How to make Dhal Puri

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Close up shot of Dhal Puri on top of towel

Dhal, meaning peas or legumes, and Puri, a type of fried dough flatbread, come together in this Indo Caribbean delight known as Dhal Puri. This dish is another type of flatbread most commonly associated with Trinidad Roti. However, unlike other flatbread, this one is filled with ground seasoned Dhal or yellow split peas that create a crumbly mixture within the dough layers. In Trinidad, we take our favorite curried meats and vegetables, and place them onto the center of a Dhal Puri and then carefully wrap it all up into a food bundle of joy. Then, with each bite, you break up the layers of the flatbread roti to release the Dhal puri crumble, which then absorbs the gravy and food juices, only adding to the depth of flavor and texture.  

What is dhal puri made of?

Dhal puri is made with a filling of dhal simmered with spices such as turmeric, cumin, garlic and local herbs. This is then stuffed in a flatbread made from flour, water, sugar, salt & baking powder. After the flatbread is stuffed it's then cooked with ghee in a tawa or skillet.  

How do you knead flour for dhal puri?

The dry ingredients are kneaded by slowly adding a little water at a time until the dough is just right, meaning not too dry & not too wet. It is then kneaded by hand for an additional 10-15 minutes then rested for 30 minutes. 

What is the difference between roti and dhal puri?

Roti & dhal puri are both flat breads made from flour, water, sugar, salt, ghee & baking powder, and both are also cooked on a tawa or skillet using ghee. The main difference is that dhal puri is flatbread that is stuffed with a mixture of dhal or split peas cooked in herbs and spices. 

How many calories does dhal puri have?

There are 828 calories in a batch of dhal puri. 

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Time & Serves

Prep Time
90 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
135 mins
Serves
10

Ingredients

Dhal Filling
  • 1 cup Yellow Split Peas

  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda

  • 1 teaspoon Turmeric Powder

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Geera/Cumin Powder

  • 2 Large Cloves Garlic

  • 4 Large Leaves Chadon Beni

  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt

  • 1 tablespoon Ghee

  • 4 cups Water 

Dough for Roti
  • 600 grams All-Purpose Flour

  • 1 tablespoon Baking Powder

  • 2 teaspoons Brown Sugar

  • 1 teaspoon Salt

  • 350-400 ml Warm Water

  • 10 ounces Ghee, softened/room temperature

  • 100 grams of Flour for dusting

Instructions

Dhal Filling – Should be prepared in advance to the Roti Dough so it is cool to the touch.

Thoroughly rinse and wash the peas at least 3 times and place into a large pot with baking soda and turmeric, fill with enough water to create a 2-3 inch water line above the peas.

Overview of dhal in a pot on the stovetop

Boil on high heat for 20-30 minutes. With a slotted spoon, skim the surface of the water removing foam. 

Overview of a pot on the stovetop filled with water cooking dhal

Once the peas are easy to crush with the back of a spoon, remove from the heat, using a colander strain the peas let cool & dry out for 10 minutes. 

Arial of a colander of strained dhal above a pot

After the peas have cooled to the touch, place them into your mini chopper or food processor along with the garlic and chadon beni. Pulse until the mixture has been combined into a sand-like crumbly texture.

Dhal garlic and herbs being added to a food processor

In a large pot, warm the 3 tablespoons of ghee on medium to high heat. Add the seasoned pea-crumble mixture and geera powders stirring to incorporate and season with salt to taste.

Overview of pureed dhal cooking in a pot on the stovetop

Once all the ingredients are thoroughly mixed, the seasonings are evenly distributed and the texture is still crumbly, remove from the heat and allow it to rest at room temperature.

Pot with cooked dhal resting
Puri-Roti Dough

In a large bowl, add all dry ingredients and mix thoroughly with your fingers.

Arial of a glass bowl containing flour and spices

Make a well in the center of the bowl and slowly add 50 ml of water at a time using your fingers to mix until all the water has been absorbed. If the dough it is to dry add a little more water. 

