so wonderful! They’re soft yet pliable (meaning you can go hard with piling up those tacos to your heart’s content), and so quick and easy to make! I don’t see myself going back to store bought tortillas, and I’m sure you won’t go back either 😉

(Recipe courtesy of Annie’s Eats.)

TortillasPic

Tortillas (Flour)

Yield: 12 to 15 Tortillas

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ – 1 cup water

Directions:

In the bowl of a food processor, combine all-purpose flour, butter, baking powder, and salt. Pulse until crumbly, about 5 seconds. With the machine running, slowly add the water until a cohesive ball of dough is formed. Knead for 30 seconds more, until the dough is tacky. Add a bit more flour if the dough is too sticky.

Transfer dough to a surface lightly dusted with flour. Divide into 12 to 15 balls, cover, and allow them to rest for 10 minutes.

Heat a large skillet (or fry pan) over medium-high heat. Working with one ball of dough at a time, lightly dust with flour and roll into a large and thin circle, approximately 8 inches in diameter. Carefully transfer the tortilla to the heated skillet and cook for 20 to 30 seconds, until small bubbles form on the surface and lightly browned. Flip and cook for an additional 10 to 20 seconds. Do not overcook, as this will result in stiff tortillas.

Use as needed, or store in an airtight bag in the refrigerator or freezer.