Lentil Patties (Maas ko Baara, or Woh) (Tested)

Serves     24 patties


Maas ko Baara or Woh are made from ground split Urad beans. They are light and spongy daal patties that resemble small flat pancakes. If you know how to make pancakes you won’t have any problem making these! Woh are best served fresh, but can be stored overnight. The difference between Baara and Woh is that Baara is deep-fried, and Woh is only pan-fried in a small amount of oil. If you don’t have a source for split black lentils, click here.

2 cups Urad Dal (split black lentils)
1 tbsp. minced fresh ginger
1 tsp. garlic, finely minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 pinch asafetida (Hing)
2 mild green chilies, finely chopped (seeds removed for less heat)
½ cup cilantro, finely chopped, can include tender stems
2 green onions, finely chopped
1 tbsp. kosher salt (or to taste)
vegetable oil for frying


Soak the lentils in a large bowl overnight.

To prepare the lentils the next day, rub the lentils (still in the water in the bowl) vigorously between your palms to loosen the skins. The skins will rest on top of the lentils, and if you tip the bowl slowly and let the water drain out, the lentil skins will be easy to push out of the bowl. (Note: there will be a LOT of skins, and you probably don’t want this stuff going down the garbage disposal, so make sure you have a sink strainer in place so that you can dump the skins in your compost bin.)

Drain and repeat this procedure several times until most of the black skins have been removed. It’s fine if there’s a little bit remaining.

Place the drained lentils in a food processor (you may have to do this in two batches), adding just enough water, a few tablespoons at a time, to make a semi-thick smooth puree, very similar to thick pancake batter. Add water carefully. You can always add more later if the batter needs thinning.

Pour the batter into a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients. Whisk until light and spongy. Cover the bowl and allow the mixture to rest at room temperature for at least 10 minutes. If the batter looks too thick, you can still adjust by adding more water.

When ready, heat a non-stick skillet over medium-low heat and add 1 tablespoon of oil. Ladle about ¼ cup of the daal mixture into the pan. Moving with the back of the spoon in a gentle circular motion, lightly spread the batter evenly into circles. Place 3 to 4 patties at a time, without crowding.

Cook until the edges start to crisp and the underside starts to brown, about 3 minutes. Turn the patties over and drizzle more oil around the edges and top. Cook about 2 more minutes to brown.

Transfer to a serving dish and keep warm until served. These would be good served with tomato achar, or even regular Mexican salsa.


Notes and Instructions

Recipe credit with permission from: Jyoti Pathak
Photo credit: Linda McElroy