Dal Baati (Indian Dough Balls)

Dal Baati is a staple in Rajasthan, India.  The dal or the Lentil curry recipe has already been posted on the blog and you can check out our Tadka Dal Recipe or the Methi Dal Recipe. Any light and runny lentil curry (a.k.a dal) goes well with the baati.

Baati is essentially dough balls made by baking whole wheat flour dough balls in a traditional tandoori oven. Dal is the thin lentil soup served with the baati. The baati is eaten dunked and soaked up in this lentil soup. I first ate dal baati at Mount Abu, a hill station in Rajasthan, where it was served soaked up in melted clarified butter or ghee with a cup of light dal. 


A few years ago, I noticed that Pizza places started serving us dough balls in their menu. These resemble our Baati so much that it made me wonder whether the Baati was inspired by the Italian Dough balls or whether it was the other way round.. I still haven't found an answer.. Would be interested to hear whether you guys know.  

Baati's are traditionally cooked in a tandoor or over charcoal. Here's the recipe for making the Baati's for the Rajasthani Dal Baati at home without a tandoor.

Ingredients: 
Whole wheat flour1 cup
Ajwain Seeds1 tsp
Salt1 tsp
Water1 cup

Method:
  1. Pre-heat oven to 160 degree Celsius.
  2. Make the dough: To the wheat flour, add ajwain. Then add water a little at a time and mix to make a soft dough. Roll the dough into lime sized round balls and flatten it at the top. This step of flattening the balls is optional and I did only because I wanted to ensure that the dough balls cool evenly. 
  3. Bake the Bhati: Line the dough balls on a baking tray and bake for 20 - 30 mins. Turn them around after 10 mins if required. This depends on your oven. After 20 minutes of baking, check to see if the dough balls are baked. Bake them for an additional 10 mins if required. 
  4.  Serve the dough balls hot with a dollop (or a large helping) of ghee,  thin runny dal, some fresh chopped onion and a lime wedge. 

Notes: 
  1. To make the dough. you will generally require around 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of water. Add water slowly to make sure your dough doesn't get runny. 
  2. If your dough gets runny, just add more wheat flour and knead till its the right consistency.
  3. Don't make the dough balls too thick. If they are too thick, they wont cook in the center and will still be raw dough like. 
  4. Use a Pizza tray if you have one instead of a baking tray. This is because the pizza tray has holes that will allow the dough balls to bake quicker. 
  5. You can optionally do a egg wash over the dough balls if you want them to brown up. I used whole wheat flour and didn't use any egg wash but mine browned up just fine.
  6. Check out our Tadka Dal Recipe or the Methi Dal Recipe in the blog. Add more water to make the dal more runny. This goes well with the dough balls as it helps them absorb the water and soften. 

How to eat Dal Baati? 
Break the dough balls or Baati into bite sized chunks and dunk them in a bowl of hot dal. Add a dollop of ghee over it. Let it sit for a couple of minutes so the baati soaks up the dal and slightly softens. Your dal baati is now ready for you to enjoy!! Enjoy it topped with some onion and a squeeze of lime juice. 

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