Dal Paratha is a healthy meal option and very popular in North of India. Cooked lentils are stuffed in whole wheat dough, rolled and cooked in a skillet. It is then enjoyed with yogurt on the side, pickle of your choice and may be some fresh-cultured butter too.
Dal literary translate to lentils and cooked lentil Indian dishes are also referred to as dal
My take on Dal Paratha
My take on Dal Paratha actually came from my Mom, who would always cook the leftover lentils into a crumbly texture. It is popularly known as shukno dal in Bengali.
The Bengali shukno dal is then enjoyed with steamed white rice with some mustard oil on the side.
I took the same approach of making the shukno dal like my Mom but instead of enjoying with rice, I made stuffed paratha with it.
Occasionally I also use the same lentil preparation and stuff in wheat dough to make poori, similar to Koraishuti Kochuri
Ingredients for Dal Paratha
Cooked Lentils - You want to use the kind of lentil that would cook to creamy consistency. Chana Dal is always the most common choice, but Whole Masoor Dal and Toor Dal will work too. I like to make it leftover lentils that gets to thicken by sitting in the fridge overnight.
Spices - You can definitely add your choice of spices. I like to add just nigella seeds and asafoetida (hing).
Fresh green chili - I like the subtle heat it adds to the filling. You can definitely use chili powder too for the heat.
Tamarind concentrate - Ma always uses Tamarind concentrate to make shukno dal and I always liked the mild sour tastes it adds.
Ingredients for the paratha dough
Whole Wheat Flour - You can use multigrain or all purpose flour too.
Carom Seeds - Carom seeds add a beautiful aroma to the paratha. It is however optional.
Oil and Ghee - A little about of oil is added in the dough to get a soft texture of the dough. While making the paratha, I like to add some ghee, but you can use oil too.
Hot water - Key to a soft dough that works best for paratha, is to use hot water when kneading the dough.
The exact measurements for the ingredients can be found in recipe card below
Steps to prepare the filling
Step 1: You need cooked chana dal. I often make this with leftover dal. If you are cooking fresh dal, remember to add less water, as you want the consistency of the dal to be thick with less moisture.
Step 2: In a heavy bottom pan, add oil and once it heats up, add nigella seeds and asafoetida. Stir it around for a few seconds.
Step 3: Add the cooked dal, turmeric powder, tamarind concentrate and keep cooking the dal by stirring frequently, so it doesn't get burnt at the bottom of the pan. You want to cook out all the moisture. It will take roughly 15 minutes.
Step 4: Layer the dry dal mixture on a plate and let it cool it out completely. You can make this as a part of meal prep and store in the refrigerator for a few days.
Steps to prepare the Dal Paratha
Step 5: Prepare the dough using wheat flour or all purpose flour. Add carom seeds, salt and oil.
Step 6: To knead the dough, always use very hot water little by little and keep kneading to bring the dough together. It should feel soft and pliable.
Step 7: Divide the dough into small portions and roll them into a disc shape.
Step 8: Flatten the disc to put the stuffing. Remember to always keep the edges thin as you flatted the small portions of the dough.
Step 9: Very gently, stuff the filling and seal the edges by pressing the dough together. Then roll it into a ball shape. If there is too much water content in the lentil mixture, it will be difficult to stuff it.
Step 10: Roll the stuffed paratha thin by dusting a little flour.
Step 11: Cook the rolled paratha in a medium hot skillet. It will take roughly 2 to 3 minutes. You can pour ghee or oil as you cook the paratha.
Step 12: If you roll the dough evenly without any tear, it will puff as you cook in the skillet. Sometimes it might puff and then tear as it continues cooking.
Watch the video in the recipe card below to understand the steps better
Typically, this paratha is prepared with chana dal (Bengal Gram) but you can use any lentils of your choice. You just have to make sure that the cooked lentil is dry and not watery.
If it's sticky, that could be because it still has a lot of moisture. If the moisture is not cooked out, you will find it difficult to stuff and roll.
So, cook the dal for some more time.
Yes! You can prepare the filling in advance and store in an air tight jar in the refrigerator for a few days. You can also make the dough in advance and store the same way. Dough stays fresh for a day.
Chana dal is split chickpeas. When you remove the brown skin and split the yellow pea, it is chana dal.
Try these famous Indian stuffed Parathas
Daal Poori/ Deep fried Indian bread stuffed with Lentils
For the Lentil Filling
- ½ cup Chana dal
- 1 and ½ Tablespoon Oil
- 1 Teaspoon salt
- ½ Teaspoon Turmeric powder
- 1 Teaspoon Hing (asafoetida)
- 1 Teaspoon Nigella seeds
- 3 Teaspoon Concentrated Tamarind
For the Paratha Dough
- 2 Cups Wheat flour
- 1 Teaspoon Carom seeds
- ½ Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Tablespoon Oil
To prepare the stuffed Paratha
To prepare the Dal Filling
- I used the leftover dal and removed all the dry red chili and bay leaf that I had used previously on the dal while I gave tadka. If you are using freshly prepared the dal, then make sure to soak the dal overnight and then cook it with little water and salt. Don't add too much water while cooking the dal as you want less moisture in it.
- In a heavy bottom skillet, pour the oil and once it heats up, add the nigella seeds and asafoetida. Stir it around for a few seconds.
- Add the cooked lentils and stir it around. Add turmeric if you didn't add while preparing the dal. Also add the concentrated tamarind paste and keep stirring as you cook all the moisture out of the dal. It will take roughly 10 to 15 minutes.
- Once it's done, place it on a plate to cool it down completely.
To prepare the Paratha dough
- In a mixing bowl, add the flour, carom seeds, salt and oil. Give a mix.
- Now pour hot water little by little and keep kneading to bring the dough together into a soft texture. Cover and let it rest for 30 minutes.
To make the stuffed Dal Paratha
- Divide the dough into equal portions. I made 8 parathas with this measurement.
- Roll out the small portions into small disc and then take each disc one at a time to flatten it out, add the dal filling and close the edges by gently bringing it together. Watch the video to understand the step better
- Once you are done stuffing all the small portions of the dough, you have to roll and cook the paratha individually.
- Dust a little flour on your rolling board and rolling pin. Press down the filled dough gently on the rolling board and dust a little flour. Now start rolling gently from center to outwards. Rotate at 90 degree and roll again.Try to slowly roll from one end to the other, so it rolls evenly all around. Roll the paratha thin and try to take time in this step if you are new to rolling stuff parathas. If you apply too much pressure, the dough will tear and the filling will come out.
- Once done, heat a heavy bottom skillet or cast iron skillet at medium heat.
- Once the skillet heats up, place the rolled paratha. In about 30 seconds, you will see that the paratha is showing tiny bubbles on top. Drizzle a little oil/ghee all around and flip. If the paratha is rolled evenly without any tear, it will puff beautifully. Take it off the pan and continue rolling and cooking the parathas the same way.
- As you roll and cook the rest of the parathas, cover the ones you prepared with a clean, dry towel or food cover.
- Once done, rub little butter or ghee on the paratha and serve right away paired with pickle, yogurt, fresh butter and some salad may be.