Recipe - Dal Dhokli

DAL DHOKLI is a favourite Gujarati dish which is often served for a Sunday brunch. This one pot meal gives the cook some respite as the Dal is cooked the previous day and the Dhokli (similar to pasta or empty dumplings) is added to the soupy dal just before serving. 

It is all sorts of delicious - spicy (think whole spices), sweet (jaggery), tangy (kokum*), and crunchy (cashews). The best part is that it is a meal in and of itself and does not have to be served with rice or roti as there are carbohydrates in the dhokli which is made from wheat flour.

You can make this vegan by omitting ghee, though doing so will somewhat compromise the flavour and authenticity of the dish(in Gujarat, ghee is heavily used in everything, from curries to sweets). 

The Dal

      1. Wash 1 cup tuvar dal (yellow split Pigeon Peas).
      2. Soak for a minimum of 20 minutes.
      3. Place in a pot with 2 cups water and boil* (without a lid) for 15 minutes.
      4. Mix in ½ tsp turmeric, 1 tsp chilli powder, 1 tsp grated ginger, 1 tsp salt, ½ tbsp. jaggery/brown sugar, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1 large chopped tomato and 2 green chillies.
      5. When cool purée with a stick blender.
      6. Add 4 cups water to the same pot and simmer (if you don't want to add the Dhokli, 1 cup of water is sufficient).
      7. The Tadka: Heat a heavy based casserole dish then add 2 tbsp vegetable oil/1 tbsp ghee.
      8. On medium heat fry ½ tsp mustard seeds till they splutter
      9. Then add ½ tsp cumin seeds, 2 tbsp cashews/peanuts, 5 fenugreek seeds, 1 bay leaf, 2 cloves, 1”cinnamon stick, stir fry for a minute
      10. Then add 2 dried chillies, 8 curry leaves and ½ tsp  asafoetida. Fry for about about 30 seconds.
      11. Pour the tadka over the simmering dal.
      12. Half an hour before you are ready to eat, add 1 cup of green peas and the dhokli pieces one at a time and stir so they do not clump.
      13. Cook for 10 minutes.
      14. Garnish with 2 tbsp freshly chopped coriander leaves and drizzle each serving with melted ghee. Serve immediately.

* the scientific name for kokum is Garcinia indica and it is a fruit-bearing plant in the mangosteen family

Image: Dal dhokli with green peas 

The Dhokli

    1. In a mixing bowl place ½ cup atta, 2 tbsp besan (chickpea flour), ½ tsp salt, ¼ tsp turmeric, ½ tsp chilli powder, 1/8 tsp ajwain seeds.
    2. Add ¼ cup water and 1 tbsp oil.
    3. Mix to a stiff dough.
    4. Set aside for 30 minutes.
    5. While the pureed dal is simmering, divide the dough into 2 parts.
    6. Roll out thinly then cut as in the image or into short ribbons.
    7. Add to boiling dal one piece at a time.
    8. Cook for 10 minutes.

*use a pressure cooker if you have one.

Image: Making the dhokli

Note: if making both items on the same day, follow this order:

  • Wash the dal and wile it is soaking knead the dough.
  • Set dough aside then boil dal.
  • While the dal is boiling roll out the dough and cut into strips
  • Cover with a damp tea towel.
  • Make the dal Tadka and pour over the dal
  • When the dal is simmering drop the dhokli in.
  • Garnish with coriander and melted ghee.
  • Serve immediately.