Lentil-Filled Paratha

(Photo by chotda/Flickr)

Makes 8-10.


1 quantity paratha dough
220 g/7 oz/1 cup red lentils
2 tablespoons oil or ghee
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
1 tablespoon lime or lemon juice


Mix and knead paratha dough, and while it is resting make the lentil filling. Pick over the lentils, discarding small stones. Wash lentils thoroughly. Put into a saucepan with water to cover, bring to the boil and cook until soft and water is absorbed. In another pan heat ghee and fry the onion and garlic until soft and turning golden. Add the lentils, mashing well with a wooden spoon. Stir in ground cumin and garam masala, add salt and lime juice to taste and cook until no liquid remains, stirring constantly and keeping heat low to prevent scorching. Leave to cool.

Divide dough into 8 portions and roll each to a circle the size of a saucer. Put a portion of the cooled lentils into the centre, bring the dough together to enclose the filling, and pinch together to seal the dough firmly. Flatten between the hands to a round shape and on a lightly floured board roll very gently to the size of a bread-and-butter plate, taking care not to press too hard, so that the filling does not break through the dough. If this does happen, patch with an extra piece of dough. Do not start cooking until all the parathas are filled. Heat a heavy frying pan or tawa, spread 2 teaspoons ghee or oil over the surface and place a paratha in it over medium heat. While first side is cooking spread a little more ghee or oil over the top so that when paratha is turned over the second side is also greased. Cook until golden brown on both sides. Pile parathas on a plate and keep warm until all are cooked, then serve as soon as possible.

Recipe excerpted from Encyclopedia of Asian Food by Charmaine Solomon (Periplus Editions, 1998).