Rinse the split peas/dhal a few times until the water runs clear. To a pot of water, add the washed split peas, turmeric, and salt and boil on medium heat for about 15 minutes- until the grains are tender but still maintains its shape. Strain the peas and let it sit and dry out a bit while you work on the dough.
Add flour, salt and baking powder to a basin, and add some lukewarm water, a little at a time until a nice soft dough is formed. The amount of water you need is dependent on the humidity of where you live. If it’s cold, you’ll need more water whereas if it’s hot and humid, less water will be needed. Knead the dough for 5 minutes, cover with a damp paper towel or tea towel and let it sit in a warm spot in the kitchen. 15 minutes later, knead the dough again for about 5-8 minutes and set it aside while we work on the split peas.
Grinding the Split Peas
Use a dhal mill to grind the split peas, garlic and hot pepper into a smooth, fine texture. If you don’t have a dhal mill, a meat grinder or even a food processor will work. Ensure that the grains are dry and not too soft, because it can easily end up being a paste, instead of a dry filling. Once grinded, add the mixture to a dry pot on high heat. This process toasts the filling and dries up any excess moisture. After 15 minutes, the mixture will feel light and airy as your stirring, and that’s a sign that it’s ready! Add salt and roasted ground geera, mix well and turn the heat off. Let the filling cool completely before filling the dough balls.
Making the Loyas (Dough Balls)
Separate the dough into smaller loyas or round dough balls, ensuring that the size will fit on your tawa once it’s rolled out. Let the loyas sit or “soak” for a few minutes before filling them.
Filling the Dough
Dip the dough in some flour and use your fingers to open it out into a bowl like shape. Add a layer of flour, and pick up some filling in your next hand, squeeze to compact it, and place it into the opened dough. Using your thumbs, push the filling into the dough, and use your fingers to tightly seal the top. Dust with a little more flour and let it sit while you work on the others.
Cooking the Dhalpuri Roti
Heat tawa or griddle on medium-high heat. Dip or dust the filled loya (dough) with enough flour. Using your fingers, gently press it out to get the filling distributed to the ends. Flatten and roll it out with a belna (rolling pin), ensuring that it’s floured properly. Flip and keep “belaying” or rolling until it’s very thin or until you start seeing the yellow colour of the filling peeking through. Brush some oil onto the tawa and place the rolled out dough. Brush a layer of oil at the top, and turn once you see bubbles forming. Cook for about 2 minutes per side. If you like it crispy, cook it a bit longer. You can also bring the ends of the roti to the center of the tawa to ensure it’s cooked properly. Keep your rotis insulated to ensure that they stay soft and warm. You can wrap them in a kitchen towel or paper towels and place them into a tightly sealed container.