Spiced Lentil Stuffed Flat Bread (Ajwain Dal Paratha)


Dal puri 1

Dal(Lentil) paratha/flat bread is something which I learned from my grandmother. My grandparents lived only a few minutes away from our home. And it would be often that my grandpa would walk by with a bag of hot, freshly made parathas and a bunch of flowers for me.

The recipe had been handed down to my mom and then I started making them. Everytime as the smell wafts aound the house I remember my grandma & my mom (none of them are with me today) and all the childhood memories. But even now I like hers the very very best.

Be it during large family get togethers or some festive ocassions, I remember her sitting by the old Indian style clay coal oven ( no she did not have gas stoves at that time..), rolling them, filling them and then frying them on a black cast iron skillet,and stacking the parathas making a tall heap on her side. I could see the red glowing coals under the skilet. The heat of the burning coal felt so good during the chilly winter nights. Sometimes I would sit by her and cup my little palms, and ask for the dal filling. The intense flavor of hing/asafoetida combined with the ajwain, ginger and red chilli contributes to the sensational, spicy & mouthwatering taste of these parathas. There could not be a more perfect combination.

I  eat the crumbly warm filling just by itself even now. My grandmother’s parathas would be so thin & flaky and yet no holes in them as if her nimble hands had some magic in them. Food would be served, and  I would see the glitter in everyone’s eyes, the exclaimations..”Oh!! dal parathas..!” & soon they would be all gone. We would also frequently carry these whenever we would be travelling by train. They are dry and easy to eat and did not require any special storage other than just wrapping them up and then serving them on paper plates.

The dal/lentil used here is the Chana Dal, which is the Bengal grams/Black Chickpea husked & split into half. Chana dal or Cholar Dal as it is called in Bengal, is very popular not only in West Bengal but all over India. It is prepared in various different ways, just by itself as a dish, or with vegetables of even meat. Ajwain has a sharp hot taste on the tongue when crushed and it is most often used with lentils as the seeds have excellent digestive properties. Dal/Lentil/Legume is high protein, so this Dal paratha is a wholesome nutritious meal by itself. Serve them with any side or just by themselves with salad & yogurt/or Raita… this will cool off the heat of the parathas.


For filling:

  1. 1.5 cup – Chana dal (Husked Bengal Grams)
  2. 2 tablespoons ginger paste
  3. 1 teaspoon Ajwain/Carom Seeds
  4. 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds/jeera
  5. 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  6. 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric
  7. 3 teaspoon  Red chili powder/Red chilli flakes (adjust the amount to your taste)
  8. 1/4 teaspoon Hing/Asafoetida
  9. 1.5 tablespoon of oil
  10. Salt to taste

for Dough

  1. 2 cup – Whole wheat flour
  2. 1.5 teaspoons Ajwain/Carom Seeds
  3. 1 tablespoon  Oil / Ghee
  4. A small pinch of baking soda
  5. Water to knead

To fry:

  1. Oil
  2. Thick bottomed Skillet or a cast iron skillet



Wash and soak chana dal for 2 to 3 hours. Add salt & turmeric & 2 cups water and simmer it in a covered pan till they are soft &  most of the water is gone.

Alternatively, you can  pressure cook it. Add 3/4 cup of water and bring the cooker to full pressure and after the 3rd whistle, switch the heat off. Open the cooker only when cool.

Crush the ajwain in the palm of your hands. These releases the flavor of the seeds.

Heat oil in a pan. Add the hing/asafoetida, Cumin, Ajwain/Carom Seeds. When they start to sizzle, add the Dal/Lentil, ginger paste, sugar & red chilli powder. Fry while stirring often ( so it does not stick to the bottom), till the dal/lentil is of crumbly texture and all the water has dried up. Keep the filling aside.


Mix wheat flour, oil/ghee, baking soda, Ajwain/carom seeds(again rub the seeds in the palms of your hand, or crush it with a rolling pin) and salt. Mix the oil in to form lumps/thick crumbs. Then add water little by little, knead and make a stiff dough. Cover with a towel & rest the dough for 30 minutes.

