Dal Rissoles (Baras) Baked in Buttermilk
3 cups (750 ml) yellow split peas
1. Soak the split peas for 5 or 6 hours in
at least 12 cups (3 litres) of cold water.
2. Thoroughly drain. the peas and, with the
aid of a mincer, food processor, or grinder, mince them until they become
a coarse paste. Add all the spices (except the paprika), the baking
powder, and salt. Knead the mixture well.
3. Press out the paste on a flat, smooth
surface until it is uniformly 1.25 cm (1/2-inch) thick. With a biscuit
cutter or similar round object, cut out 3.75 cm (11/2-inch) disks. With a
spatula transfer the disks onto an oiled tray. Gather the remaining
mixture and cut out some more disks, repeating until all the mixture has
been used up.
4. Heat the ghee or oil until fairly hot
180°C/355°F. Carefully slip 10 or 12 disks into the hot ghee or oil, but
do not touch them until they float to the surface. Then you can turn them
over. Fry them for about 6 to 8 minutes or until both sides are dark
golden brown. Remove and drain. Repeat until all the baras are fried and
5. Place all the fried baras into a bowl of
hot, lightly salted water and allow them to soak for 10 to 15 minutes or
until they are soft and slightly spongy. Remove and thoroughly drain,
squeezing gently to remove excess water.
6. In a deep 20 cm x 25 cm (8-inch x 10-inch) casserole dish, layer half the baras. Pour one-third of the buttermilk on top of the baras; then place one slice of tomato on top of each bara. Place another layer of baras on top of the tomatoes and cover with one-third of the buttermilk. Place another layer of tomatoes on top, cover with the rest of the buttermilk, and garnish with paprika. Place the dish in a pre-heated 200°C/390°F oven. Bake for about 1 - 11/4 hours or until the buttermilk forms a thick, slightly browned cheesy crust. Serve hot.