Sunday, April 21, 2013

Bara


 This recipe was first published in Dutch, the mag.

We've been on a little discovery trip through the Surinamese kitchen. One of the many things we've embraced from foreign cultures is the food. We love to eat, and we love to discover new flavors, new foods and new challenges. The Indonesian cuisine, as a colonial treasure, has been fully integrated into the Dutch culinary panorama, and for the last decade, if not more, so have the flavors of Suriname.

Baras, a deep fried savory snack with Hindustan roots, have found its way into our eating habits and into the many Surinamese food shops around the country, one wonderful bite at a time. Made from soaked urad dal (also known as split black lentils) and spices, and served with a sweet and tangy chutney, the addictive nature of this delectable donut is hard to resist.

Bara
1 cup urad dal
2 teaspoons cumin seed
2 tablespoons chopped green leaves*
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon active dry yeast
1 cup self rising flour
Oil

Wash and soak the urad dal in two or three cups of water, and let it soak overnight. Pour off the water, rinse the lentils one more time and purée them into a smooth paste. Toast the cumin seeds in a dry skillet until the first one pops, and then add them to the paste. Add in the chopped leaves, garlic, onion powder and the yeast and knead it all together with the flour. If the dough is too stiff, add in a tablespoon of warm water at a time.

Put the dough in a bowl, cover and let it rise for three to four hours. Heat oil to 375F. Lightly wet both hands and roll a bit of dough into a ball. Pat it flat and poke a hole in the middle. Let the bara donut slide into the hot oil and quickly fry until puffy and golden brown. Fry the rest of the baras.

This snack is best served hot. Serve with chutney.


* This is traditionally made with tayer leaves but can be substituted by fresh spinach.


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