Dal Pakwan

  • Author: Kavitha
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 45 mins
  • Yield: Makes around 30 medium Pakwaan and enough Dal for it 1x


A typical Sindhi Breakfast (that can also be had for dinner or snack!).



For the Pakwan

  • 2 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon Carom Seeds (ajwain)
  • 3 Tablespoons Ghee (clarified butter)
  • 3/4 cup Water (adjust to make stiff dough)
  • Vegetable Oil for deep frying

For the Dal

  • 1 cup Chana Dal (Bengal Gram)
  • 2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon Hing (Asafetida)
  • 23 Green Chilli, chopped roughly
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 1 small Onion, chopped finely
  • 1 small Tomato, chopped finely
  • 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric powder (haldi)
  • 2 teaspoons Salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon Red chilli powder (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon Garam Masala (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon Dry coriander powder (dhania – optional)
  • 1 teaspoon Chaat Masala powder (optional)
  • 3 cups Water (adjust – enough to cover the mixture and then another 1 cup)


  • Chopped Cilantro Leaves (For dal & to serve on the side)
  • Chopped Onion (to serve on the side)
  • Sweet Tamarind & Dates Chutney (optional)
  • Green Chilli Coriander-Mint Chutney (optional)


  • If you don’t have or use carom seeds, you can use cumin (jeera) instead. If you don’t use ghee, use melted butter or oil instead.
  • Generally, 1 cup of flour requires 1/2 cup water to form a soft dough. But you need to make a smooth yet stiff dough for Pakwaan. Start off using 3/4 cup water for 2 cups flour and add a little more if required.
  • While serving dal, you can choose to add sweet & spicy chutneys for added flavor. They are completely optional, though the dish tastes great when served with all elements.


For the Pakwan

  1. Mix all purpose flour, carom seeds, salt and ghee (clarified butter).
  2. Add some lukewarm water and mix well. Knead to a smooth and tight dough. It shouldn’t be too soft but just enough to roll it out.
  3. Add it to a bowl, cover and let it rest for 30 minutes to 2 hours.
  4. Divide the dough into equal portions and roll into neat balls of dough.
  5. Take each ball of dough and roll it out into a thin round disk. Poke all over the surface of the disk with a fork. This ensures crispy pakwan. (You can also use a tortilla or roti press to roll out the dough. But make sure the disks are as thin as possible).
  6. Heat some oil in a pan. Add the prepared disk onto the oil. Press it gently and let it fry on medium-low heat on both sides for 1-2 minutes or until it is golden and crispy.
  7. Remove the pakwaan onto a paper and let it cool completely. Don’t store when it is warm or it’ll get soft. Once it cools, add it to an air tight container and store it at room temperature.

For the Dal

  1. Wash and soak the chana dal for 30 minutes to an hour. This helps the dal cook faster.
  2. Heat oil in a pressure cooker. Add the onion, hing (asafetida) and chilli and fry on medium heat for a couple minutes.
  3. Add the chopped tomatoes and fry for 4-5 minutes until the onions & tomatoes reduce to a mush.
  4. Add the chana dal to the cooker. Add salt, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and mix well. You can also add some cumin powder, garam masala, coriander powder, aamchur powder and mix well.
  5. Add enough water to cover the dal and then another 1/2 cup of water. Mix well. Taste and adjust for salt, if required.
  6. Cover the cooker with a lid and put the whistle on. Cook for 1 whistle only. (If you cook more, the dal might get mushy).
  7. Once the pressure releases, open the lid, add cilantro leaves and mix well.
  8. Before serving, make sure the Dal is hot and liqudy.

Serve – Option 1

  1. Serve all elements independently . Serve Hot dal, sweet and spicy chutneys in separate bowls. Also serve onion & cilantro on the side.
  2. Let the person assemble it. He/she can add as much or little of the chutneys as they want. In this, you’ll have to dip the pakwaan ino the dal and eat it.

Serve – Option 2

  1. Add hot Dal in a large bowl.
  2. Add 1-2 teaspoons of the Sweet and Spicy Chutney and mix well.
  3. Add some Onions & Cilantro and mix well. Taste the dal and adjust for sweet or spiciness.
  4. Break the pakwan in small pieces and add to the dal. Mix well.
  5. Serve hot.

Notes – On the Pakwaan

  1. You can make the pakwaan as big or small as you like. Smaller pakwan is easy to make and fry and will require smaller pans!
  2. If the dough is drying our and harder to roll out, splash a few drops of water and press it well.
  3. The pakwan stays well at room temperature for 1-2 weeks, maybe even longer. But it tastes best in the first 2 weeks

Notes – On the Dal

  1. If you feel like you want your dal to be even more cooked, you can always add a little more water and cook for another 1 or 2 whistles. I’ve found 1 whistle to be just enough – if I soak my chana dal ahead of time.
  2. You can add some additional pepper or chaat powder to the dal if you want it to be more spicy too.
  3. The dal stays well in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. If you make the Dal ahead of time, add some water, mix and heat it again. Dal should be served hot for the dal pakwan.

  • Category: Breakfast
  • Cuisine: Sindhi