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What To Do With Leftover Dal

Nidhi Nangia
By Nidhi Nangia. Updated: March 22, 2022
What To Do With Leftover Dal

With its blend of spices and long cooking time to let all that flavor soak into the lentils, there is no doubt dal can be a delicious dish. It's also pretty good for you as long as you go easy on the ghee. Thanks to the high fiber, it is also filling. Great if you need to bulk up for a big day, but maybe not if you end up with a big pile of leftovers. That's where oneHOWTO comes in with our tips on what to do with leftover dal. Leftover dal is much more versatile than you might at first think. Thanks to its consistency, it can become a great way to pack other dishes and recipes with all that spicy lentil goodness.

You may also be interested in: What to Do with Leftover Egg Yolks

Steps to follow:


Dal parathas: Parathas (or paranthas) are an Indian bread which is used for dipping and stuffing when you have larger meals. They are especially good for curries which have a lot of curry which you can soak up with. Sift some all-purpose flour into a large mixing bowl and add the dal to it. Finely chop some onions (very fine) and season with some salt and extra chile powder if they need it. How much flour you need depends on how much dough you have, so mix it up and add a little more flour if it needs time to reach the dough consistency. If it becomes too stodgy, add a little water to even it out. Make the parathas by griddling them in a pan with a little oil until they cook through and start to turn golden brown on the outside. Enjoy further by dipping into some chutney or lime pickle.

What To Do With Leftover Dal - Step 1

Dal toast: Add besan (also known as gram or chickpea flour) to the leftover dal. Stir well to make a thick paste. Season with salt and red chile powder to taste. Add some hing (asafoetida, a special herb) too. Use a spoon or knife to spread this paste on a piece of bread. Heat on a grill or skillet with a little oil or ghee. Flip over and repeat until the bread is nice and toasted. You could go one step further and add a little mango chutney or even some other sort of fruit preserve to give your leftover dal toast a little extra kick.


Dal tikki: Tikki are a little cutlet which look almost like a veggie burger or falafel. They are made by mixing chickpea flour to form a patty. To make these leftover dal tikki, add besan (gram flour), salt, hing (asafoetida), green chiles, chopped onions and red chile powder to the leftover dal. Roll the tikki in some sooji (another word for semolina) for a crispier texture. Make small rolls with it like falafel or even these dough balls, and shallow fry on a hot tawa or frying pan. A tawa is a rounded frying pan similar to a wok. Serve with some spicy sauce or sandwich between two pieces of bread. for a veggie burger style meal.

What To Do With Leftover Dal - Step 3

Dal pancakes: Pancakes are a flat bread which have many versions all over the world. From the traditional flapjack, to more involved mashed banana pancakes, they are as delicious as they are versatile. In fact, parathas and rotis are really just a different approach to the humble pancake. If you want to make them with a spicy lentil twist, mix the leftover dal, finely chopped spinach leaves, gram flour and rice flour together. Add salt and chile powder to taste. Also add ginger garlic paste and cumin seeds to it. Knead to make a dough. Add water if needed. Make a thin pancake with this dough and cook on both sides on a non-stick pan until it becomes golden brown. Serve hot with green chutney, curd or pickle.


Dal cutlets: Add grated carrot, boiled and mashed potato, sweet corn and bread crumbs to the leftover dal, along with ginger garlic paste, chilli powder and salt to taste. Make small cutlets with this paste, roll them on bread crumbs and fry until golden brown. Serve with green chilly chutney or tamarind.


Dal pakora: Pakora are a delicious deep fried apetizer which can be made from a variety of ingredients. Everything from chicken strips to haggis, so why not leftover dal. Add besan to the leftover dal, along with some chopped onions, spinach, or any other leftover vegetables, along with some salt and chilly to taste. Make a thick paste with the ingredients, and make small balls to make the pakoras themselves. Add the balls to hot oil in a wok one at a time and deep fry until golden brown. Serve with ketchup or chutney.

What To Do With Leftover Dal - Step 6

With so many things you can do with leftover dal, you might find yourself cooking a little extra dal each time, just for the excuse to make these wonderful recipes.

If you want to read similar articles to What To Do With Leftover Dal, we recommend you visit our Food & drink category.

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What To Do With Leftover Dal