Dal Paratha, or Bikanare Paratha, this is best described as Indian stuffed flatbread. This delicious bread is filled with cooked chana dal and a variety of spices. However, unlike other stuffed parathas these are rolled super thin. These parathas are a Rajasthani delicacy.
- 1 cup all purpose flour, (plain flour, maida)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon oil
- About 1/3 cup lukewarm water
- 1/2 cup chana dal, available in Indian grocery stores
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon fennel seed powder, (saunf)
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder, adjust to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon asafetida (hing)
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour, for rolling
- 2 tablespoons oil for cooking paratha
- Mix the flour, salt and oil.
- Add the water slowly, mixing with your fingers as you pour.
- Dough should be soft, do not knead the dough.
- Cover the dough and let it sit for at least fifteen minutes.
- Boil the chana dal with two cups of water on medium high heat. After dal comes to boil, reduce the heat to medium and let it cook until dal is very soft. If needed add little more water. Strain the dal removing the access water if needed.
- consistency of soft dough. Consistency of dal is very important for this recipe. If dal is too soft it will be difficult to do the filling, then stir fry the dal to bring to the right consistency. If it is too dry and crumbly add little water.
- In a bowl mix dal with salt, fennel powder, chili powder and asafetida. Adjust the pepper and salt to taste. Set aside.
- Divide the dough and filling into eight equal parts and form into balls.
- Roll dough ball lightly in dry flour and roll into a 3” circle. Place a filling ball in the center. Pull the edges of the dough to wrap it around the filling. Repeat to make all eight balls. Let the filled balls settle three to four minutes.
- Meanwhile heat an iron or other heavy skillet on medium high heat until moderately hot. To test, sprinkle water on the skillet. If the water sizzles right away, the skillet is ready.
- Press the filled ball lightly on dry flour from both sides.
- Using a rolling pin, roll the balls keeping the sealed side up. If the dough sticks to the rolling pin or rolling surface, lightly dust the parathas with dry flour; roll the paratha into seven-inch circle.
- Place the paratha on the skillet. When the paratha start to change color and begins to puff up, flip it over. You will notice some golden-brown spots.
- After a few seconds, drizzle half teaspoon of oil over the paratha. Flip the paratha and put again half teaspoon of oil. Lightly press the puffed areas with a spatula. This will help paratha to puff.
- Flip again and press with a spatula making sure the paratha is golden-brown on both sides. Repeat for the remaining parathas.
- Parathas are best served hot and crispy. They will be soft as they cool off.
- Parathas can be kept unrefrigerated for up to two days wrapped in aluminum foil or in a covered container. For later use, parathas can be refrigerated six to seven days or frozen for up to a month. Re-heat using a skillet or oven. But they taste great at room temperature.