Dal Pakwan is a royal Sindhi (Indian) breakfast. The soft Dal on the crispy, crunchy Pakwan, drizzled with tangy tamarind as well as mint-coriander chutneys, crunchy onions, pomegranate, and green chilies makes it one of the most flavorful breakfasts with amazing textures. The Dal is simple and quick boiled Bengal gram, the Pakwans are all-purpose/wheat flour crispy flatbreads that resemble crackers. This is a very quick and easy to make recipe.
The Pakwans (crispy flatbreads/puris) can be deep-fried or baked. Here I am sharing the deep-fried version. You can also use readymade Papdi available in Indian stores, in place of Pakwan. Even though it is a breakfast item, it works really well as an appetizer/snack or a lunch/dinner meal. Here I am sharing it in two ways – the regular and the bite-sized form. The bite-sized Dal Pakwan makes a great appetizer/snack/party-food. It is very easy and quick to make and the Dal in it makes it quite healthy. It’s a contrast of simple, quick yet extremely flavorful recipe. It makes for a great game-day snack which can be prepared very quickly and easily, and passed around and eaten fuss-free while watching the game.
Dal Pakwan is part of a Sindhi cuisine also eaten a lot in the Kutch region of Gujarat (India) and hence is also a Kutchi breakfast item. The Pakwan resembles crispy flat crackers. The Pakwan can be made using all-purpose flour, wheat flour, or a combination thereof.
This is a vegetarian recipe, and can easily be made vegan by using oil instead of clarified butter. This recipe can be made into Jain recipe by skipping the onions. You can make a healthier version of this recipe by baking the Pakwans instead of deep-frying it.
In this reccipe, I have given instructions for both: Instant Pot method as well as the regular Pressure Cooker method for making the Dal.
I first ate Dal Pakwan as a child at my friend Rupal’s home. Her Mom makes the best Dal Pakwan. I later learned the recipe from her and always remember her when I make it 🙂
For making a healthier version of Dal Pakwan, use whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour/maida for making Pakwan (or a mix of whole wheat and all-purpose flour/maida). You can also bake the Pakwans instead of deep-frying these. Though fried version definitely tastes better. Instructions for both frying and baking mentioned in the recipe.
- 1 cup Maida / All-purpose flour *see note
- 1/4 teaspoon Carom seeds /Ajwain
- 1/4 teaspoon Cumin seeds/ Jeera
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt or to taste
- 1 – 1.5 tablespoons Oil
- Water, as needed to make not so soft, and not so stiff dough
- Oil For frying
- 1 cup Bengal gram / Chana dal
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1 teaspoon Clarified butter (ghee) / Oil for vegan version
For tempering Dal
- 1 tablespoon Coriander leaves, chopped
- 2 tablespoons Pomegranate seeds
- 1/4 cup Chopped onion
- Pre-soak Dal (Bengal gram) for 30 minutes. This makes it easier and quicker for it to cook.
- If using regular pressure cooker:Wash and pressure cook Dal using 1 1/2 cups of water, salt, clarified butter/oil for about 2-3 whistles. The dal should be cooked but not too mushy. If using Instant Pot:Wash and add Dal to the Instant pot, add 1 1/2 cups of water, salt, clarified butter/oil. Using the pressure cook or manual mode, cook on high for 7 minutes with the pressure valve in sealed position. Do a NPR (natural pressure release). The dal should be cooked but not too mushy. Remove the dal in a serving bowl.
Tempering for Dal:
- Heat 1 tablespoon of ghee/oil, add cumin seeds and dried red chili. Let it splutter. Once done, turn off the heat, add 1/2 teaspoon of red chili powder. Pour the tempering over Dal.
- Knead dough using all the ingredients listed under Pakwan, except the Oil that is listed for frying. . The dough should not be too soft or too hard. Cover and keep it aside for a few minutes.
- If making bite sized Pakwans: take a golf-ball sized dough ball, roll it out (not too thick, not too thin). Make dents on the rolled pakwan using the back of a fork, such that it doesn't puff up when frying. Cut into roundels using a small cookie cutter or a small lid.
If making regular sized Pakwans: take a smaller sized dough ball, roll it as mentioned above. Make dents. you can still cut using a bigger cookie cutter or a bigger lid, such that all Pakwans are of the same size. That step is not necessary.
- Heat oil that is kept for frying. Fry the Pakwans until golden brown. Remove it on a plate lined with Paper towel.
- For making baked Pakwan: Follow all the instructions above for dough. Pre-heat oven at 350 degrees farenheit . Placed rolled Pakwans on a try and bake it for 15 minutes. You can flip it on the other side after about 10 minutes of baking. In case your Pakwan gets baked sooner or you need to add a few more minutes, feel free to do so.
- Take a Pakwan, top it with Dal mixture, drizzle with Tamarind and mint-coriander chutney. Top it with chopped onions, coriander, green chilies and some pomegranate seeds.