Dall(dal) Dhokli (lentils with homemade flat dumplings)
Dall Dhokli is an all time comfort food served with rice in most Gujarati homes on cold days. The dall is usually made hot and spicy but also with lemon or tamarind and jaggery added to it to give it the sweet and sour taste. Sometimes I make extra dall so that I can use the left over dall to make dall dhokli the next day.
Ingredients for the Dall (3-4 servings) :
One cup Tuvar dall – (split pigeon peas)
Half a can of crushed tomatoes ( or Passata or 5-6 fresh ripe tomatoes)
1 tbs tomato puree
1 tablespoon oil
1 small cinnamon stick (1 inch or less)
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp salt
1 tsp turmeric
3-4 green chillies – sliced in the middle (or less –depending on taste)
1 tsp crushed ginger
Small bunch of coriander
A dozen fresh curry leaves (don’t worry if you can’t get these)
1 tbs fresh lemon juice (bottled lemon juice is fine too)
1 tbs jaggery (gor) (you can use sugar if you can’t get jaggery)
Handful of raw peanuts
1 heaped tablespoon dall masala (Optional)
Ingredients for the dhokli (flat dumplings):
1 cup of wheat flour (chapatti flour)
1 cup of chick pea flour (besan flour)
1 tsp carom seeds (ajma)
I tsp salt
½ tsp chili powder (optional)
2 tsps oil
This is what Toor Dall / Tuver Dal (split pigeon peas) looks like:
1. Wash the Toor Dall / Tuver Dal (split pigeon peas) in warm water set it to boil. If you are using a pressure cooker – add 6 cups of water. Cook until the whistle sounds (usually 20-25 minutes), lower the heat and and allow the pressure cooker to cool. If cooking in a saucepan, add 6 cups of water and allow it to cook for 20 – 30 minutes or until the dall gets cooked. You may need top add more water if the dall doesn’t soften.
2. Whilst the dall is cooking:
a) prepare the tempering (vaghar or tadka) for the dall. Blend the tomatoes. If using fresh tomatoes, prick them and slightly boil them to remove the skin and blend them. Add the salt, turmeric, sliced green chillies, crushed ginger, sugar or jaggery, tomato puree, lemon, peanuts to the crushed tomatoes.
b) Prepare the dhokli flour by sieving both the flours in a mixing bowl. Add the salt, carom seeds, chili powder and oil. Using some warm water, make a firm dough and allow this to rest until the dall is simmering.
4. Once the dall is cooked, blend it well using a blender. Tip: If using a pressure cooker, make sure that the cooker has cooled down, slowly reduce the air pressure and then open the lid.
5. In a fresh saucepan, heat the oil. Add the cumin seeds, cloves and cinnamon stick to the oil. Allow the cumin seeds to go brown and add the crushed tomato mixture to the oil and stir it well.
6. Now add the blended dall to the mixture. Each family has their own tastes and you can adjust this to suit yours. You can add some boiled water to the dall if you like your dall to be of a thinner consistency.
7. Add the fresh coriander and curry leaves to the mixture. Once this starts to simmer, add the dall masala if you have it.
8. Whilst the dall is simmering, time to prepare the dhoklis.
9. Divide the dough into 6-7 balls. 10. Roll out each ball like a chapatti. 11. At this stage you can cut the rolled out chapatti into diamonds and add it to the simmering dall or…..
12. OR you can roast the chapatti lightly on a griddle before cutting it into small diamonds and add them to the simmering dall.
13. The important thing to remember is that the dall should be simmering and hot.
14. The dhoklis will rise to the top when ready. Simmer for 5-6 minutes and the dhoklis should be ready.