Dal paratha is a stuffed paratha made with unleavened whole wheat dough, chana dal (bengal gram) and spices. This variation of stuffed paratha with lentils is popular in Punjabi homes and usually made for breakfast. Enjoy this tasty savory chana dal ka paratha with yogurt, pickles and homemade butter. I am sharing my family recipe which we have been making for decades and we all love it!
In our recipe the chana dal is cooked fresh and then mixed with spices. This filling is then stuffed in the paratha. This recipe is versatile enough to be made with leftover cooked chana dal.
We usually use chana dal to make these parathas. However you can also use moong dal to make moong dal paratha. With mung lentils you have to be careful when cooking them so that they don’t end up being lumpy or pasty. The paratha’s taste will change with mung lentils.
The chana dal has to be soaked before and then cooked in a pressure cooker or pan or instant pot. While rolling the paratha, sometimes a few lentils may come out. Don’t worry about that. As the dal is already spiced so you will love to eat them like that as a snack.
The key is to use the right amount of stuffing in your paratha. Don’t under stuff or over stuff. After making a few parathas you will come to know the right proportion of the stuffing.
Make sure that you don’t add too much dal stuffing in the paratha, so that it does not break. Also remember to chop the onions and green chillies finely.
Usually this dal paratha is served for breakfast. This is a filling paratha because of the addition of chana dal.
The paratha goes best with green chilies pickle or mango pickle, yogurt and white butter. If you want to serve it as an evening snack then a cup of hot tea will also go well with it. They can be packed for lunch box.
How to make Dal Paratha
1. Pick and rinse 1 cup chana dal in running water for a couple of times. Drain all the water. Use the lentils that are under their shelf period.
2. In a bowl soak the chana dal in enough water overnight. You can also soak them for 3 to 4 hours. (Check notes for the pressure cooking time in the recipe card notes below).
3. Add this soaked chana dal in a pressure cooker with 2 cups of water and pressure cook them for 1 whistle on medium to medium high heat.
You can also cook them in a pan or instant pot.
4. The lentils should be cooked well, softened and yet stay separate. In a strainer drain the dal and let all the water drain well. Keep the dal in the strainer for 15 to 20 minutes so that all the water is drained off.
If there is any moisture in the dal you won’t be able to make the parathas. You can also very lightly squeeze the lentils in your palms without mashing them if you don’t have a strainer.
TIP: If your lentils have softened too much and become mushy then mash them and use as a stuffing.
5. In a bowl or plate, mix the chana dal with finely chopped onions, chopped green chili, garam masala powder, dry mango powder (amchur), asafoetida (hing) and salt as required. Gently mix and keep aside.
You can alter the amount of green chilies according to your preferences. You can also add half a teaspoon of carom seeds (ajwain).
6. Take a medium ball from the dough and first roll between your palms. On a lightly dusted flour, roll the medium dough ball out in a small circle. Now put the spiced chana dal mixture/filling in the center of the rolled out dough.
7. Bring all the edges together and join the edges. Press the edges down and make a stuffed flat ball.
8. On a lightly dusted surface, roll the stuffed dough with a rolling pin gently. Make sure that the dal parathas do not break.
Although some chana dal pieces might come out, which is alright. Dust with more flour if required. Roll it into the size of a normal roti or chapati.
9. Put the rolled paratha on a tava or hot griddle. Fry them with oil or ghee. You can use peanut oil or sunflower oil or any neutral flavored oil with high smoking point.
10. Be liberal in using oil or ghee while frying the paratha and make sure that the edges are fried well. You can also press the paratha edges with spatula.
This way, fry both the sides of the paratha till you see some brown spots appearing on it. These Chana dal paratha are usually made extra golden and some charred spots are preferred.
11. Remove from the pan and serve the chana dal paratha hot with curd, butter or pickle. For best taste have them hot.
They can also be packed for lunch box or had as a brunch or evening snack. These parathas make for a filling and satisfying meal.
