Dal Dhokli is a hearty one-pot meal in which spiced wheat flour dumplings are simmered in a flavorful sweet and spicy lentil soup. This meal is called Dal Dhokli in Gujarat and Rajasthan, and Varan Phal or Chakolya in Maharashtra.
With its sweet and spicy flavor, Dal Dhokli is undoubtedly a staple comfort food in many states of India. It's also incredibly nutritious. It is an ideal one-dish dinner or a lazy afternoon lunch.
Traditionally leftover daal was used to make easy Daal Dhokli recipe the next day. Add water, more lemon, salt, and jaggery, bring to a boil and add the dhokli pieces. It is a great way to make a quick and easy dinner on busy days.
This simple dal dhokli recipe is so comforting, and always a great detox meal after a vacation or illness recovery, similar to Khichdi.
Dal Dhokli is naturally vegan and loaded with lots of fiber and protein which is a plus! Skip adding ghee in the end to keep it vegan.
What is Dal Dhokli?
Dal dhokli is a typical Indian delicacy found in the western states of Indian - Gujarat, Rajasthan and Maharashtra.
Small bites of spiced dough are cooked together in lentils to make dal dhokli. Every region (or even every household) has its own perfect recipe. For many vegetarians, dal is their main source of protein, and it's a dish that's cooked virtually every day in an Indian home.
Dal Dhokli is prepared by making dal, and then thin rolled dough bites are added to the boiling dal to make a delicious one-pot lentil stew. The ingredient list for this recipe is long, but trust me, it is not a difficult recipe.
Dal Dhokli is like an Indian lasagna soup. It is like homemade whole wheat pasta cooked in a lentil stew. So much healthier.
I am sharing the Gujarati dal dhokli recipe which has a slightly sweet flavor due to the use of jaggery. Below I will share the recipe to make Dal Dhokli in the instant pot and the stovetop pressure cooker.
Ingredients you’ll need
- Toor Dal: Traditionally, Dal Dhokli is made with Toor dal, also called Arhar dal or Split pigeon peas. You can also make with split masoor or moong dal or use a combination. Always wash daal until the water is clear.
- Whole Spices: Mustard and cumin seeds, cloves, bay leaf, asafoetida, curry leaves, dry red chili pepper. These whole spices add a wonderful aroma and warmth to the dish.
- Ginger & garlic: You can use paste or grate the ginger/mince the garlic.
- Spices: You’ll need turmeric, red chili powder, coriander powder and Garam Masala.
- For dhokli: Use whole wheat flour and Gram flour along with spices such as turmeric, red chili powder, carom seeds, salt and oil.
- Jaggery: It will add up the perfect sweetness to the dal. You can also replace with equal amount if sugar.
- Peanuts - Make sure to use raw peanuts in this recipe.
- Lemon juice
- Cilantro: to garnish.
How to make Dal Dhokli?
- Start the instant pot or stovetop pressure cooker in sauté mode and heat the ghee/oil in it. Add all the tempering ingredients. Let them cook for 30 seconds.
- Then add the raw peanuts. Saute for a minute.
- Add the dal, water, and spices. Stir well.
- Close the lid with a vent in a sealing position. Next, change the instant pot setting to manual or pressure cook mode at high pressure for 8 mins. After the instant pot beeps, let the pressure release naturally. (If using stovetop pressure cooker, cook for 4 whistles)
- While the dal is cooking, make the dhokli.
- Once dal is cooked, add the jaggery. Using a whisk, mash the dal. (A hand blender is not required)
- Sprinkle the lemon juice. Stir in more water to thin the dal. Set aside until the dhokli is ready.
Prepare Dhokli Dough
- While the dal is cooking, in a large bowl, add all the dhokli ingredients except water and mix them well using your fingers.
- Now slowly start adding water and make the dough smooth by kneading it. Knead the dough until it is smooth and soft.
- Divide the dough into 4 equal parts and make a dough ball.
- Dust with wheat flour if necessary and roll the dough to a little thick consistency. Then cut into diamond shapes using a pizza cutter or knife.
- Now change the setting of Instant pot to saute mode on low and bring the dal to a boil.
- Once the dal has reached a boil, add the dhokli pieces and stir well. Make sure to add one piece at a time, so the dough does not clump together.
- Cover and cook for 10-12 minutes, or until the dhokli is completely cooked. Make sure to stir in between at 3 minute intervals. This will ensure the dhokli do not stick to the bottom of the pot.
Finally, garnish with cilantro and serve.
Dal Dhokli is best served warm. You can top with a spoonful of ghee when serving (skip for vegan variation).
Tips to make perfect Dal Dhokli
- I did not soak the toor dal in this recipe. If you soak the dal for 2 hours, you can reduce the cooking time to 5 minutes.
- You can use sugar in place of jaggery. Start with half the quantity and adjust to taste.
- Make sure to add one dhokli (dough pieces) at a time to the boiling dal. That way the dough will not all clump together. Also, remember to stir at 3 minute intervals once you have added the dhokli.
- You can store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for two days. Because the Daal Dhokli thickens as it cools, you'll need to add more water while reheating it to get it back to a stew-like consistency. In a saucepan, reheat, often stirring to avoid sticking.
- Although vegetables are not generally used in this recipe, you can always add vegetables like carrots, peas, beans, and other vegetables to make it an even healthier meal.
- This recipe can be made Jain by skipping garlic and ginger.
Yes, you can skip ginger and garlic paste.
Yes, you can store it in an airtight container in the fridge it will be good for two days.
You can also make the dal ahead (up to 1-2 days) and add the dhokli's and cook on the day of serving.
I am sure you will love this easy Dal Dhokli as much as we did. Here are more Gujarati recipes that you might like:
Easy Dal Dhokli Recipe
Tempering for dal
Spices for dal
- Start the instant pot in sauté mode and heat the ghee/oil in it. Add all the tempering ingredients. Let them cook for 30 seconds.Then add peanuts. Saute for a minute.Add the dal, water, and spices. Stir well.
- Close the lid with the vent in a sealing position. Next, change the instant pot setting to manual or pressure cook mode at high pressure for 8 mins. After the instant pot beeps, let the pressure release naturally. Open the lid. (Note: you can prepare dhokli while the dal is cooking)
- Add the jaggery. Using a whisk, mash the dal. (A hand blender is not required)Sprinkle the lime juice. Add more water. Set aside until the dhokli is ready.
Prepare Dhokli Dough
- In a large bowl, all the dhokli ingredients except water and mix it well.Now slowly start adding water little at a time and make the dough smooth by kneading it. Knead the dough until it is smooth and soft.
- Divide the dough into 4 equal parts and make a dough ball.Dust with wheat flour if necessary and roll to a little thick consistency. Cut into diamond shapes.
- Now change the Instant pot setting to saute mode on low and bring the dal to a boil. Once the dal has reached a boil, add the dhokli pieces one by one and stir well.Cover and cook for 10-12 minutes, or until the dhokli is completely cooked. Stir in between at 3 minute intervals.
- Finally, garnish with cilantro and serve. You can optionally top with a dollop of ghee in the serving bowl.
- Follow the same steps as above in a stovetop pressure cooker to make the dal on medium-high flame. Pressure cook for 4-5 whistles, then let the pressure release naturally. Bring the dal to a boil on medium heat, then lower the heat and add the dhokli pieces one by one. Cover with a lid and let it simmer on low flame for about 10-12 minutes until the dhokli is cooked.
Note: Nutrition values are my best estimates. If you rely on them for your diet, use your preferred nutrition calculator.