RECIPE: Gaikwad Family’s Traditional Emmer Wheat Dumplings


For more than 150 years, in the Jambhali village in India’s Maharashtra state, the Gaikwad family has made these high protein and fiber dumplings — called dalicha kanola in the regional Marathi language. They are one of the last families to do so. Over time, these dumplings have become harder to find, and although it once was common, emmer now makes up less than one percent of total wheat cultivation in India (the second-highest producer of wheat globally). The family shared their delicious recipe with Bluedot Living.

To read more about the Gaikwad family, and emmer wheat, visit Nutritious and Climate Resilient: Emmer Wheat.

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three browned dumplings in pan

Gaikwad Family’s Traditional Emmer Wheat Dumplings

  • Yield: Makes around 30 dumplings 1x


  • 17 ounces split chickpeas (also called yellow split peas, or chickpea lentils)
  • 13 ounces sugar or jaggery
  • Cardamom powder, to taste
  • 14 ounces emmer wheat flour/common wheat flour
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon ghee or oil
  • 34 turmeric leaves


  1. Boil split chickpea lentils until they become soft, roughly 20 minutes.
  2. Drain. Add sugar or jaggery and cardamom powder to the soft lentils and simmer for another 10-15 minutes.
  3. Combine the wheat flour, salt, and some ghee or oil to make dough. Knead this dough with your hands until it is well blended. Then form the dough into 1 ½-inch balls.
  4. Sprinkle some flour on a countertop or cutting board. Place each ball of dough, one at a time, on the floured surface and roll it into a circle five-inches in diameter.
  5. Place some of the split chickpea lentil stuffing in the center and fold this circular flatbread in half. Seal the edges by pressing gently. You can decorate the dumplings by folding them with a pastry cutter or using bare hands to make a design around the edges.
  6. Place the dumplings on top of turmeric leaves in a steamer and steam for 10-15 minutes, until the outer layer of the dumplings turns brownish.
  7. Check the dumplings for readiness. If they are sticky, give them another two or three minutes. Serve when ready.


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Bluedot Living Magazine is a sustainable living magazine and website with locations throughout North America.
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