Summer seems to have arrived before time this year. It is unseasonably warm. One feels like simple, low oil meals. Discs of spicy dough cooked in lentil soup, Dal Dhokli makes for a wholesome bowl of joy. It is quick and simple to make too!
Thinking about it made me wonder how this came to be first made. I have a feeling that in the good old no-refrigerator days, a housewife may have been left with some excess chapatti dough and dal. And she came up with this brilliant idea of rolling and cutting small diamonds or discs of dough and boiling them with the dal. Voila! It is made with a mixture of dhuli and chhilke waali moong dal in Rajasthan and with toor dal in Gujrat and Maharashtra. It is made with a dash of the black Goda Masala in Maharashtra and called Varan Phala. Thanks to my friend Kirti Tabib’s delicious looking Varan Phala post, I was tempted to make this the very same day! I made it using Kirti’s recipe with quite a few inputs from my friends Ruchita and Pragya.Thanks girls.
For the dal
½ cup of toor daal (pigeon pea lentils) or a mixture of husked and dehusked moong lentils (dhuli aur chhilke waali moong dal)
2 cups of water
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp turmeric/haldi powder
Pressure cook all of the above. Let cool and mash well.
While the dal cooks, prepare the dough for dhokli.
2 cup whole wheat dough/aata
2 tbsp gram flour/besan
2 tbsp rice flour
¾ tsp salt
¼ tsp turmeric/haldi powder
½ tsp coriander/dhaniya powder
½ tsp red chilli powder/lal mirch powder
2 tbsp oil
2 tsp ghee
A pinch of sugar
A handful of fresh coriander, chopped fine
1 large green chilli, chopped fine
½ tsp ginger, minced
1 tsp carom seeds/ajwain
Mix all the listed ingredients and knead into a dough. Keep covered till the dal is done.
For making Dal Dhokli
1 Tbsp Oil
¼ tsp asafoetida/heeng
½ tsp cumin/jeera
A pinch of mustard seeds/rai
1 inch piece of cinnamon/dalchini
½ tsp salt
½ tsp red chilli powder
½ tsp coriander powder
¼ tsp cumin powder
¼ tsp Maharashtrian Goda masala (optional)
1 medium tomato,chopped fine
1 large green chilli, a small piece of ginger and 3 cloves of garlic, ground coarse
1 tbsp tamarind pulp (skip if making with moong dal. Use lemon juice instead)
A small piece of jaggery/gud (or as per the desired sweetness)
8-10 curry leaves (skip if making with moong dal)
In a large kadai or heavy bottomed pan, heat oil and add cinnamon,cloves, asafoetida, cumin and mustard seeds.
Add curry leaves, the coarsely ground green chilli, ginger and garlic mixture and the dry spices (salt,red chilli powder, turmeric powder,coriander powder and goda masala)
Add tomatoes and cook till the tomatoes are pulpy.
Add the boiled dal and 4 cups of water.
Take a lemon sized ball from the dhokli dough, roll out as thick as a chapatti and cut dhokli into desired shapes- diamonds or discs.
Drop the dhokli into boiling dal and cook stirring in between for fifteen minutes.
The dhokli floats to the top when done. Taste for doneness. It should not taste doughy.
Once done, squeeze some lemon juice, top with fresh green coriander and serve hot.