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Dholl Puri from Mauritius: the country's signature dish

Dholl Puri from Mauritius

This Mauritian creation represents all the authenticity of the Island. It is eaten at any time of the day. The crumbly aspect of the Dholl Puri from Mauritius necessitated, at the beginning, that they be sold in pairs. Dholl is an Indian name for the yellow split pea. Dholls are an important dietary asset in Indo-Mauritian cuisine with a high intake of vegetable protein. Puri on the other hand would just mean bread in the broad sense. Similarly, this word too has its own variants like Ti-Puri or Chana-Puri. 

Where can we start with Dholl Puri from Mauritius? If Mauritius were to have an official Mauritian dish, Dholl Puri would certainly deserve the trophy. If you have ever travelled to Mauritius, you should have seen the long queues in the streets, where people wait for the special paper thin from the best street vendors. Along with roti (or faratha), Dholl Puri is undeniably the most popular street food in Mauritius. If you have not yet visited the island, be sure to try the Dholl Puri. It is a must-try taste experience!

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When and how is Dholl Puri served?

The best thing about Dholl Puri from Mauritius is that it can be served with savoury dishes like the typical Mauritian Rougaille (tomato sauce), Mauritian chicken curry or with sweet dishes like kheer (rice pudding) for special occasions. Moreover, the combination of savoury Dholl Puri and sweet kheer is a pure delight! Treat your taste buds in seconds!

The recipe for Dholl Puri

The Dholl Puri from Mauritius, like many recipes, takes a lot of practice before it is perfect. Once you get the hang of it, it is very simple and easy to make.

Ingredients:

  • 250 g dholl gram
  • 3 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 1 cup of cold water
  • Turmeric (mainly for colour)
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons of oil

Method:

  • Remove the impurities from the dholl gram on a white surface.
  • Place in a pan and fill 2/3 with water.
  • Bring to a boil without covering the pan for 30 minutes or more.
  • After the first 15 minutes, skim off as much of the foamy material floating on top of the water as possible. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and a pinch of turmeric.
  • Cook the dholl until it softens.
  • Check for doneness by pressing a cooked dholl seed between two fingers. It should be firm, but should crush with little force. If it does, remove from heat.
  • Drain well and transfer the dholl to a clean, dry bowl. It is now ready to be made into filling for Dholl Puri.
  • Use a hand crusher to turn the dholl into powder. If you want, you can simply mix it.
  • Collect the processed dholl in a dry bowl and set it aside.

Making the Dholl Puri dough:

  • For the dough, sift two and a half cups of flour into a bowl. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of oil and mix.
  • Mix the remaining oil with 1 tablespoon of salt and a pinch of turmeric with 1 cup of water.
  • Gradually add the liquid to the flour until a ball forms.
  • Cover the dough with the bowl and let it rest for 5 minutes.
  • Divide the dough into small equal portions.
  • Roll each portion into a small ball the size of a small lemon.
  • Fill each ball with about 1 tablespoon of dholl and pinch the edges together to close.
  • Using a rolling pin, flatten the dough
  • Heat your "tawa" (frying pan) and brush the surface lightly with oil.
  • Spread the Dholl Puri in the preheated pan.
  • Cook on a high heat until they puff up slightly. You don't have to wait too long!
  • Cook for a few seconds on one side before turning over. Brush the cooked surface lightly with oil and turn the Dholl Puri over again.
  • Your Dholl Puris are ready to be eaten!
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