Dal Dhokli is a warm and comforting food from Gujarat. One day, during Singapore’s Circuit Breaker, I woke up with a craving for a dish I had never made. So I decided to make it and this dish pleasantly surprised me. It was warm and comforting and a wonderful addition to my repertoire. You can have this as a hearty soup like we did or over rice as some people do.
1 cup Toovar Dal, washed
½ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
4-5 cups water plus more, as needed
1 tsp jaggery
2-3 tbsp lemon juice
4 tbsp raw peanuts
1 cup whole wheat flour or atta
2 tbsp chickpea flour or besan
1 tsp caraway seeds or ajwain
2 tbsp ghee
1 tbsp oil
2 green chillies, slit lengthwise
1 tsp mustard seeds
¼ tsp asafoetida powder
1 sprig curry leaves
Salt to taste
Finely chopped coriander leaves to garnish
Soak about 2 tbsp of the raw peanuts in hot water for 15 minutes, drain and keep aside.
Wash the dal thoroughly and cook it in the pressure cooker along with ¼ tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp red chilli powder, 2 tbsp peanuts, the tomato which has a cross made on the stem and about 3-4 cups of water.
Pressure cook it for some 4-5 whistles until the dal is completely mushed. If using the stove top, cook until the dal has broken down completely.
Let the pressure be released and then once the cooker can be opened, carefully remove the tomato, peel the skin which should have started to come out and then put the tomato back into the dal.
Whisk the dal until the dal, tomatoes and the peanuts are completely mixed into a mixture. Keep aside.
Kneed the atta, besan, ajwain, ¼ tsp turmeric powder, oil and salt into a soft dough. Keep aside.
Add the jaggery and another cup or two of water and mix well. Put this back into the flame and cook the dal on a slow simmer.
Make small balls from the dough and roll it into a thin circle or chapati.
Cut the chapatti into largish pieces or even strips.
Add these pieces into the simmering dal and add more water if needed.
Let the pieces cook for another 10 mins on a low flame on simmer.
In a small pan heat the ghee and once the ghee is warm, add the mustard seeds and let it crackle. Then add the asafoetida and then the balance peanuts, the curry leaves and the green chilli let the leaves crackle and the chilli start to brown.
When the peanuts become crisp, pour this tempering over the Dal Dhokli and switch off the gas. Add the lemon juice and garnish with coriander leaves.
Notes: This dish does not keep well as the dough pieces tend to stick together after a while. If you plan on serving this later, then make the dal and about 10 minutes before serving, add the dough pieces and simmer before serving. Add more water if needed as the dough pieces will soak up the water in the dish.