Daal Peetha-Steamed Glutenfree & Vegan Dumplings

Daal Peetha

Daal Peetha, colloquially also called as Dalpeethi is as gluten free and vegan as everyday food can get.

No wonder when it comes to vegan or gluten free option these days that are palatable, one finds the world turning to Indian and Asian staples. Cauliflower, chickpeas and daal (lentils) have found a new kind of love and acceptance in the global village. By the way have I ever shared how irksome is “Dhal Soup?” for a South Asian to hear? I mean it is wrong on so many levels! First of, the correct spelling is Daal and not Dhal wherein “D” is actually a soft sound pronounced the same as in “The.”

“Dhal”  on the other hand actually means armour. The protein in lentils is armour for the body sure enough ! But seriously, is it too much to expect that both indigenous recipes and their right pronunciations be popularised? The indigenous communities are to be blamed too. Ever too often we are very eager to provide or accept the wrong version popularised by the west. I think benevolence and acceptance is too deeply ingrained in our culture !

Anyhow, coming to the Daal Peetha recipe. This is popular in East Indian states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. Rice flour shell encloses a spicy Chana Daal stuffing which is then steamed .Some versions also include dunking the steamed peethas in a spicy gravy. We, however like to eat it with a spicy tomato chutney, the recipe for which you can find in this post.Feel free to adjust the spice level as desired .

Fair Warning

Working with rice flour is no mean feat. I have tried and failed a couple of times before getting the consistency right.

Some tips that work for me:

  1. Hot water with some ghee to mix with rice flour
  2. Keep the above mixture covered for 20 minutes before kneading
  3. Knead the lukewarm mixture greasing palm well with ghee or oil

Ingredients for Daal Peetha

  1. Rice flour: 1/2 cup
  2. Salt: 1/2 tsp
  3. Ghee or oil: 1 tbsp
  4. Hot water
  5. Chana Daal (Bengal gram), soaked overnight or a minimum 4 hours: 3/4 cup
  6. Jeera (cumin seeds): 1/2 tsp
  7. Ajwain (carom seeds): 1/2 tsp
  8. Turmeric powder: 1/2 tsp
  9. Red chilli powder: 1/2 tsp
  10. Ginger, peeled and chopped: 1 inch
  11. Garlic, chopped fine: 2-3 cloves
  12. Green chilies, chopped fine: 1 (optional)
  13. Coriander leaves, finely chopped: 1 tbsp
  14. Salt: To taste

So, lets get cooking

  1. Bring 1.5 cups of water to boil and add some ghee or oil and half a teaspoon salt
  2. Add rice flour and mix well; cover and keep aside for 20 minutes
  3. In the meantime drain and wash the soaked Chana Daal and keep aside
  4. In a thick bottom skillet heat some oil and add cumin seeds. When seeds start to splutter, reduce heat and add Chana Daal followed by turmeric and red chilli powder and mix well
  5. Cook on low heat with intermittent stirring
  6. Halfway through, add half a cup of water and cover and cook with intermittent stirring until the daal is soft ; keep aside and let it cool
  7. After 20 minutes check the rice flour dough; add some ghee and knead until soft and smooth; cover and keep aside. The dough should come together but not stick to your hands
  8. Once the daal mixture has come to room temperature, add ajwain seeds, green chilies, ginger, garlic, coriander leaves and salt and blend to form a coarse mixture
  9. If you like the stuffing to be on a moister side, add a few tablespoons of water to the above mixture to get the desired consistency
  10. Form the Chana Daal stuffing into one inch small balls and lay out on a plate
  11. Then form the rice dough into discs big enough to accomodate the above stuffing by working quickly and pressing the dough between your greased palms. You could also press the dough between two sheets of greased parchment. Try and keep the discs approximately half a centimetre thick and keep your palms greased while working with the dough to avoid cracking. Form into a spindle shape and place on a greased plate
  12. Repeat the process for the remaining dough and stuffing
  13. Prepare the steamer and steam the peethas by placing them on a steel plate layered with thin muslin until the coating is cooked. Layering with muslin helps in pulling the peethas out easily when the plate is hot
  14. Serve with green chutney or spicy tomato chutney

Daal Peetha

I have attached a short clip here for you to understand the process better:

Daal Peetha

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 100

Serving Size: 10 medium sized peethas

Ingredients

  • Rice flour: 1/2 cup
  • Salt: 1/2 tsp
  • Ghee or oil: 1 tbsp
  • Hot water
  • Chana Daal (Bengal gram), soaked overnight for minimum 4 hours: 3/4 cup
  • Jeera (cumin seeds): 1/2 tsp
  • Ajwain (carom seeds): 1/2 tsp
  • Turmeric powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Red chilli powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Ginger, peeled and chopped: 1 inch
  • Garlic, chopped fine: 2-3 cloves
  • Green chilies, chopped fine: 1 (optional)
  • Coriander leaves, finely chopped: 1 tbsp
  • Salt: To taste 

Instructions

  1. Bring 1.5 cups of water to boil and add some ghee or oil and half a teaspoon salt
  2. Add rice flour and mix well; cover and keep aside for 20 minutes
  3. In the meantime drain and wash the soaked Chana Daal and keep aside
  4. In a thick bottom skillet heat some oil and add cumin seeds. When seeds start to splutter, reduce heat and add Chana Daal followed by turmeric and red chilli powder and mix well
  5. Cook on low heat with intermittent stirring
  6. Halfway through, add half a cup of water and cover and cook with intermittent stirring until the daal is soft ; keep aside and let it cool
  7. After 20 minutes check the rice flour dough; add some ghee and knead until soft and smooth; cover and keep aside. The dough should come together but not stick to your hands
  8. Once the daal mixture has come to room temperature, add ajwain seeds, green chilies, ginger, garlic, coriander leaves and salt and blend to form a coarse mixture
  9. If you like the stuffing to be on a moister side, add a few tablespoons of water to the above mixture to get the desired consistency
  10. Form the Chana Daal stuffing into one inch small balls and lay out on a plate
  11. Then form the rice dough into discs big enough to accomodate the above stuffing by working quickly and pressing the dough between your greased palms. You could also press the dough between two sheets of greased parchment. Try and keep the discs approximately half a centimetre thick and keep your palms greased while working with the dough to avoid cracking. Form into a spindle shape and place on a greased plate
  12. Repeat the process for the remaining dough and stuffing
  13. Prepare the steamer and steam the peethas by placing them on a steel plate layered with thin muslin until the coating is cooked. Layering with muslin helps in pulling the peethas out easily when the plate is hot
  14. Serve with green chutney or spicy tomato chutney
https://onewholesomemeal.com/daal-peetha-steamed-glutenfree-vegan-dumplings/

Daal Peetha

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