Arial of a bowl containing dry ingredients with a well being made in the center

Knead the dough for 10 minutes or until the dough quickly bounces back when you press your finger into the dough - think of all the memory foam commercials.

Dough being kneaded by hand in a bowl

Rub, coat and cover the dough ball with ghee and allow it to rest in a covered bowl for 30 minutes.

Ball of dough being coated with ghee in a bowl

After resting, prepare your work surface by dusting with flour. Then place the dough ball onto the surface, cut into 10 equal pieces and shape into balls.

10 small pieces of dough being rolled on a floured countertop

Take one ball in your hands and gently press it into a circle about 5 inches in diameter. Using this circle, you will be creating a pea filled dough ball.

Overview of balls of dough with one flattened

Holding the dough in the palm of one hand with fingers spread out for support, place one 1/4 cup sized scoop of the peas mix into the center of the dough circle.

Circle of dough being held in a hand with dhal being added to it

Carefully moving around the perimeter of the circle, press the pea mixture into the center while stretching the edges over and around into the center sealing all the edges together to form a peas filled dough ball. Take your time and be patient. This is a messy process and will take some getting used to.

Filled dough being sealed into a ball

On a flour-dusted surface, place the finished stuffed ball to rest and lightly cover while you repeat steps until all the dough rounds have been filled with peas.

Stuffed dough resting on a floured countertop with a kitchen towel covering them
Cooking Dhal Puri Roti

Prepare the tawa or heavy pan of your choosing, place on medium heat and coating the cooking side with ghee.

Tawa being brushed with ghee using a pastry brush

Line a plate or bread basket with a cloth napkin or clean towel to rest your Dhal Puri & keep them warm. 

Arial of a plate covered with a kitchen towel

Place one of the pea stuffed balls onto your flour-dusted work surface. Then using your hands, gently press from the center of the ball moving out toward the perimeter flattening the ball out into a circle. Always have flour on hand for dusting and to prevent the dough from sticking.

Stuffed dough on a floured surface being flattened by hand

Now using a rolling pin, roll the dough out in the same direction. Continue to flatten the circle until it is large enough for your tawa or cooking surface. Take your time, be gentle, and avoid rolling the dough too thin as it could cause it to tear and break spilling the peas filling.

Dough on a floured surface being rolled into a circle using a rolling pin

Carefully place the flattened dough circle onto the hot tawa and brush the top side with ghee. Allow it to cook for 20-30 seconds before using your roti spatulas or wooden spoons. Flip and brush each side with ghee cooking for 20-30 seconds each time for a total of 3 flips. 

Dhal Puri cooking on a tawa with a spatula underneath it

Once the roti has reached a nice golden brown, it is customary to fold it into half and then half again, and place into plate or basket to keep fresh and warm.

Dhal Puri being folded with 2 spatulas on a tawa

Continue rolling out the dough & cooking until all have been cooked and keeping warm.

Overview of dhal Puri being cooked on a tawa

Serve alongside your favorite curried dish or use as a wrap for your curried meats and or vegetables.

Side view of a plate filled with Dhal Puri and condiments
Rachael Ottier Hart
Author:

Join Rachael on a global culinary journey. With a passion for travel and diverse cuisines, she crafts recipes that weave flavors, scents, and stories into each dish, igniting your wanderlust with every bite.

More posts by Rachael Ottier Hart

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Keywords
Trinidad Dhal Puri, dhall food, dal puri, dalpori, dhalpuri roti, trinidad roti recipe, guyanese dhal recipe, dal roti, dalpuri roti

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Rachael Ottier Hart
Author:

Join Rachael on a global culinary journey. With a passion for travel and diverse cuisines, she crafts recipes that weave flavors, scents, and stories into each dish, igniting your wanderlust with every bite.

More posts by Rachael Ottier Hart