Today, the recipe I am going to share with you all is a traditional one but here the one I have shared is with some variations that I included in it keeping basic recipe intact. It is lentils stuffed Dumplings which are called as Fara in our community. I know it sounds a little rustic but it is conventional and honouring our forefathers we call them Faraa. My granny used to cook it, my mom makes it and me too cook with all my interest. It is a traditional one and I think it has been getting cooked for several generations on special festive occasion in our community. In our community, it is specially cooked on the day of Karwachauth (a Festive fast kept by married women) as a special meal and enjoyed by everyone.
It is similar to Momos and Gujiyas (a sweet of Holi) in shapes but totally different in taste and way of cooking. It has salty lentils filled inside and tangy spicy coating outside over steam cooked dough covering. It has no cholesterol and even no spices when eaten steamed only. It is healthy because steaming is involved and no deep frying. It has lentils and wheat flour so rich source of calcium, protein and carbohydrates. Okay it’s all about the dish. Let’s get on to the recipe.
Time Taken- For Preparation- 6-8 hrs
For Cooking- 30 min
Category- Main Course/ Appetizer
Wheat Flour- 3 ½ cups
Salt-1tsp (to taste)
Water- as needed
Split Bengal Gram (Chana Dal) – ½ cup
Split Black gram (Urad Dal) – ½ cup
Ginger- 1.5 inch
Garlic- 7-8 cloves
Green Chillies- 4-5
Pistachio nuts- 6-7 (chopped)
Salt- to taste
For Coating 1
Turmeric Powder- ½ tsp
Coriander Powder- 1 tsp
Red chilly Powder- 1 tsp
Blend Spice (Garam Masala) – 1 tsp
Cumin Powder- 1 tsp
Dried Fenugreek Leaves- 1 tsp
Salt- to taste (small amount)
Oil- 1 tbsp
For Coating 2
Lime juice- of one
Black Pepper powder- 1 tsp
Cumin powder- 1 tsp
Blend spice (Garam Masala) – 1 tsp
Corn Starch/ flour- 1 tbsp
Salt- to taste (small amount)
Oil- 1 tbsp
Steps to Follow-
- Soak the two lentils together/ separate for 6-8 hours.
- When lentils are about to get ready. Knead wheat flour to smooth dough, adding small amount of salt/ one tsp of salt and oil (optional). Keep it aside.
- Grind both lentils together along with ginger, garlic and chillies to a fine paste(adding no water, it should be semi dry paste)
- Add pistachio nuts & salt- to taste and mix well.
- Get ready to make dumplings; Take out a big ball of dough and roll it out in a round.
- With the help of small round cutter (you can use glass and cut with its edges), cut the big round into few small rounds. Separate these small rounds from big one.
- Take one small round on a rolling board and if small rounds are a bit thick, roll it out further and spread the filling towards the center leaving edges (My mom made small dumplings coz she likes tiny cute dumplings. She rolled out a big ball of dough into thin big round as big as size of rolling board and cut that big round into small rounds with the glass of larger circumference. She didn’t roll them further and spread the filling in smaller rounds directly. This saves time. But if you want to make larger dumplings, follow former one). I made them bigger coz I had to cut them later. Let’s see how.
- Fold this round into semicircle and stick the edges pressing with the help of fingers ( make sure corners of semicircle remain open because it is important helping lentils cooked in steam)
- Cut away these extra edges (a bit away from filling part) leaving corners with the help of a tool having a handle and a grooved wheel attached to it [sorry I don’t know its name but it’s a vintage tool which was used to design Gujiyas (a sweet made during festivals especially on Holi, Festival of colors). I used it to give design to these dumplings on edges.
- Like this, make dumplings with whole of dough. Put it on the rack of steamer and cook under steam for 10-15 min/ until lentils are cooked.
- Take out in a serving dish, serve hot and eat like this or with chutney of your choice (if you wish to eat it steamed and no spice).
Let’s move on further to give some interesting texture and flavor to them. There are two kinds of coating that can be given to these dumplings that enhance their flavor.
- Firstly, cut these dumplings into pieces of 2 cm thickness.
- Heat oil in a pan and add spices under “For Coating 1” and sauté until leaving oil from sides of pan.
- Add these dumplings’ pieces and mix well and cook for a minute.
- Serve out in a dish squeezing in lime juice over it.
- Secondly, either use cut pieces or smaller dumplings, I used smaller ones. Squeeze in lime juice and mix well with these dumplings.
- Sprinkle all other spices under “For Coating 2” and finally dust with Corn starch and toss to mix well.
- Fry them shallow or deep (depending on your choice). And take out in a serving dish.
Serve hot these two kinds of coated lentils stuffed dumplings along with first steamed one.
Among these three kinds of “Faraas”, I like last one coated lentils stuffed dumplings. They are tangy yet a bit spicy, crunchy too due to corn starch. They are not looking as lovely and beautiful 😉 as other two but are not lesser than others in taste.
Sometimes inner core side can’t be judged with outer appearance until you take closer look and test it. I said it in General 🙂 . By the way, you try each kind and I am sure you would like all the three of its flavors.