1 cup urad dal
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon salt
cup minced mint leaves (optional)
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons ghee or vegetable oil, plus extra for shaping
cup lukewarm water
peanut oil for deep-frying
Wash the dal thoroughly in several rinses of warm water.
Place in a saucepan with 3 cups water and bring to a
boil. Cook at medium boil, partially covered, for 1
hour. The dal will be very soft, but not completely
cooked. Transfer the dal to a food processor and process
to a smooth puree. Set aside in a bowl.
Heat oil in a wok or karhai or in large heavy skillet
over medium-high heat. Add the mustard seeds and let
them pop in hot oil, then toss in cumin seeds and cook
for 10 seconds. Add puréed dal and stir, then
stir turmeric, cayenne, and salt. Cook, using wooden
spoon or wide metal spatula to smear dal against surface
of pan to expose it to heat, then to lift if off to
prevent sticking, about 5 minutes. Lower heat and cook
for another minute or two, until dal has firmed to smooth
paste. Turn out of pan into a bowl and set aside to
cool to room temperature.(If you will not be using the
dal within an hour, refrigerate, tightly covered.)
To make dough, place the flour and salt in the food
processor. With machine running, add the ghee or oil
through the feed tube, then add water until a ball of
dough forms. Process for another 15 seconds or so, then
turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until
very smooth, about 4 minutes. Set aside, well covered
with plastic, for at least 30 minutes, or as long as
3 hours, whatever is most convenient.(The dough can
be refrigerated for up to a day. Bring to room temperature
Place the bowl of filling by your work surface together
with a large plate and a small bowl of ghee or vegetable
oil. Add the mint, if using. Lighty oil the palms of
your hands. Scoop up a scant 1 tablespoon filling, roll
it between your oiled palms into a ball, and place it
on the plate. Repeat with the remaining filling, to
make sixteen balls. Set aside.
Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and cut
into sixteen equal pieces by cutting in half and then
half again, and so on. Flatten each piece into a 3-inch
disk and set aside.
Place a disk on one palm and make a dent in the center
with your thumbs. Place a ball of filling in the dent,
then pull up the dough to cover the filling, pinching
to seal it closed. Lightly flour both your palms and
flatten the dough between your palms to a disk about
4 inches across. Set aside on a lightly floured surface.
Repeat with the remaining breads, and cover loosely
with plastic wrap.
The dal can be prepared up to 3 days ahead.
Store in a covered container in the refrigerator.
Ease of preparation: Moderate
Preparation time: 30 min plus refrigeration
Cook time: 30 min
Servings: makes 16 breads