Spicy lentils with wholewheat rolls


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

The Complete Indian Regional Cookbook: 300 Classic Recipes from the Great Regions of India

The Complete Indian Regional Cookbook

By Mridula Baljekar

Published 2017

  • About

From the desert region of Rajasthan, this recipe, Dal Baati, uses ghee and yogurt instead of water to make the rolls. These are then served with spiced lentils and generous amounts of ghee, which is the best choice for a traditional flavour, although sunflower oil or light olive oil can be used instead.


For the baati

  • 300 g/10 ½ oz/2 ½ cups wholemeal (whole-wheat) flour
  • 50 g/2 oz/ cup semolina
  • 15 ml/1 tbsp gram flour (besan)
  • 2.5 ml/½ tsp baking powder
  • 2.5 ml/½ tsp salt
  • 60 ml/4 tbsp ghee or unsalted butter, melted
  • 120 ml/4fl oz/½ cup milk
  • sunflower oil, for roasting

For the dal

  • 150 g/5 oz/scant 1 cup whole mung beans (sabut mung dhal)
  • 75 g/3 oz/½ cup split Bengal gram (channa dhal or skinless split chickpeas)
  • 5 ml/1 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 25 g/1 oz/2 tbsp ghee or unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 10 ml/2 tsp ginger purée
  • 10 ml/2 tsp garlic purée
  • 2.5 ml/½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 2.5–5ml/l/2–1 tsp chilli powder
  • 5 ml/1 tsp ground coriander
  • 5 ml/1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2.5 ml/ tsp garam masala
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 30 ml/2 tbsp fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves, chopped


  1. To make the dal: wash the mung beans and the split Bengal gram and soak them separately for 4–5 hours. Drain well.

  2. To make the baati: put the flour, semolina, gram flour, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl and stir to mix. Beat the melted ghee or butter and the milk together and add to the flour.

  3. Mix with your fingertips and gradually add 150ml/5fl oz/7 cup water. Mix until a dough is formed.

  4. Transfer the dough to a flat surface and knead until it has absorbed all the moisture - it will be quite sticky at first.

  5. Cover the dough with a damp dish towel and leave for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas 5.

  6. Shape the dough into marble-sized balls. Pour enough oil into a roasting pan to cover the base to about 5mm/tn depth, heat it over a medium heat and add the dough balls in a single layer, spacing them apart slightly. Shake the pan so that all the balls are coated with the fat.

  7. Roast in the centre of the oven for about 20 minutes, until crisp and well-browned, turning them often so they brown evenly.

  8. Place the mung beans in a large pan with 1.2 litres/2 pints/5 cups water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to medium and partially cover the pan.

  9. Cook for 10–12 minutes, then add the gram. Bring back to the boil, cover and simmer for 20–25 minutes longer. Add the salt, mash some of the beans and peas with the back of a spoon and mix well. Switch off the heat.

  10. Melt the ghee or butter over a low heat and fry the onion, stirring, for 4–5 minutes until softened. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the turmeric, chilli powder, coriander and cumin, stir-fry for about a minute and add to the cooked dhal with the garam masala, lime juice and chopped coriander. Stir to mix well and serve with the baati.

Per portion Energy 674kcal/2835kJ; Protein 29.2g; Carbohydrate 90.7g, of which sugars 6.7g; Fat 25g, of which saturates 12g; Cholesterol 20mg; Calcium 135mg; Fibre 10.3g; Sodium 771mg.