Abby adapted this recipe for Dhalpurie (Ground Split Peas Roti) from The Naparima Girls’ High School Cookbook: The Multi-Cultural Cuisine of Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean.
What to cook dhalpurie in? If you don’t have a Trinidadian cooking stone, called a tawah, use the widest cast iron skillet you can find. “I have a Lodge ‘pizza stone,’”Abby says, ” which is really a cast iron, round griddle with a handle on each side. It distributes the heat nicely for this.”
She adds, “for brushing on the oil when you cook the rotis, nothing beats a smooth bottomed enameled tin cup. Yes, like the kind you would use for camping. An oil brush can sometimes tear the delicate dough. The enameled cup has a nice “roll-on” effect.”
And as for how to properly spell dhalpurie? It might be dhalpuri or dhalpourie. It tastes good however you spell it.
Read below for the recipe.
1/2 lb. split peas
1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
2 tsp. salt
3 cloves garlic
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
2-3 tsp. ground roasted cumin
1 lb. or 4 cups all purpose flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 cups water to mix (approximately)
1/4 cup oil for coating
- Boil split peas with turmeric, 1 teaspoon salt and garlic until firm but not overcooked. A pea should crumble easily between two fingers when pressed, without being pasty. Drain well in a colander and allow to dry out a bit.
- Using a food processor, grind small batches of the drained split peas until they resemble soft fluffy cake crumbs. You may occasionally need to scape down the sides of the processor.
- Empty contents of food processor into a medium bowl and sprinkle with the roasted ground cumin and salt to taste. Cool.
- In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the middle and gradually add water while mixing with your hand to make a very soft dough. Add very light dustings of flour to be able to handle the dough easily.
- Knead the dough until smooth and elastic, but still very soft.
- Cut dough into 8 pieces or according to the size of the griddle you will be cooking on. In Trinidad, it is called a “tawah.”
- Shape the pieces into round balls. Then, take each one at a time and shape it into a shallow “bowl”. Cup the “bowl” or loyah in one hand while you take a heaping tablespoon full of split pea filling and carefully put it into the middle of the dough. As you do so, put down your spoon and use your free hand to gently stretch the border of the dough up and over the filling, closing it at the top by gently pinching it closed. Flatten the part that is sticking out so that the ball is smooth. Dredge each filled ball in flour to prevent sticking. Cover the balls with a slightly damp tea towel while you fill the remainder of the balls.
- On a lightly floured surface, you a rolling pin to gently roll out the filled balls. Keep adding light dustings of flour as needed to prevent sticking and tearing. Roll as thin as possible, especially the edges.
- Heat and lightly oil the griddle or tawah over medium high heat. Carefully lift the rolled dough and place it gently on the griddle. After a few seconds, flip it over using a long spatula and oil the other side quickly and lightly.
- Cook for about one minute; turn over roti and brush the other side with oil. Cook for about another half minute. Remove from heat and keep wrapped in a couple of tea towels (culinary towels) until you are finished with the rest and ready to serve.
- Serve with curried meat or vegetables.