Skillet-Fried Flatbread with Lentils and Fenugreek (Dal Methi Paratha)

Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
Dal Methi Paratha

Breads in different shapes and forms can be found as part of a meal in many cultures around the world, from baguettes in France to ciabatta in Italy, biscuits in the United States, tortillas in Mexico, and teff flour injera in Ethiopia. In India, flatbreads are an especially integral part of meals, and these are made with a wide variety of techniques and ingredients — including cooked lentils or rice as well as wheat, rice and bean flours — and are frequently seasoned with the Indian herbs and spices for which the cuisine is so famous. From chapatis, rotis, dosas, naans, parathas and more, Indian flatbreads deserve their places on the table and the attention of any cook who wants to make an authentic Indian meal.

Parathas are one of the most popular breads in India, and have a light, flaky texture from layering the dough over several times before frying in oil. A good paratha may be hard to find in Indian restaurants, but with a little patience for rolling and shaping, they are easy to make at home. These parathas are a little more substantial than plain whole wheat parathas as cooked lentils are incorporated into the dough, and they are seasoned with ginger, chilies and dried fenugreek leaves. Best of all, they are much less oily than the ones you will usually find at restaurants.

Skillet-Fried Flatbread with Lentils and Fenugreek (Dal Methi Paratha)Skillet-Fried Flatbread with Lentils and Fenugreek (Dal Methi Paratha)
Recipe by
Cuisine: Indian
Published on December 15, 2019

Soft, flaky fried Indian whole wheat and lentil flatbreads seasoned with ginger, chilies and fenugreek

Preparation: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes

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  • 2 cups whole wheat flour + more for dusting
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 to 3 fresh red or green chilies, seeded and minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon asaafetida
  • 3 tablespoons dried fenugreek (methi)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup cooked lentils (I used a mixture of split mung and red lentils)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons oil + more for frying
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, ginger, chilies, turmeric, chili powder, asafetida, fenugreek leaves, black pepper and salt. Stir the lentils, lemon juice and oil into the mixture until a dough begins to form, adding warm water as needed.

  • Knead the dough for 1 to 2 minutes until soft and pliable. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and let sit for 1 to 2 hours to allow the gluten to develop.

  • To make the bread, brush a nonstick skillet with oil, and heat over medium heat.

  • Knead the dough for a minute and divide the dough into 10 equal portions. Roll each portion into small balls. Dust with a bit of flour and cover with plastic wrap.

  • On a lightly floured surface, roll a ball into a roughly 6-inch round. Brush the top of the round with a little oil, sprinkle with a bit of flour, and shape into a rope roughly 7 to 8 inches long. Brush with a little more oil, and then wind the rope into fairly tight coil, pressing the tips together firmly with your fingers. Flatten the coil with your fingers, sprinkle with more flour, and then roll into a roughly 6-inch round.

  • When the skillet is hot, transfer a round to the pan. Cook for about 1 minute, and then flip it over and brush the top with a little oil, and cook for another 30 seconds. Flip the bread again, and brush the top with a bit more oil. Cook for another 30 seconds, and then flip the bread once more and cook for another 30 seconds. Transfer to a plate lined with aluminum foil and cover with another piece of aluminum foil.

  • Proceed with the rest of the breads, stacking them as they are removed from the pan and covering each bread with a piece of aluminum foil.

  • The breads are best served hot, cooked shortly before serving, but may be gently reheated in foil several hours later or the next day.

Makes 10 6-inch flatbreads

Skillet-Fried Flatbread with Lentils and Fenugreek

Other Indian flatbreads to enjoy from Lisa's Kitchen:
Whole Wheat and Corn Paratha
Quick and Easy Rice Dosa
Sri Lankan Coconut Roti
Parathas Stuffed with Vegetables and Spices
Fenugreek Chapatis

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