Dal Kachori (Savory Lentil Dumplings)

Chef by StepAuthorChef by Step
Dal Kachori Dumplings
Yields5 ServingsCategoryCuisine
Prep Time45 minsTotal Time1 hr
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Biting into these dumplings releases a warm, savory flavor that will stick in your memory. A perfect side dish to serve to guests when you’re feeling a little fancy! This recipe is based on one in the excellent cookbook, Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen.

Dough, dry ingredients
 1 cup white flour
 ½ cup garbanzo flour
 2 ½ tsp baking powder
 ½ tsp baking soda
 ¾ tsp cumin seeds
 ½ tsp salt
 ¼ tsp black pepper
 ½ cup red lentils
 1 cup water
 2 tsp vegetable oil
 ½ tsp Garam Masala
 4 tsp minced garlic
 2 inch knob of ginger root, minced
 2 tsp fennel seeds
 1 tsp ground coriander
 ½ tsp turmeric
 ¼ tsp cayenne
 ¼ tsp salt
Dough, wet ingredients
 ½ cup unsweetened almond milk (no vanilla!)
 2 tbsp vegetable oil
 1 tbsp plain nondairy yoghurt
 1 tsp lemon juice
 1 tsp apple cider vinegar

Gather your ingredients!

ingredients for vegan Dal Kachori


Preheat your oven to 400°F.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients for the dough.

That’s 1/2 cup of almond milk, 2 tbsp vegetable oil, 1 tbsp plain nondairy yoghurt, 1 tsp lemon juice, and 1 tsp apple cider vinegar.

Set this aside until you’re ready to add it to the dry ingredients.

It’s okay if the milk starts to curdle after the lemon juice hits it.

Whatever you do, don’t use vanilla flavored milk or yoghurt for this step. That flavor doesn’t jive with the rest of this savory recipe at all!

wet ingredients for dal kachori dough


In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients for the dough.

That’s 1 cup of white flour, 1/2 cup of garbonzo flour, 2 1/2 tsp of baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 3/4 tsp cumin seeds, 1/2 tsp of salt, and 1/4 tsp black pepper.

The cumin seeds give his dough a great nutty flavor!

whisk dry ingredients


Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients while whisking the mixture. It should start to clump together.

combining wet with dry to make vegan dough


Flour your hands to allow yourself to work the dough without it sticking to your skin. Bring the dough together in a ball.

floured hands to hold dough


Knead the dough a few times, but don’t overwork it.

holding ball of vegan dough


Separate the dough into 10-12 meatball sized balls and set them aside.

At this point, you could cook them into tasty biscuits! But let’s take it up a notch by filling them with aromatic spices and lentils.

small dough balls


Raise 1 cup of water with 1/2 cup of red lentils to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until the lentils have absorbed all the water.

These lentils will ultimately be mashed, so don’t worry about holding their shape.

cooking red lentils


Mince the two inch knob of ginger root.

chop ginger root


Heat a tabelspoon of vegetable oil in a pan. Add a small fleck of ginger to the oil. You’ll know the oil is ready for sautéing when small bubbles appear around the ginger.

heating oil in a pan


Sauté 4 tsp of minced garlic and 2 tsp fennel seeds along with the 2 inch knob of ginger, until the spices become fragrant.

sautéing ginger and garlic


While the ginger and garlic are sautéing, mix the rest of the spices in a bowl, so you can quickly add them later.

That’s 1/2 tsp of Garam Masala, 1 tsp of ground coriander, 1/2 tsp of turmeric, 1/4 tsp of cayenne, and 1/4 tsp of salt.

spices in a mixing bowl


Once the lentils are fully cooked, add the sautéd spices and dry spices and mash them into the lentils, thoroughly mixing. The dumpling filling is now complete! Set it aside to until it is cool enough to handle without hurting your hands.

making lentil filling for vegan dal kachori


While the lentil filling is cooling, flour a flat working surface and a rolling pin. This will allow you to roll out your dough without it sticking to the rolling pin. Expect to re-flour the rolling pin several times while you work.

flour a rolling pin and working surface


Roll out one of the small, meatball sized balls of dough into a circle, about 1/8th of an inch. It should be thin enough to be floppy and flexible.

roll out a small circle


Flour your hands again. Hold the flattened dough in your palm and spoon about 2 tablespoons of lentil filling into it.

Fold the circle into a dumpling shape. There are many ways to do this–I did several–the only important thing is to choose a style that avoids thin corners, which tend to burn.

fill vegan dumpling with lentil filling


Place the dumplings on a baking tray lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet. Spray them or brush them with a bit of oil. They are ready to cook!

vegan dumplings sitting on a baking sheet


Cook the dumplings at 400°F for 10-15 minutes, checking frequently. You’ll know they’re done when, if tapped with a fork, they feel crisp.

Serve them warm and enjoy!

Dal Kachori Holding

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