Rajasthani Dal Stuffed Puri Recipe
Puris are a delicious deep-fried Indian bread & the addition of a spicy dal filling makes them even harder to resist. Puris (or pooris) are enjoyed throughout India & are eaten particularly on festive occasions & holidays. Stuffed puris are a Rajasthani specialty known as kachoris & can be made with a variety of different vegetarian fillings. Although kachoris have their origins in Rajasthani cuisine, they are popular throughout Northern India. Now for this particular recipe, I have decided to use urad dal ☺. My tasty Dal Puris can be eaten for breakfast or as a light snack or meal & are especially great for picnics since they travel well. In Rajasthan, this dish is known as Bedmi Kachori & is always a huge favorite among both kids & adults alike.
DAL PURI (Lentil Stuffed Puri)
1½ cups whole wheat flour (atta)
pinch of salt to taste
water, as needed
a few tbsp of all-purpose flour, as needed
vegetable or peanut oil for deep frying
For the Dal Filling
½ cup urad dal (skinned & split black gram dal) – soaked for 4-5 hours prior to use
2-3 small green Thai chilies, roughly chopped (to taste)
½” piece of ginger, peeled & roughly chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp coriander seeds
¼ tsp fennel seeds
2 green cardamom pods, gently crushed
½” cinnamon stick
2 whole cloves
1 tsp red chili powder, to taste
½ tsp garam masala
pinch of asafetida (hing)
salt & pepper, to taste
1 tbsp oil
In a large mixing bowl, add the flour & the salt. Mix together & slowly add the water while kneading until a soft dough is formed. If the dough is sticky, just add a little all-purpose flour. Now roll the dough into a round ball & spread the top lightly with a little oil. Cover the bowl with a damp tea towel & set aside until needed (or at least 30 minutes).
Drain the urad dal & grind along with the green chilies & ginger into a thick smooth paste using just enough water to get the process started. Set aside until needed.
In a small dry skillet on medium heat, gently toast the cumin seeds along with the coriander seeds, fennel seeds, green cardamom pods, cinnamon stick & cloves until lightly browned and fragrant. Using a spice grinder (or clean coffee grinder), grind the whole spices into a fine powder & set aside until needed.
In a deep skillet on medium high heat, add the oil. When hot, add the ground dal paste along with the red chili powder, garam masala, asafetida & freshly ground spices. Remember to season with salt & pepper. Keep stirring & let cook until you have a fairly dry dal mixture – any water should be completely evaporated. Remove the skillet from the heat, allow to cool & set aside until needed.
Using a clean work surface sprinkled with some all-purpose flour, gently knead the puri dough & divide it equally into round balls (roughly ping pong ball size). At this point, you can use a puri machine (similar to a tortilla press) or a rolling pin to make the puris. Roll them out evenly into round circles (4-5 inches in diameter). Next, add about one tbsp of the cooled dal filling to the center of your puri. Then carefully gather up the sides sealing them together & forming a ball. Gently pat into a flattened disc using your palms & gently roll out into a circle about 4-5” in diameter. If it tears, don’t worry - just pinch it together & patch it up.
*Alternatively, you could roll out 2 separate puris. Then evenly spread a little of the cooled filling on top of one puri, place the other directly on top. Now pinch the edges together to form a tight seal and roll out the edges so they are smooth & seamless.
Heat a deep skillet with enough oil to deep fry. When hot, carefully add the puris (2-3 at a time) & fry until golden brown. You may need to fry them in batches. Drain well & serve immediately with your favorite chutneys, pickles & yogurt. Dal puris are also traditionally eaten with a spicy potato curry.
Try making these puris/kachoris using yellow moong dal (skinned & split) or even chana dal. In Rajasthan, kachoris filled with moong dal are known as Khasta Kachori & are a very popular street food. You could also use a combination of various dals – really anything will work ☺.
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