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Lentil Pancake {Newari Bara, Wo:}

Lentil Pancake {Newari Bara, Wo:} is a famous dish often enjoyed as an appetizer or a snack in Nepal. It is made with one star ingredient – lentil, which makes them naturally-gluten-free and vegan.

Savory pancakes are a thing in Nepal and let me introduce you to everyone’s favorite : Lentil Pancake {Nepali Bara or Wo:) These savory lentil pancakes are made with just one main ingredient – lentils (split black lentils and/or a combination of split black lentils and split moong lentils). The recipe I am sharing today is a very basic one although you can jazz things up with eggs, meat, or veggies of your choice.



Lentils are a staple in my pantry for many reasons and I am happy to add a new lentil-based recipe to my repertoire as it can be enjoyed as a quick meal or an appetizer. Lentil Pancake {Newari Bara, Wo:} is made with split black lentils with skin on, however I had split black lentils without the skin in my pantry so I used that kind. If you use split black lentils with skin, make sure to separate the skin and discard it otherwise, your final pancake won’t turn out correctly.

Like most dried-lentils and beans, split black lentils needs to be soaked 8-12 hours prior to making the pancakes so, please plan accordingly. The recipe in itself is fairly simple but here are few things to keep in mind :

  • Rinse and pick lentils for any dirt and pebbles. if using split black lentils with skin on, rinse them few times after soaking, which will naturally release the skin. Continue to rinse and separate the skin prior to blending. To avoid the hassle of separating the skin, use black split lentil without the skin (it’s pale yellowish in color).

  • Lentils needs to be pureed to a smooth, somewhat pourable consistency but not liquified. Do not add a lot of water when blending, however you may need to add 2-3 tablespoon at a time to get your blender going. I pureed lentils in 2 separate batches but that will vary on the amount of lentils and the size of your blender.

  • Use a non-stick pan or cast-iron skillet when cooking lentil pancakes {Newari Bara, Wo:}.


Lentil Pancake {Newari Bara, Wo:} can be enjoyed by itself but it is typically enjoyed as on a platter with other dish such as tomato achar, fried eggs, different curries, flat beaten rice (chuira) etc. Nepali Bara, Wo: holds a special significance among Newari people (traditional inhabitants of the Kathmandu Valley with a rich cultural heritage) as it is given as a part of good-luck food called “sagun” during festivals, birthdays, celebrations etc.


Lentil Pancake {Newari Bara, Wo:} tastes best when served hot, straight off the pan – it’s crispy on outside with soft, fluffy texture on the inside and I love to douse mine with spicy tomato achar. In the Southern United States, eating black-eyed peas is thought to bring good luck and prosperity so I made “aloo-bodi tama” to serve alongside Lentil Pancake {Newari Bara, Wo:}. It was a delightful lunch to start off my 2020 and I hope it carries on for the rest of the year.



Lentil Pancake {Newari Bara, Wo:}

Makes 8-10

1.5 dried split black lentils (3 cups soaked)

2 generous tablespoon minced ginger
2 teaspoon cumin powder
2 teaspoon salt
pinch of turmeric powder
water, as needed to puree
neutral oil such as canola, sunflower oil to pan-fry
optional: add minced garlic, chopped cilantro to the mix


  • In a medium bowl, rinse dried split black lentils few times and soak 8 hours or overnight.

  • Rinse one more time and drain the water. Use a blender to puree split black lentils in batches if needed into a thick yet somewhat pourable consistency. Add 1-2 tablespoon of water to get the blender going and puree in batches if needed. The batter shouldn’t be grainy nor runny like pancake/crepe batter. Refer to the picture and video above for visual description.

  • Once the batter is ready, add minced ginger, cumin powder, salt, and turmeric powder. Mix everything well and adjust the salt as needed.

  • Brush a thin layer of oil on a cast iron or non-stick pan over medium high heat. Use your hand to take about 1/4 cup of batter and gently spread on the pan. Tap on the batter to create a circle as shown on the video. The pancake shouldn’t be too thick or spread too thin. Mine was slightly less than 1/2 inch thick.

  • Let it cook for about a minute or so and brush little oil around the edges. You will notice the sides will naturally peel away from the pan. Use a spatula to see if the pancake is ready to be flipped over. If it doesn’t pull easily, allow another 1-2 minutes on the pan and adjust the stove’s heat as needed. When ready, flip the pancake and brush more oil on the edges and cook for 1-2 minutes.

  • Serve it hot.

    More Nepali Recipes to Try:

  • Chicken Choyela

  • Nepali Egg Chatamari

  • Nepali Kwati (Sprouted 9 Bean Soup)

  • Nepali Chicken Mo:Mo

  • Mula Ko Achar (Fermented Radish Pickle)

  • Chukauni (Nepali Potato & Yogurt Salad)

I hope you will give Lentil Pancake {Newari Bara, Wo:} very soon. Don’t forget to share your creation as I love to hear from you. You can also pin the recipe for later use.



Dixya Bhattarai

Dixya Bhattarai

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