Lentil Puri (Lentil Roti, Lentil Flatbread)

12 servings


1 hour

active time

1 hour 20 minutes

total time


1 lb lentils

10 cups water

1 tbs salt

6-8 cloves garlic

Hot Pepper

6-8 culantro leaves (or handful of cilantro)

1 tbs ground cumin

3 tablespoons oil

4 cups all purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 tsp brown sugar (optional)

1 tsp salt

1 ¾ cups lukewarm water

Pinch Yeast (optional)

1/2 cup vegetable oil (for cooking roti, or as required)


Prepare Lentils: (Can be made ahead, refrigerated for a few days or frozen until ready to use)

Pick through lentils for dirt and debris and wash with several changes of water. Drain.

In a medium pot over high heat, bring water to a boil. Add lentils. When it comes to a rolling boil, lower heat to medium and cook for 20-25 minutes or until lentil is cooked and firm (not soft) and crushes easily between thumb and forefinger. Drain and allow it to cool completely.

In a food processor, add garlic, hot peppers and bandhania (culantro) leaves. Process until fine. Add 1/3 lentil and process until very fine. Remove to a bowl and repeat two more times. Mix well.

Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick pan or heavy bottomed pot, add ground lentil, cumin and salt if needed. Stir until combined and cook for 5 minutes until it no longer has large lumps and some of the moisture has evaporated. Set aside to cool.

Once cool, form into equal 6 or 8 sized balls, depending on the amount of roti you are making.

Knead Flour

In a large bowl, add flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and yeast if using. Mix and gradually add water until there is no more dried flour. Knead to make a soft dough. Let dough rest for 30-45 minutes.

Separate dough into 3 balls, then separate each into two equal pieces (or 4 and 8 for smaller roti). Form into smaller balls (making 6 balls) and let it rest for 10-15 minutes.

Fill dough

Flatten dough into a disk, place ¼ cup of lentil or lentil ball onto the disk and stretch the edges over and around the ground lentil, to meet at the top, then press together, rotating to properly seal. Place in a tray, repeat and keep covered while you move on to the next step.

Cook roti

When ready to cook, heat tawa until smoking. Lower heat and brush with oil.

Sprinkle flour on counter and place filled dough. Press gently to make a round disc.

Roll out dough to an 8-inch circle or wide enough to fit into your pan, making sure that the surface is even and edges are thin.

Pick it up gently resting it on your hand and arm and place on the hot tawa. When tiny bubbles appear on the surface brush with oil and flip. Brush other side with oil and flip. When the roti swells, is lightly brown on both sides and the edges are fully cooked, it is ready. Remove carefully from tawa and place in a large tray lined with a kitchen or paper towel.

Repeat steps 2-3.

12 servings


1 hour

active time

1 hour 20 minutes

total time
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