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an overhead shot of a skillet filled with dal pierogies. a small bowl of yogurt sauce sits in the center. next to the pan is a small bowl of minced cilantro and a measuring cup of dried pink lentils.

aloo dal pierogi

These dal pierogi are plump dumplings stuffed with turmeric and cumin spiced lentils and creamy mashed potatoes. Serve them with caramelized onions and a lime-yogurt dipping sauce. The ingredient list might seem long, but most of the ingredients and flavors are repeated across components, and you don’t have to make them all at once, so don’t feel overwhelmed! You got this!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Assembly 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 45 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian, Polish
Servings 50 pierogi



  • ½ cup pink lentils
  • cups water
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 tablespoon ghee (or olive oil)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • pinch cayenne (or red chile powder)
  • 1 dried thai chile pepper (or Arbol chile)
  • juice from ½ a lime (approx 2 teaspoon) (save the other half for the yogurt sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh cilantro (minced)(or 2 teaspoon dried cilantro)
  • lbs russet potatoes (or 1½ cups mashed potatoes)

Pierogi dough

  • 360 grams all purpose flour (3 cups)(plus more for dusting)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • teaspoon cayenne (or red chile powder)
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup water (you might need an extra ½ tablespoon)

Onion topping and yogurt sauce

  • 1 white or yellow onion (cut in half, ends removed, and sliced lengthwise)
  • 8 tablespoon butter (olive oil if you're vegan)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • pinch cayenne
  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt (or sour cream)
  • juice from ½ a lime (approx 2 teaspoon)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon fresh cilantro (minced)


Pierogi dough

  • Mix flour, salt, ground cumin, and chili powder together in the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the middle of the flour. Pour water and oil into the center of the well.
  • Use a fork to begin whisking the water and oil together, slowly incorporating flour from the sides to create a thick doughy mixture.
  • When the dough has formed a thick paste, switch to a large wooden spoon or attach the bowl to your electric mixer with dough hook attachment on a low speed. Continue stirring or mixing until all the flour has incorporated and a soft dough has formed.
    If the dough seems dry, add an additional 1 teaspoon water.
  • If kneading by hand: Turn the soft dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead with your hands (folding over itself, rotating 90 degrees, folding over, rotating 90 degrees, repeat) and dust with flour as needed until the dough is smooth and elastic.
    If using a dough hook: Increase the speed to just below medium and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic. If the dough sticks to the side of the bowl, scrape it down and gently dust in a bit more flour until a smooth, elastic dough forms.
    Tuck the dough into a ball and let rest, covered, at room temperature for 1 hour.
  • If making pierogi right away proceed, proceed to making the filling. If not making pierogi right away, the dough will stay good up to 3 days in the fridge in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic.

Aloo dal filling

  • Mash your potatoes: If using instant mashed potatoes, follow package directions. If using whole russet potatoes, pierce them 5x on each side with a fork. Place in a shallow bowl of water, microwave for 5 minutes, flip carefully, add more water if needed, and microwave 5 more minutes. When cool enough to handle, remove skin and mash with a fork. Set aside.
  • Make the dal: Add lentils, salt, and turmeric to a pot with 1.5 cups of water. Bring to a vigorous boil. Stir gently to prevent lentils from sticking to the bottom. Reduce heat to medium high and let the lentils cook for 4-6 minutes. Remove from heat and cover. Let stand 5 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon lime juice.
  • Make your chhonk: Heat 2 tablespoon oil or ghee until shimmering in a very small pot on the stove. Add 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (they should almost immediately start fizzing and popping in the oil), pinch of red chili powder, and whole dried red chile. Swirl and stir until very fragrant and toasted. DO NOT WALK AWAY! The cumin seeds burn easily.
    After 30-40 seconds of fizzing, pour the chhonk directly from the small pot into the dal and stir to combine.
  • Add dal to mashed potatoes in a mixing bowl and continue mashing and mixing until smooth. You should have approximately 3-3.5 cups of dal/potato mixture. Stir in cilantro, and adjust salt and pepper to taste.
    Refrigerate until ready to shape.