Rolling out the breads:

Make small balls of the dough. Take one dough ball and roll it out with a rolling pin to a 4″ diameter. Take about 1.5 tablespoon of  filling and place in the center of the rolled out dough.

Dal puri 2

Bring together all the sides in the centre and seal tightly.

Dal puri 3

Dust some flour and then lightly flatten the dough with hand.  With a rolling pin, roll out carefully to make a circle about 7″ diameter.

Cook on a griddle using a little oil, on medium heat. Flip and cook evenly on both sides, till it has golden brown spots on both sides.

Dal puri 4

Enjoy these for breakfast, lunch or dinner with a side or just with a bowl full of salad and yogurt/raita.

Sending this to Think Spice: Think Carom started by Sunita & hosted this time by the Singing ChefMy Legume Love Affair: Sixth Helping – Hot & Spicy hosted by Suganya of Tasty Palettes, originally started by Susan of the Well Seasoned Cook, & to Winter Treats hosted by Trupti.


Related Posts:

Parathas could be served with:

Dum Aloo: Potatoes Simmered in Spices & Coconut Milk
Bharwan Alu: Stuffed Potato
Fenugreek Seeds with Potatoes

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40 comments to Spiced Lentil Stuffed Flat Bread (Ajwain Dal Paratha)

  • i have been wanting to try this dhal paratha for sometime.. looks great and delicious.

    Mahimaa Thanks!

  • I usually make dal parathas with left over dal Soma. Your stack looks great.
    Ar tomar lekha pore barir kotha mone porche. 🙂

    Amio kori, kintu sheta beshir bhag shomoye cholar dal hoye na.

  • Uma

    Wow, the paratha looks awesome! Nice instructions! Congrats on winning the challenge.

    Thanks Uma!

  • Your paraths looks great and delicious Soma….you have a very good blog!!!!

    Thanks Swapna!

  • ooh..dal paraths looking yummy n tempting

    I am ready to share some with you:-)

  • Cham

    Wow looks perfect ur parathas

    Thanks !

  • Hey Soma,
    You also did a very good job on making the parathas…looks perfect…..in Bengal we also make same lentil filling in puris calls ‘dal puri’ n also in parathas

    Indrani, amar dida egulo ke “dal puri” bolto. Somehow they got to be parathas… now.

  • Yummy parathas Soma..great pictorial too..I too make a similar stuffed dal paratha using moong dal..absolutly delicious!!

    Divya, I have never tried with mung dal. May be next time ..

  • Wow makes me hungry. Wish i could eat them now.

    You are welcome to come over.

  • Looks really delicious…awesome clicks Soma…COngrats on winning the challenge event..

    Thank u so much Priya!

  • Delicious looking parathas, Soma.
    I usually make them with leftover dal.:)

    Aparna I use left over dal too.. sometimes, but thats a different story:-))

  • mohana

    Now, this is something that will really be useful for me !! I am never good at making parathas

  • mohana

    Now , this is something that will really be useful to me. I am terible at making flat breads. just loved your description. will try it soon.

    Thanks !

  • Stuffed lentil parathas look fluffy, soft and delicious, thanks for sharing such lovely recipe

    Thanks Purva!

  • Food always finds its way into beautiful memories na? I could imagine the whole scene as you were describing it, lovely post Soma. And those parathas look yumm, a cup of sweetened yogurt on the side and I will be a happy gal 🙂

  • and I wanted to add, your chapathi dough looks soo soft and elastic, almost like one made of maida. Where do you buy your whole wheat flour ?

    Priya, I buy the regular Indian store whole wheat (atta) & I mix whole food store or any store whole wheat to it (50 -50 ). Its impossible for me to work with maida here. They are like elastic. U roll it out, turn the other side, & they shrink to a miniscule circle:-) I use all purpose flour for baking only. I think the flash adjustment is making it look so white…(see the dal filling, that came out very light too.) I see that now.

