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Healthy Vegetarian Foods

Dhal Puri

At last the vegetarian, has a post for meatless Monday

Roti, Puri, Paratha and etc. are all types of Indian breads made from stone ground wholemeal flour traditionally known as “Atta flour”. Atta flour has its origins in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka; however it is consumed all over the world today, and become a staple amongst people in countries like Fiji, the Southern Caribbean (Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana), Mauritius and right here in South Africa as well(these are places that have a huge Indian population). Atta flour forms the base of rotis, puris, naans & etc., and sometimes different types of flour (chick pea flour, lentil flour, rice flour & etc.) or even spices and herbs are added to jazz it up. The various types of Rotis, Puris, Naans and etc. form an integral part of Pakistan and Indian cuisine-generally no meal is complete without some type of roti or puri.

My chosen type of roti for this post is “DHAL PURI”, and this roti is an Indian-inspired roti that is most popular in the Caribbean, Mauritius and Durban (why I am not sure-but I am assuming it has something to do with the sea and as all 3 regions have the sea and large Indian Community as the common factor).  Dhal puri is one of the top street foods on the streets Caribbean islands and the island of Mauritius.

The Dhal Puri got its inspiration from the Indian Paratha and it is simply a roti that is filled with a cumin flavoured stuffing of ground split peas, and then it is cooked on a Tawa/griddle pan with the addition of ghee/butter-making it quite rich. The non-vegetarians often eat Dhal puris with some type of meat or poultry curry, and vegetarians eat it on its own or with spicy chutney, spicy yoghurt or a vegetarian curry I was introduced to Dhal Puri by my ex in-laws (as it is not something you will find in Gujrati cuisine) – and today my sons thoroughly enjoy the healthy version, and my daughter in law is from the Caribbean-so all this just means that I have had to adapt the traditional method of cooking Dhal Puri to conform with our healthy eating habits and my Le Creuset Crepe Pan has been the “WOW” factor in making this possible. There are many different recipes and methods of how to cook Dhal Puri-this is my tried and tested one – no need for it to be cooked with a heap of ghee/butter – just a tinsy-winsy bit for taste

Dhal Puri

250ml split chick peas/split peas (chana dhal or pea dhal)

5ml salt

2ml turmeric powder

10ml vegetable oil/ghee

7ml roasted and crushed cumin seeds

5ml chilli powder (optional)

5ml dry mango powder or 3ml lemon juice

50ml ghee/butter (for spreading while cooking)

Roti (makes 12 generous sized Dhal Puri)

300ml bread or cake flour

50ml cooking oil

5ml salt

100ml boiling water (approx.)

  Method-Dhal Filling

  • Soak split chick peas or split peas in tepid water for at least 6 hours or overnight
  • Rinse the peas a few times-or until the water is clear
  • Place in a pot and with enough boiling water to cover the peas – bring to a boil and lower heat
  • Cook until the peas are soft enough that you could press them between two fingers
  • Add the salt and turmeric powder and allow it to come to a boil before removing from heat and draining in a fine colander-allow all the water to drain out
  • Heat oil/ghee in a large frying pan and add the cumin seeds-allow the aroma to arise before turning heat of
  • Add the drained peas and chili powder (if using) and mango powder or lemon juice
  • Allow this to cook for a few minutes ensuring that all the water is dried up and you have dry grains of peas
  • Place the dried cool grains of peas into a food processor and pulse till you have a mixture that resembles dry and loose sea sand
  • Remove from processor bowl using a spatula and place in a mixing bowl and fluff up the mixture using a fork


  •  Sift dry ingredients together, make a well in the centre, add the oil and rub into flour
  • Pour boiling water over flour and using a fork mix, ensuring to incorporate the flour and the liquid
  • Lightly kneed into soft dough, break dough into golf-balls


  • Take 1 piece of dough and pat into a round disk about 10cm wide-place the disk into one hand and form into a cup – and fill about 30ml filling into the dough (do not over fill)
  • Pull the ends of the dough together and seal in the filling
  • Continue with the balance of the dough and as you complete them place on a lightly floured baking sheet
  • Brush them with a bit of oil so that the tops do not form crusts and keep them moist by covering with a lightly damp cloth
  • Leave aside to rest for about 15-20 minutes


  • Heat a TAWA or Le CREUSET CREPE PAN over medium heat
  • While that is being heated, prepare your work surface, rolling pin and bread board (for rolling)
  • Flour your board and rolling pin then take one of the stuffed dough ball and flatten with your hands, before starting to roll the dough
  • Continue rolling  and turning till you have a flat round roti that looks like a wrap-you may find it necessary to flour your rolling pin and bread board as you go along
  • Ensure that you dust of all the excess flour of the roti before placing on your Tawa to cook
  • When placing the roti on the Tawa-ensure that the top side is placed on the heat first
  • Allow the roti to cook till you see parts of it puffing up-flip over and allow to cook for about 20-30 seconds and spread a little ghee (butter) before flipping again
  • Allow to cook for a further 20-30 seconds before removing from heat
  • Place on a cooling rack and cover with a kitchen towel
  • Continue cooking the same way till all of the rotis are cooked


Comments: 10

  • 16/04/2014

    I shall have to try these rotis some day!

    • 15/05/2014

      they really are great tasting

  • 12/05/2014


  • 16/05/2014

    Ushaji …the dal poorie looks so good….I am lucky my sister is married to a gujrati and her mom in law is from Mauritius so I have had the pleasure of tasting dal poorie before ….thank you for sharing and you have a very pretty blog :))

    • 16/05/2014

      Thanks for visiting my blog and yes The Mauritians make the very best dal puri

  • Pamla Pillay


    Thanks for the dhal puri recipe. I have been wanting to make these for a long time.

    • 15/06/2015

      you welcome and do let me know how it turns out when you try it.

  • Amsha


    Can dhal puri be frozen and if so, at what stage in its preparation?

    • 29/09/2016

      yes it can – you can freeze the filling — you can roll out each dhall puri and freeze using pieces cling wrap to separate each puri or you can cook them and freeze fully cooked dhall puris

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