  • Use a 1 teaspoon measuring spoon to scoop portions of the chilled dal filling and roll them into balls in the palms of your hands. Refrigerate the filling until ready to form pierogi.
  • Divide your pierogi dough in half and cover whichever half you aren’t using. On a lightly floured surface, roll and stretch your dough to about ⅛″ thickness. Use a 2½″ (2.5″) circular cutter to cut as many rounds of dough out as you can. Save any scraps to re-roll later.
  • Lightly dust a sheet pan with with flour or corn starch. You’ll put your shaped pierogi here once they’re done. The flour helps keep them from sticking to the pan and to each other.
  • Take one circle of dough and hold it in the palm of your non-dominant hand. Place a ball of dal filling in the center, and cup your hand to fold the dough in half around it. Use your dominant hand to pinch the dough together at the top. You may need to stretch the dough just slightly to get it to meet at the top, but it should be soft enough that it stretches easily. Continue pinching firmly down each side of the pierogi around the filling to seal.
  • Turn the pierogi on its side and gently flatten between your palms to encourage the filling to spread into any gaps, and pinch the seams again to make sure they’re secure and there are no air pockets inside.
  • Repeat with the rest of the dough and rest of the filling, working in batches if you need to.
  • Place the finished pierogi in rows on the sheet pan. They can touch slightly, but if you’re planning on freezing them don’t let them overlap too much or they’ll stick to each other. If not cooking immediately, freeze on the sheet tray for 20-30 minutes before transferring to an airtight container and returning to the freezer.

The onion topping & yogurt dipping sauce

  • Onion topping: Melt butter in a small or medium sauce pan over low-to-medium heat. As soon as the butter is melted, add of the onions and stir to coat.
    Cook the onions over low-to-medium heat for 20-30 minutes until soft and golden brown. Stir more frequently the longer they’ve been cooking.
    About halfway through the cook time, add the cumin seeds, pinch of cayenne, a pinch of salt, and a few grinds of pepper.
  • Yogurt sauce: In a separate small bowl, combine greek yogurt or sour cream with ground cumin, salt, cayenne, pepper, cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice. Stir to combine and adjust seasoning to taste.

Cooking pierogi

  • To pan fry: Heat 2-3 tablespoon olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add desired number of pierogi, taking care not to crowd the pan. Cook 1 minute per side until just lightly golden brown. Then, add ⅛ cup of water to the pan and cover immediately with a lid to steam for 2-3 minutes. Serve with onion topping.
  • To boil: Bring a large sauce pot of generously salted water to a rolling boil. Gently drop desired number of pierogi in (again, taking care not to crowd the pot). When pierogi begin to float up from the bottom, set timer for 5 minutes and reduce heat to a low medium. Use a slotted spoon to transfer cooked pierogi to serving platter or bowls and top with onion mixture.
  • Serve with dollops of yogurt sauce, a garnish of chopped cilantro, and lime wedges.



  • Priya recommends leaving a wooden spoon inserted in the pot of dal to break the surface tension and prevent the pot from boiling over but this has never worked for me, so keep an eye on it so it doesn’t boil over!
  • When you shape the filling 1 teaspoon is going to feel small but it is more than enough. Resist the urge to make them bigger than this!
  • The instructions for cooking are the same whether you’re cooking pierogi from frozen or fresh — fresh ones will cook just a tiny bit faster, so consider shortening the cook time by 1 minute.
  • For the purposes of this recipe, I’ve cut Priya’s basic masoor (pink) dal recipe in half, but if you wanted to make the full recipe and reserve half of it for the pierogi and half of it to eat right then and there, honestly… that’s exactly what I usually do. Go for it.
Tried this recipe?Leave a comment and let us how it was!