November 22, 2009

Daal… But Not as you Know it!

daal dhokri

Here I come with another traditional Gujarati recipe for you! When I was little I was totally obsessed with pasta, I could have eaten it day in and day out. So, to satisfy my cravings for pasta my mum used to make this dish for the family. It is a simple Gujarati daal with a little twist- dhokri! Dhokri come in all forms, shapes and sizes (I will go into a little more detail about this later- using some recipes to illustrate to you what I mean!) However, for the purpose of this recipe, ‘dhokri’ simply refers to a type of Indian pasta made with chickpea flour, self raising flour and spices- delicious!

This warming daal is a self-contained meal for a lazy day, but also teams up perfectly with plain rice for a special dinner with your family and friends. I could eat it anytime of the day- the soft, spicy dhokri soaked in hot, sour daal along with delicate, sweet bursts of green peas is for me, the epitome of comfort food. So who needs minestrone when you can have daal dhokri with peas!?

Daal Dhokri with Mutter


1 cup tuver daal (or toor daal a.k.a. yellow split pigeon peas- the oily kind)
6 cups hot water
1 ½ tbsp’s ginger, minced
2 green chillies, minced
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp turmeric
½ cup peas
Juice and zest of one lemon
1 tsp cinnamon powder
Salt to taste
Sugar to taste
2 tbsp chopped coriander
1 tbsp grated coconut

tuver daal oily

Tuver daal (the oily kind)

For Tempering (vaghar)

1 tbsp ghee
1 large piece cinnamon
5-6 curry leaves
¼ tsp asafoetida (hing)
2 star anise
¼ tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
Around 10 peanuts
Around 8 cashew nuts

For the Dhokri

1 cup chickpea flour (besan)
1 cup self raising flour (if you’re using plain flour add ¼ tsp baking powder)
½ tsp salt (or to taste)
½ tsp sugar (or to taste)
½ tsp chilli powder (or to taste)
½ tsp turmeric
1 small pinch ajwain seeds (info on this spice coming soon!)
Juice of ½ lemon and zest
2 tbsp sunflower oil
Hot water to bind this to firm dough


1. Boil the tuver daal in the 6 cups water until you are able to pass it through a sieve. Pass all of this through a sieve into a large bowl/pan and set aside.

daal dhokri 6

I took some out in a bowl to illustrate what I mean here. Gujarati tuver daal should be liquid, not like the whole daal you may be familiar with

2. In a separate pan heat the ghee and add the mustard seeds (wait for them to pop), cumin seeds, asafoetida, curry leaves, peanuts, cashews, star anise and cinnamon.

3. Add the strained daal mixture, ginger, chillies, tomato puree, turmeric, lemon juice (and zest), cinnamon powder, salt and sugar. Allow to simmer while you make the dhokri.

4. In a bowl mix all of the ingredients for the dhokri and bind into a firm, smooth dough.

daal dhokri dough

Smooooooooth and firm to the poke!

5. Divide into four portions and roll out (using extra plain flour) into something resembling a thick chapatti. Cut into diamond shapes (I used a pizza cutter… shortcut!).

dhokri 3

I find a pizza cutter does the job quickly and neatly. You may find you have some odd bits of dough at the edges… Just add these to the daal too

6. Bring the daal to a rapid rolling boil and one by one drop in the diamond shaped dhokris. Repeat this process until you have run out of dough- but remember to keep the daal at a constant rolling boil. You may also need to add extra boiling water as it is likely to thicken while the dhokri is cooking- this is normal. Add the peas and boil for another 5-8 minutes and when you have done taste it to make sure you can taste hot, sweet and sour. Also check there is enough salt in the daal because of the extra water you may have added when boiling the dhokri.

7. Add the chopped coriander and grated coconut (optional) and serve.

Enjoy on its own or with rice- It tastes good with either! Also, all of this boiling softens all of the peanuts and cashews up, making them soft and almost creamy in texture when you bite into one! I love mine with a big dollop of cooling yogurt… Now get me a spoon, please!

daal dhokri 2

I’m LOVING all of your recipes for the Create for a Chilli Chopper Competition- It’s going to be SO hard to pick a winner! Please do keep sending them in!

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34 responses to “Daal… But Not as you Know it!”

  1. Divina Pe says:

    Ooohh, lovely. Sanjana, that looks really, really good. This is a perfect anytime of the day for me. You used a lot of chickpea flour in your cuisine. That's one of the ingredients that I really need to find as well as the tuver daal.

  2. Cool Lassi(e) says:

    Hey, I dunno if my first comment went commenting again..Looks delish. Dhokri is new to me. Is it like the Indian version of Tagliatelle? It certainly looks like a flavored version of it. Enjoy!

  3. Kathy Gori says:

    looks wonderful..being italian,I grew up eating pasta so i'm always looking for something different..this looks very interesting!

