Nepali Batuk: Deep Fried Savoury Lentil Doughnuts
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The concept of snacking on savoury, deep fried foods, is a sentiment many cultures around the world have in common. Whether it is the Middle Eastern falafel or the Indian medu vada, savoury lentil snacks are part of every community in some small or large way. Similarly, the Nepali batuk, a savoury snack traditionally eaten by the Magar community in Nepal; one of the oldest surviving tribes in the country.

Enjoyed predominantly during festivities and celebrations on festivals like Makar Sankranti, this savoury doughnut has a moreish texture that closely follows the crunchy exterior. Typically, the batter for the batuk consists of simple ingredients like salt and ginger but you could also take it one step further and add come chopped chillies, coriander, onions, etc. Made from black lentils (urad dal) or rice beans (masyang), the batuk is associated with becoming a cross-cultural food item.



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  • 1 cup black lentils
  • 1 inch piece ginger
  • ½ cup chopped coriander
  • 3 green chillies, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for deep frying


  • Soak the urad dal in water for a minimum of 2 hours. Drain the water and rinse it a couple of times before adding to a blender jar and grinding into a smooth paste, along with the ginger and salt.
  • Transfer the paste to a bowl and mix in the coriander, turmeric powder and green chillies. Check for seasoning and adjust, if necessary.
  • Heat up the oil in a frying pan and while you wait for that to happen, spoon over a couple of tablespoons of the batter on to 3-inch square sheets of parchment paper. Using your finger, pierce a hole in the centre of the doughnut and set the sheets on a tray.
  • Place the tray in the freezer for 5 minutes before deep frying, so that the batter holds its shape. Fry on a medium heat for a couple of minutes on each side, until it turns golden brown. Serve hot with a sweet tamarind chutney or ketchup.