Panchmela Dal Baati (Write For Us Contest Entry - 109)

Rajasthani food is incomplete without the mention of Dal-Baati-Churma. What started as a picnic food...

Rajasthani food is incomplete without the mention of Dal-Baati-Churma. What started as a picnic food has become a distinctive cuisine of the state. It consists of baatis or flaky round breads baked over firewood or over kandas(i.e. cow dung cakes) as done in villages. Baatis can be baked in a gas tandoor or an electric oven as well. Bafla or steamed baatis are also very popular. But one thing common for baatis, irrespective of their cooking technique is that they are always served dipped in ghee accompanied with panchmela or panch kutti dal and churma.

    For Dal/Lentil Curry:
  • Urad Dal/Split Black Gram - One-Fourth cup
  • Moong Dal/Mung Bean - One-Fourth cup
  • Toor Dal/Bengal Gram - One-Fourth cup
  • Chana Dal/Chickpeas - One-Fourth cup
  • Masoor Dal/Red Lentils - One-Fourth cup
  • Tomatoes - 3(finely chopped)
  • Onions - 2(finely chopped)
  • Ginger-garlic paste - 1 tablespoon
  • Red Chilli powder - 1 teaspoon
  • Coriander powder - 2 teaspoons
  • Cumin powder - 1 teaspoon
  • Turmeric powder - 1 teaspoon
  • Garam masala - 1 teaspoon
  • Asafoetida/Hing - A pinch
  • Cumin seeds - Half teaspoon
  • Salt - As per taste
  • Water - As required
  • Oil - 3 tablespoons
  • Corainder leaves - For garnish
  • For Baati:
  • Whole wheat flour - 3 cups
  • Ghee/Clarified Butter - 5-6 tablespoons for the dough and half cup for the final dipping
  • Carom seeds / Ajwain - One-Fourth teaspoon
  • Salt - 1 teaspoon
  • Luke Warm Water - For kneading the dough


Dal Preparation:

Soak the lentils for half an hour. Then pressure cook them with turmeric powder and salt for around 15 minutes on medium to low flame till they go tender (like how you boil the dals on a regular basis).

Heat oil in a pan. Once hot, add the cumin seeds and wait till they splutter. Now add in the asafoetida. Immediately add chopped onions and fry till light golden on medium flame. Then add in the ginger-garlic paste and fry for 2 minutes. Now add the dry spices onto it and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add in the chopped tomatoes and continue cooking till the oil separates from the corners and the tomatoes go all mushy and done. Add a little amount of water and bring to boil.

Now transfer the boiled lentils into this and give a smooth stir to blend them all. Add a pinch of garam masala followed by the chopped coriander leaves and cover the Pan. Cook covered for a minute and put off the flame.

Baati Preparation:

Take the whole wheat flour in a wide open dish and add salt and carom seeds to it. Now add the ghee/clarified butter and mix it well till the mixture has a crumbly texture.

Now make a smooth, firm dough with it using water. The dough is not as soft as we make for chapati. It is slightly hard and firm here. Cover it and keep it aside for 10-15 minutes. Also, pre-heat the oven to 250 degrees Celsius for 10 minutes. Once the dough is ready, knead it well with little ghee on your palms. Then divide it into 8 equal parts and make a round ball with each part and flatten it slightly.

Shift them to the oven(on the grill plate) and bake at 250 degrees Celsius for 20-25 minutes with both rods(above and below) on, till the top goes slightly brown and hard. My oven took 30 minutes, but your oven timing may vary. Bake for extra 2 minutes if you want them to be hard and crunchy. Immediately take out in a casserole and crush slightly with soft hands to make some space for the ghee to penetrate the inner core.

You can also make vertical slits in them using a knife and then pour in ghee into the slits generously. And as you know baati's are loaded with ghee traditionally.
After dipping them in enough ghee, put the cover on and let them sit there waiting for the final go.

  • The authentic dal is made just with the black grams but you can use any lentils you wish.
  • Baatis are traditionally made in a tandoor and our oven is just a variation to that.
  • Texture of baatis : They should be crusty and hard outside and soft yet crumbly within. The more time you donate for baking, the harder they go, so be careful with that.
  • The more you add the ghee on top of baatis the more they going to turn soft and tasty.
  • Keeping the ghee-dipped baatis covered in a casserole is a must if you want them to stay soft.
  • Normally, we crush the baati into small pieces, add in ghee, dal, chopped onions and chutneys and serve.

Serving Options:

Prepare a plate with a bowl of dal/lentil curry, 1-2 ghee-dipped baatis, a spoonful of green mint chutney, some garlic chutney, chopped onions, a roasted papad, a glass of butter-milk or sweet tamarind juice. This will become a mini Rajasthani thaali.
They can also be served with some 'Kadi Chawal' i.e. Chickpea Flour Yogurt Curry with Rice and then some Kheer/ Milk Pudding.
Traditionally they are most commonly served with choorma ladoo a dessert which is also made out of baatis.

Contributed By: Manjula Bharath


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  1. Dal baati churma is my fav dish. Very tasty and inviting rajasthani dish.


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