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The perfect Christmas gift for you or a loved one
For the filling: wash the lentils and cover with cold water in a bowl. Leave them to soak overnight.
Discard the soaking water, put the lentils in a pressure cooker, and pour over water to cover them by about 3cm. Cook the dal for 20-30 minutes, until completely soft. Alternatively, cook them in a medium pan for about 1 - 1½ hours until tender. You’ll need to add extra water to prevent the lentils catching.
Drain any cooking water and leave the lentils to cool. Tip the dal into a food processor and grind it to a paste.
Transfer the paste to a heavy-bottomed frying pan and add the sugar, fennel seeds, nutmeg and ground cardamom. Cook over a medium heat for 5-7 minutes, stirring all the time, until the paste has thickened. Leave on one side to cool.
For the dough: sieve the flour and salt into a mixing bowl. Using your fingertips, roughly incorporate the melted ghee into the flour and then add the saffron and its soaking water followed by enough cold water (about 100-125ml) to make a soft but not sticky dough. Knead the dough in the bowl until smooth and then cover it and leave on one side at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Knead the rested dough for one minute and divide it into 9 x 40g portions. Using your hands, shape each one into a 4cm diameter ball.
Shape the lentil paste into slightly smaller 3cm balls in the same way.
Using your fingers, make an indentation in the middle of one of the dough balls, and press it into a bowl-like shape. Put one of the lentil balls in the cavity and pull the dough around it, pinching the edges together so that the lentil ball is completely enclosed.
Flatten the ball to a 2cm thickness disc and roll it out on a lightly oiled surface to a 17cm diameter circle. Aim for the thickness of a £1 coin.
Heat a griddle or heavy frying pan over a medium heat and carefully lift the bread onto the griddle. Drizzle 1 tsp of melted ghee around the edges and cook on one side for 2-3 minutes until it starts to colour.
Using a fish slice, flip the bread over and spoon another 1-2 tsp melted ghee around the edges and cook until golden for a further 2-3 minutes. Repeat this process with the remaining dough balls. Serve straight away with a glass of chilled milk or masala chai.