Caribbean Dhal Puri

dhal puri
Prep: 60 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Dough resting : 60 mins
Total: 2 hrs 45 mins
Servings: 10 to 12 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
276 Calories
12g Fat
37g Carbs
6g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 10 to 12
Amount per serving
Calories 276
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 15%
Saturated Fat 1g 4%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 302mg 13%
Total Carbohydrate 37g 13%
Dietary Fiber 3g 9%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 6mg 29%
Calcium 106mg 8%
Iron 3mg 15%
Potassium 129mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Dhal puri is a type of Indian flatbread that has become an important part of the cuisine of Trinidad and Tobago. Beginning in the mid 19th century through the early 20th century, indentured servants from India brought recipes like dhal puri to the Caribbean.

Although a puri in itself is a fried unleavened bread, the dhal puri is closer to a paratha than a puri, as it is pan-cooked to perfection and stuffed with a savory and delicious dhal mixture. This flatbread recipe is a great way of enjoying a dish that is the perfect side for all sorts of curries, from chicken to fish.

The Trinidadian menu includes the influence of many other cuisines besides Indian and West African. British rule on the island brought merchants from many other places like Spain, Portugal, China, and the Middle East and subsequently their flavors and ingredients. Dhal puri is just one example of how these cultures came together through food despite the adverse realities that brought them together in the first place. Before you start, be mindful that the split peas need to be soaked overnight and that the dough needs at least one hour of resting time.


For the Peas:

  • 1 cup yellow split peas, soaked overnight and thoroughly rinsed

  • Salt, to taste

For the Filling:

  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped

  • Hot chile peppers, to taste

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

For the Dough:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

  • 4 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons oil, divided; plus more for greasing

  • 1 1/4 cups lukewarm water, or more as needed

For Cooking:

  • 1/2 cup oil, for brushing

Steps to Make It

Cook the Split Peas

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Place the rinsed peas in a pot. Cover with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, add salt to taste and cook until the peas still have a slight bite to them.

  3. Once ready, remove from heat, carefully drain, and spread out on a large baking sheet to air-dry.

Make the Filling

  1. Add the garlic and the preferred amount of chile peppers to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to mince, scraping down the sides of the bowl between pulses.

  2. Add cooked peas and pulse until the mixture is very fine, like cornmeal. The mixture should not be moist like a paste.

  3. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and fluff with a fork.

  4. Add the cumin, mix, and fluff again. Set aside.

Make the Dough

  1. Add the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt to a large bowl and mix thoroughly.

  2. Drizzle in 1 tablespoon of the oil and incorporate it into the mixture.

  3. Add the lukewarm water a little at a time. You might need more or less water depending on the humidity and temperature in your kitchen. Once the dough comes together, knead for 3 minutes.

  4. Rub the remaining oil all over the dough and place it in a bowl. Rest for at least 30 minutes.

Assemble the Dhal Puri

  1. Grease a baking sheet and set aside. Knead the rested dough for 1 to 2 minutes on a floured surface.

  2. Cut the dough into 10 to 12 equal pieces. Using a food scale will help in dividing the dough into equal parts.

  3. Working with 1 piece of dough at a time, pat each piece into a round disk of about 3 inches in width.

  4. Place the disk of dough in one hand and form a cup. Using a tablespoon, add some filling into the cup without overstuffing it. Pinch the ends of the dough together to seal in the filling.

  5. Place the stuffed dough seam-side down on an oiled baking sheet. Pat each stuffed doughball with a little oil to prevent a skin from forming.

  6. Repeat the process with the remaining pieces of dough and the remaining filling. Cover the stuffed dough with plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes.

Cook the Dhal Puri

  1. Flour a work surface and rolling pin. Prepare a basket, lining it with a clean tea towel and kitchen paper. Cut 10 to 12 (4-inch) pieces of waxed paper. Take 1 of the stuffed doughballs and flatten it with your hand.

  2. Working from the center, start rolling the dough back and forth.

  3. Turn the dough by 90 degrees and keep rolling and turning until you have a round, thin disk of dough. You may need to dust the rolling pin and work surface with extra flour as you handle the dough. Repeat the flattening process until all the doughballs are ready for the griddle.

  4. Heat a tawah, flat iron griddle, or a 10- to 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Dust off any excess flour and place a disk of rolled dough on the hot griddle. Let cook until parts of the dough start to puff up with little bubbles.

  5. Immediately flip the puri, brush with oil, let cook for 30 seconds.

  6. Flip again, brush with oil, and cook for another 30 to 45 seconds. Remove from the heat with a flat spatula. Reduce heat if the puri is browning too quickly and not cooking through.

  7. Place the cooked puri in the prepared basket. Repeat the process until all disks are cooked. To prevent the puris from sticking together, place one of the waxed paper pieces between each dhal puri as it is added to the basket.

  8. Enjoy hot or warm.