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Bhapouri or steamed dumplings

Desi lentil dumplings

Bhapouri or steamed dumplings
10 mins
Preparation Time
20 mins
Cooking Time
Serves 1


  • For 5-6 portions

    To make a paste...
    dhuli masoor daal (skinned red lentils) 1 cup (soaked for minimum 2 hours or overnight for convenience)
    cumin seeds 2 tsp
    ginger roughly chopped an inch piece
    garlic cloves 5-6
    dry whole red chillies 2-3 or to taste
    turmeric powder 1 tsp

    To mix in the paste...
    diced onions 3-4 to 1 cup
    chopped coriander greens 2-3 tbsp (optional)


It's really quick if you have soaked the lentils beforehand. Keeping the paste ready is also one step ahead to a quick snack.

So make the paste with all the ingredients listed. A coarse paste is intended.

Mix the chopped onions and greens if using, to the paste.


And while you are doing the blending and mixing, put a pan with water to boil. Place a perforated plate over the rim of the pan and place a muslin cloth to line he perforated plate. I use a square cotton handkerchief.

If using a proper steamer, you know what to do.

The paste of lentils has to be dropped like Vadis (or Badi) , small round dumplings using a spoon or your fingers, into the lined perforated plate.

Then cover the plate with a lid and let it steam for about 10 minutes on medium flame.

Note that I have used a regular Indian Kadhai and have placed a deep perforated plate (steel chhanni) which fits the rim of the kadhai. We all have a few pans of different sizes and lids of different sizes and such an arrangement can be done every time if you plan to steam something. I find it more practical than a steamer.

The dumplings get cooked and the color changes a bit. Becomes a dull yellowish brown. Flip one of the dumplings using a spoon or a knife, it should not be sticking to the cloth or the surface of steamer. Flipping easily, it indicates it is cooked.

These can be had immediately with or without a green chutney. If you are planning to have it with masala tea, which takes about 10 minutes to boil and get ready with milk, you can steam these dumplings on the side if you have the lentil paste ready. Or just quickly stir fry or deep fry the dumplings if you the leftovers in the fridge.