If you’ve been looking for new and delicious Indian meals to prepare and you want to add more vegetarian dishes to your repertoire, you’ll definitely want to try this Gujarati dal dhokli recipe. and Varan Phal or Chakolya in Maharashtra. This one-pot dish is filling and meat-free, and you don’t have to prepare roti for the dish since the dumplings will serve as the bread for the meal.
This dal recipe is delicious comfort food and features tangy, sweet, and spicy flavors with whole wheat noodles made from scratch and cooked into the lentils. An easy dal dhokli recipe also features ingredients like jaggery and tamarind, which are common in the Gujarati version of dal stew. You’ll experience a wealth of textures when you enjoy the entree, since the homemade noodles melt in your mouth, and you’ll taste nutty flavors from the peanuts, mustard seeds, and cumin seeds in the dish. This meal is common in Gujarat and Maharashtra, where it is also known as Varan Phal or Chakolya.
You can even learn how to make dal prepared with dhokli if you need a filling vegetarian dish to add more nutrients to your diet if you’re detoxing, or to give your body more nutrients after traveling or working long hours.
What Should I Use to Prepare the Dal?
Pressure cookers are often used for preparing beans and lentils in India, so this dish will work perfectly in the Instant Pot. You’ll need to make the tadka on saute mode and add the aromatic ingredients and lentils for cooking. Afterward, add the thin pieces of rolled whole wheat and pressure cook all the ingredients in the pot to create the finished product.
More On This Type of Dal
Every region has its own region of dal, so keep this in mind when learning how to make dal dhokli. You can add spices or seasonings to their liking. Dal is the main source of protein for many vegetarians, so some variation of the dish is cooked every day in some Indian households.
Dal cooked with dhokli is made by preparing the dal and then rolling the dough into think pieces and adding the dough to the lentil stew to make dumplings. While the ingredient list is rather extensive, the dish is surprisingly easy to make. This dish is essentially an Indian lasagna soup and the “pasta” in the dish is healthier since you’re making it yourself.
Making the Dal
The dish is traditionally made with toor dal, which are also known as split pigeon peas. You can also make this dal dish with moong dal or split masoor, or use a combination of these beans. No matter what type of dal you use, rinse the beans until the water is completely clear.
Next, you’ll need to add whole spices and seasonings to the dal. These spices include cumin and mustard seeds, bay leaf, cloves, curry leaves, asafoetida, and dry red chili pepper. These spices add flavor and a pleasant aroma to the dish. After stirring in the spices, add ginger and garlic to the dal. You can mince these ingerdients or grate them to form a paste.
Add more spices such as turmeric, garam masala, and coriander poweder to the dal and allow the beans to cook and soak in the flavors.
To make the dhokli, or the dumplings that go in the lentil stew, you’ll need gram and whole wheat flours along with several spices: carom seeds, turmeric, and red chili powder. You should also use salt and oil to make the dumplings. Once you knead the dough and cut it into thin squares, you can add the final touches to the dish: jaggery to add a bit of sweetness (you can use sugar as a substitute), raw peanuts for a nutty flavor, lemon juice, and a cilantro garnish.
Making Dal in the Pressure Cooker
Start your pressure cooker or instant pot and program it to saute mode. Head the ghee in the pot and add all the tempering ingredients. All the ingredients to cook for about 30 seconds. If you want to make the dish vegan, use oil instead of ghee.
Next, add the raw peanuts and sautee for about a minute. Add the dal, spices, and water. Stir all the ingredients. Close and seal the lid and program the instant pot to the high setting for eight minutes. When the instant pot beeps, allow the pressure to release naturally. If you’re using a pressure cooker, wait until you hear four whistles to turn the cooker off.
Prepare the dhokli while the dal is cooking. When the dal is completely cooked, add jaggery. Use a whisk to mix the jaggery in evenly. Sprinkle in some lemon juice to taste and stir in more water to make the dal thinner. Set the dal aside until you’re ready to add the dhokli.
Making the Dough
While your lentils are cooking add all the dhokli ingredients to a large bowl, except for hte water. Mix well with your fingers. Add the water slowly and knead the dough to make it soft and smooth. Split the dough into four equal parts and form a dough ball.
Dust the dough ball with wheat flour to make it easier to work with and roll the dough until it is slighly thick. Use a knife or pizza cutter to cut the dough into diamond-shaped pieces. Change the instant pot setting back to saute mode, on low, and bring the dal to a boil. Once the dal is boiling, place the dhokli pieces in the pot and stir thoroughly. Be sure to add one piece at a time to keep the dough from clumping together.
Cover and cook until the dhokli is cooked all the way through, about 10 minutes. Stir the dal and dhokli about every three minutes to keep the dumplings from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
Once the dish is ready, spoon into bowls and garnish with cilantro before serving. This entree is best served warm, and you can add a spoonful of ghee to make the meal richer.
You can substitute the ghee for cooking oil if you want to make the dish vegan. You can also make the dish especially warm and hearty by adding a cinnamon stick and about four cloves; this is ideal if you’re eating the dish in teh witner.
To add more nutrition to the meal, you can add a handful of fresh chopped spinach about a minute before serving.
This dal dish is usually made from leftover dal and is often enjoyed on the weekends to give housewives a break from cooking. If you have a busy schedule and want to make the most of your leftovers, adding dhokli to the dal is a great choice. If you’re making the dish from leftovers, it will take you abouut half an hour to prepare. You can also use the extra dhokli dough to make masala paratha. The paratha tastes great with chunda or picked vegetables and can make the dal dish more filling.
While you can enjoy this dal entree alone, you can also serve it with roasted papad or steamed rice. Green chiles and fresh lime wedges are also tasty garnishes that bring out the tart and spicy elements of this dal dish. You can also add some raw peanuts to the top of the dal for an earthy flavor and satisfying crunch that goes perfectly with dal.
Keep in mind that the dal should be watery so the dhokli will have enough moisture to cook in. It is also important to prepare all the elemnts of the dish the same day so the dumplings won’t become mushy. Even though the original recipe doesn’t call for additional vegetables (aside from spinach if you prefer), you can make the dish healthier by adding beans, carrots or peas. This makes the dish more colorful as well.
This dish is fairly low in carbohydrates (about 26 grams) and is a reliable source of protein. You can adjust the salt content in the meal to your liking or to help you maintain a low-sodium diet.
Mung or red lentil can be used to make dal and dhokli without changing the cooking process. You can also use Urad or Urad Gota to make this dish.
One serving of dal with dhokli is about 366 calories. The dish is free of cholesterol and contains around 10 grams of protein.
This dish can be eaten by itself and is traditionally topped with fresh coriander leaves and lemon juice. Shaak, a combination of spices vegetables, and roti are delicious additions to this Gujarati meal, which is traditionally vegetarian.
You can store the dal in the refrigerator for up to two days if the stew is in an airtight container. You can also make the dish a few days ahead of time and refrigerate it for the flavors to meld.
It takes about 15 minutes to prepare all the ingredients for the dal and dhokli recipe. The stew takes around 25 minutes to cook, so the entire meal should be done in less than 45 minutes.