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Dal Dumplings with Mint and Tamarind Chutney

Beans and legumes are amongst my favourite ingredients to cook with and a staple of the vegetarian repertoire. They often find their way into soups and stews, but today I thought I'd share something a little different: spiced dumplings! These are much like an Indian take on falafel, made with channa and urid dals and spiced with ginger, coriander and Indian spices. They're fun to eat and a perfect partner for mint and tamarind chutney. Enjoy!

Channa and Urid Dal Dumplings

Serves: 4 | Dietary: Vegan


  • 100g channa dal
  • 100g urid dal
  • 2 green chillis
  • 4 dried red chillis
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp chopped ginger
  • 2 tbsp coriander, chopped
  • ½ small red onion, grated
  • ¼ tsp kalonji seeds
  • pinch of asoefotida
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp bicarbonate soda
  • Sunflower oil for frying


  1. Soak the dals overnight or a minimum 4 hours, then rinse them well. Put them in a food processor and blend with the green and red chilli, adding the water and lemon juice until well combined, but still a bit grainy. Stir in the ginger, coriander and onion, kalonji, asofoetida and season to taste with the salt, stir in the bicarbonate of soda.
  2. Heat the oil in a Wok, to 1/3 the way and deep fry or shallow fry in a deep frying pan
  3. Scoop out 1 tbsp of the mixture with wet fingers or a tablespoon and drop gently into oil and fry until golden brown – 3-4 minutes
  4. Serve with mint and tamarind chutney (recipe below).

Mint and Tamarind Chutney

Dietary: Vegan


  • 50g fresh coriander, leaf and stem
  • 50g fresh mint, destalked
  • 3 small green chillies
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tbsp jaggery
  • 2 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tablespoons lime juice


Chop the coriander and mint. Put them into a food processor or a pestle and mortar and grind with the chillis, salt, cumin seeds and jaggery until a smooth paste is formed. Stir in the tamarind, water and lime juice.


Marie on 8th Apr 2013 said:

These sound lovely, the problem will be finding urid dal but I’ll try.

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Monica Shaw on 8th Apr 2013 said:

Marie, I’ve found urid dal at Tesco! Check the Indian section. Otherwise, I have a hunch these would work with other types of lentils…I’ve seen similar recipes with mung dal (mung beans).

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Marie on 9th Apr 2013 said:

No Urid dal in our Tesco unfortunately, there isn’t a big Asian presence here. I will have to make do with just the chana dal.

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