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This dish is a specialty of the Himachal region in India. Split black "urad dal" is used to make to make a batter with spices such as cumin and cloves. It is steamed and then pan fried for a crispy outer layer with a soft center. This makes a soft savory cake which can also be added to gravy dishes of the state.

Sepu Bari is a traditional Himachali dish made with split urad dal dumplings in a spinach gravy. It is a hearty and flavorful dish that is perfect for a cold winter day.


  • 1 cup split urad dal
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped spinach
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 tablespoon mustard oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon hing (asafoetida)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro


  1. Rinse the urad dal in cold water until the water runs clear. Soak the dal in water for at least 30 minutes, or overnight.
  2. Drain the dal and grind it into a smooth batter. Add the turmeric powder, red chili powder, garam masala powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, and salt. Mix well.
  3. Heat the mustard oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and hing and cook for a few seconds until fragrant.
  4. Add the onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for another minute.
  5. Add the spinach and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes.
  6. Add the dal batter and cook, stirring constantly, until the dumplings are cooked through, about 10 minutes.
  7. Stir in the garam masala powder and cilantro and serve hot.


  • For a spicier dish, add more red chili powder.
  • For a vegetarian dish, omit the hing.
  • To make a vegan dish, use vegetable broth instead of water to cook the dal.


  • To make the dumplings easier to shape, wet your hands with water.
  • If the dumplings are sticking to the skillet, add a little more water or broth.
  • Serve Sepu Bari with rice or roti.

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