This bara recipe is a more traditional one to what is sold today. Today’s baras are super soft and are easy to tear when eating doubles.
But, this particular recipe creates baras with a little more structure and bite.
It is ground urdi that makes the difference in this recipe. And it is the recipe that my mom learned from my dad’s relative. She sold bara and chutney during the early days of ‘doubles’.
What is in this bara recipe
For this recipe, my mom used:
- ground urdi (black lentil or urad beans)
- tamarind sauce
- oil for frying
The tamarind sauce here was made using this tamarind sauce recipe. The recipe calls for tamarind, salt, sugar, garlic, chadon beni and hot pepper.
As for optional ingredients, you can use additional seasonings like ground chadon beni and garlic.
How to make bara with ground urdi
To make the bara, simply mix the ingredients together and knead to form a smooth, soft dough. Leave to raise, then divide the dough into small balls. Using oil, flatten the balls into ultra thin, disc-shaped baras and deep fry for a few seconds.
I think more details are needed here, so let’s get to it.
Mix the ingredients
In a large bowl, add all of the dry ingredients: flour, ground urdi, yeast, salt, sugar, and turmeric powder. Add the tamarind sauce too and mix everything together until well incorporated.
Knead to form a soft dough
Next, make a small well in the center and add half of the warm water. Start kneading and add a little water at a time to bring all the dry ingredients together. I needed roughly a cup and a third of warm water to make a soft, smooth dough.
Allow to rest
Coat the dough, top and bottom, with oil. I used about half a teaspoon of vegetable oil here, but you can use a little more, especially if you are in a colder, drier climate.
Cover the dough and leave to rest for one to two hours. The yeast will activate in that time and cause the dough to double in size.
Divide the dough
Once proofed, remove the cover from the dough and coat your hands with some oil. Divide the dough into small two inch balls and spread out on a small tray.
You can base the size of the dough balls on the size of the baras you want to make. Here I’m using medium-sized dough balls, but, you should definitely try larger dough balls since you can make huge baras to hold extra channa, chutneys and sauces. And they’ll full you up quickly.
Be sure to cover the divided dough while you work to prevent them from drying out.
Spread out the dough
Before you form the bara, you should start heating your oil. To do this, place a large pot on medium to medium high heat and add enough oil for deep frying. Leave while you spread out the dough.
On a flat, clean surface, apply a teaspoon or two of oil. Spread to coat your work area. Place one dough ball on the oiled section and press down using your fingers. Press, push, pull and stretch the dough until you’ve created a very thin disc shaped bara.
Be sure the edges are also very thin. You want uniformity in thinness here. If there are a few holes in the stretched out dough, no worries. That’s perfectly fine and acceptable.
Repeat for the other dough balls.
When the oil is very hot, carefully pick up the stretched out bara (use two hands) and place it gently into the hot oil.
It’ll take about two seconds to float to the surface. At this point, flip the bara over. Two seconds later, remove the bara from the hot oil. It is done!
Place on paper towels in an airtight container (or icebox) and close the lid. The oil, heat and steam will cause the bara to soften up nicely. If you don’t seal the container quickly, the bara will be crispier and less flexible.
Trapping the steam is the key to a soft, flexible urdi bara.
While you’re frying, try these other Indian fried treats too:
Bara with ground urdi recipe
Bara recipe with ground urdi
- 3 cups flour
- 1 tbsp ground urdi
- 1 tsp yeast
- 1 tsp sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp tamarind sauce
- 1⅓ cups warm water
- oil for frying and rolling out the dough
- Add the first 7 ingredients to a large bowl (flour, ground urdi, yeast, sugar, salt, turmeric, tamarind sauce).
- Mix thoroughly.
- Make a small well in the center of the dry mix.
- Add half of the water.
- Continue adding the water and kneading to form a smooth dough.
- Add ½ to 1 tsp of oil on both sides of the dough.
- Cover and leave to rest for 1 – 2 hours.
- Coat hands with oil.
- Divide dough into 2-inch dough balls.
- Place dough balls on a tray and cover.
- Place large pot on medium to high heat.
- Add enough oil for deep frying (2 – 3 cups of oil).
- Leave oil to heat up.
- Rub oil on a flat prepping surface like a countertop.
- Coat your hands with oil.
- Place a dough ball on the oiled area.
- Press, push, pull and stretch the dough to form a very thin disc (the edges must also be very thin).
- Lift the stretched bara up (with both hands).
- Place in the very hot oil.
- Flip over when the bara floats (takes 2 – 3 seconds).
- Remove from the oil after another 2 – 3 seconds.
- Place on paper towels in an airtight container and cover.
- Repeat for all other dough balls.
- Serve hot with doubles channa and condiments.