Test Kitchen - Dhal Puri Roti with Split Green Peas

I am surprised at how long we have been able to keep the Test Kitchen series up but there are just so many ingredients out there to play with! The last one we put up was split green peas, and we did get some fun suggestions from you all. The one that seemed most interesting was over on Twitter when our friend and fellow blogger Mike of Eating My Way Through OC (go check it out!) said, "Pancakes!" He's always trying to put me up to a challenge, and I gladly ran with it. Pancakes and split green peas made me think of roti, an Indian bread that I've heard of being stuffed with lentils before. Apparently split peas is also another option for filling but most people use the yellow version; I opted to make this green and had a fun time working with the dough. However, it is easily a time consuming activity so it's no wonder that people think of these as the homemade stuff "grandma" makes! It definitely takes time. I didn't have the appropriate cooking surface but a large non-stick skillet worked out just fine. Roti are just the perfect snack to munch one, crispy and savory. The recipe's below with some help from this recipe here:

Step 1: Ingredients (yields 8-10 small roti)


  • 1 cup green split peas
  • 2 1/2 cups water 
  • 1/4 tsp tumeric 
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • a pinch active yeast
  • a pinch salt
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2-3/4 cup water
  • vegetable oil, for brushing

Step 2: Prepping the ingredients
For the peas, boil together with water and turmeric before reducing heat just enough to keep a rolling boil going. Cook for 20 minutes until the peas are soft enough to eat but hard enough to not be mushy. Let cool for 20+ minutes before combining in a food processor with garlic and cumin. Pulse until they are like coarse crumbs and not a paste (photo for reference). In a separate bowl, combine flour, yeast, salt, and baking powder. Very slowly pour in water as you mix; you may not need a full 3/4 cup. Knead down until a firm ball of dough forms - cover bowl with a towel and let rest 20 minutes.

Step 3: Assembling roti
We're going to roll out our roti to be about 6" across and 1/16" thick. Separate dough, once it has rested long enough, into 8-10 rounds. Flatten each out into the palm of your hand and add approximately 4 Tbsp of the split pea filling before pinching up edges like a bowl to lock filling inside. Because the peas have become crumby, they will not break through the dough when it is flattened. Roll out each "bun" on a floured surface until they form approximately 6" roti.

Step 4: Cooking
My first two dough balls were too large so I ended up with very large roti. However, the process was still the same as the smaller versions. Brush oil onto one side of the roti and lay onto a hot, flat skillet for 1-2 minutes before getting ready to flip. Brush exposed side of the roti with oil prior to flipping. Remove when golden brown.

Step 5: Finishing
If you prefer it a little saltier, feel free to sprinkle on some sea salt. These go great with curries but also alone. I ended up snacking on these through the day, and they stayed fairly soft and fresh-tasting.

The next Test Kitchen ingredient: spelt
"Spelt, also known as dinkel wheat or hulled wheat, is a species of wheat cultivated since the fifth millennium BC. Spelt was an important staple in parts of Europe from the Bronze Age to medieval times; it now survives as a relict crop in Central Europe and northern Spain and has found a new market as a health food. Spelt is sometimes considered a subspecies of the closely related species common wheat (T. aestivum). Spelt contains about 57.9 percent carbohydrates (excluding 9.2 percent fibre), 17.0 percent protein and 3.0 percent fat, as well as dietary minerals and vitamins." [Wikipedia]

We have truly been trying our best to find suitable and wholesome grains to replace our not-so-nutritious grain intake lately. Spelt was one of those that we had known about but hadn't explored just yet but here we have it! This shall be an interesting and versatile new ingredient to work with. Shoot over your suggestions on Facebook when the picture below goes up!

Photography by Duc Duong.