  • Enjoyed reading about your grandmother Soma. You have put it so aptly that they had magic in their fingers. Their cooking using coal etc would be so tedious, yet the taste lingers on. I have tried the sweet chana daal stuffing (puran poli), but not this one. I need to try this.

    Supriya, those days seem so far far away… I am not very fond of puran poli, only becoz its sweet. its more like a dessert for me, where u only have a small serving.

  • I have tried the sweet version with channa dal and jaggery, but this is completely new, yet very tasty I would think.

    The sweet one is the puran poli… ( i have written to Supriya- see above)..I think thats very popular in Maharashtra. I cannot eat anything sweet like that as a meal:-(

  • hey thats my fav with kheer!

    paratha with kheer? LOL

  • Soma, ami choto te cholar daler puri kheyechi..Kintu paratha first time dekchi..Truely divine..khub khete icche korche..:-) Aamio try korbo…

    Tumi bangla bolte jaano ki kore?

  • I too have made parathas with leftover dal, but this is definitely different 🙂

    Yeap they are:-)

  • those parathas look so soft. never thought we could stuff dal. looks so good.

    I think u can stuff about anything in parathas:-)

  • PG

    very wholesome for sure. Using daal stuffing in paranthas is somethig I have learned from my mom too. These look lovely! The stack of hot paranthas looks so mouthewatering!

    Thanks PG!

  • We love these too! Your pile of parathas look terrific, Soma!

    Same here Harini:-) Its easy for me, as I do not have to make anything else when its this…

  • I love Indian stuffed breads alot. They are similar to what we call feseli or gutab in Azerbaijan. Your daal version sounds delicious!

    Farida, i was recently reading about a gutab recipe where the dough is stuffed with a green filling & I was wondering how similar certain things are…

  • looking yum yum n delicous…naan

  • vij

    hi ya
    This is my first time here. You have a lovely space.
    Parathas look perfect n fluffy.

  • The parathas look perfect and yum, I loved the ingredients you have used in the stuffing, bet they tasted fantastic 🙂

  • this is great, i havw usually seen these dal paranthas/puris made with maida/white flour. Good to get a whole wheat version, that too one that has been passed down three generations!
    Your granpa got you flowers? How sweet..thanks for sharing these lovely childhood memories

  • wow superb what to say no wards for me I think these dal parathas are best for winter dinner mmmm I am going to try them to day and let u know how they came out thanks for the recipe dear

  • Apu

    Hi Soma,
    I make these parathas too. But I also add cilantro to the filling. Perfect winter fare!!


  • Lise Young

    Would like to know if you mean baking soda or baking powder and do you use very hot water. I make dal puris they come out soft but NOT light. I use 1 tbsp ghee, 1/2 cup of boiling water, 1 tsp baking powder for each cup of all-purpose flour. I recently used 1 tbsp of ghee made by melting marg. at 80% veg. oil for each cup of all-purpose flour. The dough did not stretch out well when I rolled it and it did not come out soft and light. Your input would be really appreciated.
    Thanks a lot.

  • Ruchi

    i was planning to make adai next week. But – thanks 2 u – i shall make the dal filling on saturday and then on the week – all i got to do is make the parathas !!! shall serve it with some cut cucumbers to add the greens to the diet… thanks soma for the protein rich recipe.

  • Ruchi

    i made this paratha and the kids also loved. Though i adopted some short cuts – still it turned out ot be delicious…. Thanks

  • dina

    we call these meeti roti — my mom spreads warm ghee on it. ahhh the memories….

  • Oooh, I love these! Yours look so perfect too. Yummy!

  • N4cer

    Snap…I’ve been looking around for this for a long time! Thanks alot, especially with the pictures!
    Gives me a good sense of what is to be done when and after cooking (end results)…. 😀

  • These sound delicious! I am on the lookout for more lentil recipes, since they are so healthy and this looks like something my kids would enjoy if I tone down the heat a bit!

  • I made those once for my husband… lots of work! They make them almost the same way in the Caribbean 😉

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