If you are looking for more Paratha Recipes then do check:
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- 3 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 cup water or more if required
- 1 to 2 teaspoons Ghee or oil (optional)
- salt as required, (optional)
For dal stuffing
- 1 cup bengal gram (chana dal) – soaked overnight
- 2 cups water
- 1 onion – finely chopped, small to medium sized
- 1 to 2 green chillies – finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon carom seeds (ajwain) or a generous pinch of asafoetida (hing)
- ¼ teaspoon Garam Masala
- ½ to ¾ teaspoon dry mango powder (amchur) or as required
- 1 to 2 teaspoon coriander/cilantro leaves, chopped (optional)
- Ghee (clarified butter) or oil for roasting, as required
- In a mixing bowl first mix the flour with salt as required. Add the ghee and half cup water.
- First mix everything with your hands and then begin to knead the dough.
- Add the remaining ½ cup of water and continue to knead. The dough should become soft and pliable.
- If the dough becomes sticky then add some flour and if it looks dry and crumbly add some water. Cover the dough and let it rest for 30 minutes.
Making dal stuffing
- Soak the chana dal/bengal gram overnight or for 3 to 4 hours (check notes)
- Add the soaked dal in pressure cooker with 2 cups of water.
- Pressure cook for 1 or 2 whistle (check notes)
- The chana dal should be cooked well and yet remain separate. They should not become mushy or pasty.
- Drain the dal in a strainer. Keep the dal in the strainer for 15-20 minutes so that all water gets drained off. There should be no water in the dal.
- If there is any moisture in the dal you won’t be able to make the parathas.
- You can also very lightly squeeze the dal in your palms without mashing them if you don’t have a strainer.
- Mix the drained chana dal with finely chopped onions, dry mango powder (amchur), garam masala powder, green chilies, asafoetida (hing) and salt
Rolling chana dal paratha
- Pinch a medium sized ball from the dough. First roll it well between your palms.
- Then on a dusted flour, roll it out to a small circle with a rolling pin.
- Now add the spiced chana dal mixture/filling in the center of the rolled out dough. Just make sure that you don't use too much stuffing, so that it does not come out while rolling the paratha. Also don't use less stuffing as then you will taste less of nutty chana dal stuffing and more of the paratha.
- Bring the edges together and join them in the center.
- Now by applying pressure with your fingers press the edges down and make a neat stuffed ball. Make sure there are no tears or cracks.
- In a lightly dusted rolling board or surface, roll the stuffed dough ball with a rolling pin (belan) gently.
- Make sure that the parathas do not break. Although some chana dal pieces might come out, which is fine.
- Dust with more flour if required. Roll it into a size of a normal roti or chapati.
Making dal paratha
- Put the rolled paratha on a tava or hot griddle. Keep the flame to medium-high or high.
- Fry the paratha with oil or ghee and turn it as needed whole roasting.
- Be liberal in using oil or ghee while frying the paratha as this make the parathas more crisp.
- Make sure that the edges are also fried well. You can also press the paratha edges with spatula so that they are cooked well.
- This way, fry both the sides of the paratha till you see some brown spots and it is fried well.
- Serve the chana dal paratha hot with curd (yogurt) or white butter or pickle. We usually have them with mango pickle.
- They can also be packed for lunch box or can be had for breakfast, brunch or as an evening snack. For best taste have them hot as they are made.
- If soaking overnight then pressure cook the chana dal for one whistle on medium to high flame.
- If soaking for 3 to 4 hours, then pressure cook for two whistles on medium to high flame. You can also cook then lentils in a pan or instant pot. Make sure that they are cooked well, softened and stay separate. They should not become mushy or pasty.
- The recipe can be doubled or tripled to feed a crowd.
- The same recipe can be made with moong dal to make moong dal ka paratha. Ensure that you don’t overcook moong dal.
- Remember to finely chop the onions and green chilies. Otherwise they can tear the paratha while rolling. If making for kids then you can omit the green chillies.
- For roasting the paratha you can use sunflower oil or peanut oil, any neutral oil or ghee (clarified butter).
Nutrition Info (Approximate Values)
This dal paratha recipe from the blog archives (Jan 2014) has been republished and updated on 28 May 2021.