  4. meeso says:

    This is new to me, and really looks like a tasty one 🙂

  5. Dolly says:

    Simply Delectable!!!!. Love your Presentation. Ur pictures are so crisp and clear and beautiful.Its like I can almost touch ur dish. I've heard of Daal Dhokri but never made it though. I'm surely going to try this recipe.

    Also would love to send in an entry for your "Create for a Chilli Chopper Competition".

  6. prasu says:

    lovely post sanjana….totally new….thanks for sharing.

  7. Anncoo says:

    Looks great and very nice presentation 🙂

  8. MaryMoh says:

    That's such a beautiful soup to indulge. It's looks so delicious and healthy. I'll become healthier coming here 🙂

  9. Sushma Mallya says:

    Beautiful pics,and loved this type of dal as well..surely will try this soon

  10. Suparna says:

    hi sanjana,
    Thanks for stopping by, u have a nice blog with yummy recipes. This dal is totally new to me, thanks for sharing the recipe

  11. Kanchan says:

    Even I love this Gujrati dish I always used to ask my gujju frnds mom to prepare it for me! Never tried @ home but would back on your recipe for sure !!

  12. Priya says:

    Wow such a delectable dish.. dhokri is completely new for me…fantastic dish..

  13. Rohini says:

    Once I had a Gujarathi thali lunch @ a well known restaurant in Chennai (No, I am not telling the name!!) It was such a bad experience and we were baffled if the cuisine itself tastes so bad, or did the chef's poor knowledge caused it??

    After coming to see your posts on Gujarati food, now I understand it was the Chef who made me hate it… Thanks for clarifying the minute aspects of Gujarati cooking, otherwise I would have gone to hell for cursing this wonderful cuisine! 🙂 Will make all of these one day and have a perfect gujarati lunch and wash my sins! 😀

  14. Nandini says:

    Mmm…! Yummy dhokri! Looks delicious and appetizing!

  15. SE(Denufood) says:

    yummy….this looks so delicious…its similar to what we make too but instead we steam the dough(made into small pieces)and use it in amti..your version looks great..and nice pictures..

  16. Vrinda says:

    That looks so yummmm…and very new to me…Would lov to taste this…

  17. Vegetable Matter says:

    Sounds wonderful. Love the flying saucer bowls, too!

  18. kothiyavunu says:

    Wonderful new recipe to me sanju…looks delicious will try it..:)Nice presentation.

  19. experimentalculinarypursuits says:

    This is such a great recipe! I've never had this type of pasta before and I really really really want to come over so I can have some of yours now! 🙂

  20. Tasty Trix says:

    This looks fantastic. Poppa Trix and I were looking at your blog the other day and we really want to make everything!!

  21. Supriya says:

    I love Dal Dhokli…& all Gujrati food for that matter, Sanjana. Yours looks very tasty.

  22. Raje says:

    That looks so delicious and healthy. Never tried this kind of daal, must try.

  23. Stacy says:

    I had never heard of Tuver daal, thanks for sharing! And fabulous pictures as always!

  24. Sh... says:

    That's again a wonderful post. The excellent narration itself has sufficed my carving for this wonderful subzi..?? or can I call it a soup..??.
    Do I get this daal in any grocery store?? Could you tell me the difference between this one and the usual toor dhal that is always available, with respect to the cooking and taste.

  25. Sandhya Hariharan says:

    Worth a try… surely.. This is surely not the regular dal

  26. Anonymous says:

    In english Tuver dal is known as pidgeon peas.
    Wonderful another guju dish


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  28. Oraphan says:

    What an interesting dish! This looks fantastic and sounds really good. I love all your beautiful photos, thanks for sharing:)

  29. Anonymous says:

    Tuver dal is also more commonly known as Toor dal.

  30. Sanjana says:

    Thank you all for your great, positive feedback and also for your fabulous suggestions!

  31. Shivani says:

    wow like this one In Maharashtra we make same sort of curry but the dhokri is simple made up of whole wheat flour, thats it and no other spices in it. And the dish is called ' Cha Ku Lya '

  32. Shobha says:

    This is must on my menu this week.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Do visit my blog at:

  33. leanne says:

    mmmm i love dal dhokli, but i have never used oily toor dal. i was just wondering if you could tell me how to prepare before cooking? love your blog! and i also come from leicester so its nice to see local talent x

  34. Sanjana says:

    Thanks for the great feedback, everyone. Leanne, it's great to have someone so local visit! I just wash the daal in plenty of cold water, rinse and repeat around 8-10 times, then soak for any period from 30 minutes to 3 hours. I use a pressure cooker to make the daal as above. Hope this helps! I also have a recipe for Gujarati Daal here: Simple Gujarati Daal.

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