Popular for its use of leftovers
Dal Paratha, as the name suggests is a Paratha made with a Dal filling or stuffing. A Paratha is an Indian Flatbread or unleavened bread made of wheat flour. It is made in layers and then lightly fried on a griddle.
A dal paratha is famous for being the ideal use for leftover dal that no one wants to repeat. This way it becomes a wholesome and nutritious meal for any meal. Across India you will find that the paratha takes on a life of its own in each household.
This particular dish is particular to the Indian Subcontinent. You will find many variants to the ubiquitous Paratha. They can be stuffed with chicken or mutton mince, potatoes, Dal, cottage cheese, onion and green chillies, leftover cooked vegetables to name a few.
A taste like no other
Dal paratha has a unique taste. It combines the spicy flavours of dal and the relatively milder taste of whole wheat flour. It is the added spices that give it its uniqueness.
While it is a leftover special, you can make Dal Paratha fresh also. You can use any dal for this purpose. That is the beauty of this dish. It is very versatile.
There is nothing like a nice hot paratha on a cold winter’s day. Top it up with a dollop of butter, add some chutney or pickle, and Voila! You have the perfect menu for any get-together or just a simple meal at home.
How to make Dal paratha
You need lentils of some kind. You can use Split yellow /Bengal Gram or Chana dal, Yellow Moong dal, or even Split pigeon peas or Tur Dal. You can make it with either leftover dal or then make your dal fresh. The recipe for both differ slightly as one is a stuffed paratha and the other not.
For your leftover dal you have to knead the flour with the dal, add a few spices, salt and condiments because your leftover dal already has tempering this does not need any more than just a basic upgrade.
If you are preparing dal and then making parathas, you have to soak the lentils or your choice, pressure cook them and then do a tempering with condiments and spices, cook till it’s is mushy, soften it further by mashing it with a masher and then use it as stuffing for your paratha. But that is a separate recipe for another day.
- 1 measure of your leftover dal
- 2 measures of whole wheat flour
- 2 tablespoons Besan (Gram flour or Chickpea flour)
- ½ measure curd unsweetened
- ½ teaspoon red chilli powder
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- Some chopped green coriander
- Some oil for the dough and for frying the parathas
- Add all in a mixing bowl and knead into a dough. Don’t add water unless you feel the dough is too dry. It has to be a soft and pliable but not squishy.
- Once your dough is ready, roll into a nice smooth ball and dab with a little oil. Knead it again with a little oil on your hands and keep aside.
How to make
Put your girdle on to heat on slow. Take a flat wooden board and a rolling pin. Take a medium size ball of the kneaded dough. Press down gently in some dry flour to make thick palm size patty. Put the patty on the board and start rolling out your paratha. Your rolling pin should roll lightly over the dough. Don’t press down hard or your dough will stick to the board.
Move your rolling pin in small circles using your wrists while simultaneously rolling the dough. You will find that the dough starts flattening out in a circle and widening.
If you feel it is sticking to the board add a little dry flour to it to make it shift smoothly over the board. Once your dough is about 3 inches wide, take a few drops of oil and spread it over the dough.
Now fold the dough into a shape of your choice, square or triangle. On each fold spread a few drops of oil so it all sticks together. Press down lightly and flatten it.
Now roll in dry flour and start rolling it out again. This time you can use a little force to press it down and spread out the dough. Once your dough is about the size of a saucer or a quarter plate, lift it gently and put on the girdle.
Let cook on slow. Meantime you can start the rolling out process of your next Dal paratha. Rolling is an art. Give it time patience and practice and you will perfect it. Rolling round chapatis is the acid test for new housewives across India.
Flip the paratha on the girdle. It should look whitish and have some small brown spots on it. When the other side also looks white with spots, take half a teaspoon of oil and spread it around the dal paratha and on top of it. Flip your paratha do the same on the other side. Now you can increase the heat a little to facilitate the frying.
Your Dal paratha is done when both sides look a nice golden brown. Take off the heat, place on a plate and add a dollop of butter on it. Serve with chutney, tomato sauce or pickle.
Parathas are best eaten hot. But they can be had at room temperature, so it makes it an easy school lunch option.
Given below are approximate nutritive values of Dal paratha
- Calories 200
- Sodium 165 mg
- Total Fat 5 g
- Potassium 138 mg
- Saturated 2 g
- Total Carbs 34 g
- Dietary Fibre 4 g
- Monounsaturated 1 g
- Protein 8 g
- Cholesterol 8 mg
- Vitamin A 3%
- Calcium 1%
- Iron 7%
The values would change depending on how much oil you use. Enjoy.