Not only is this daal from Western India a one-pot wonder, it’s also packed with mouth-puckering hot, sweet and sour flavours, good protein and comforting carbs. The spicing is gentle and aromatic with star anise, cinnamon, cloves and ajwain-flecked pasta.
200goily tuver daalalso known as split pigeon peas
2 1/2Lhot water
1 1/2tbspgrated ginger
2-3green chilliesfinely chopped
1x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
Juice of two large lemons
1tbspjaggeryor brown sugar
To temper the daal:
For the chickpea pasta (dhokli)
Boil the daal in a large pot of water (around 1.5L) until very soft and tender, about 40 minutes. You can also use a pressure cooker or an Instant Pot for this if you have them. Note that it will take less time if you use the latter. Allow to cool slightly and then pass through a sieve into a large bowl to ensure a smooth, golden liquid. You can also use an immersion blender for this. Don't skip this step as a smooth consistency is what makes for a good Gujarati daal.
Give the pan a rinse and quick dry. Heat the oil in the pan and add the mustard seeds. Wait for them to crackle and then add the cumin seeds, star anise, cinnamon, cloves, curry leaves, nuts and asafoetida in quick succession. Stir briefly.
Quickly add the ginger, chillies, tomatoes, turmeric and ground cinnamon. Cook for 5 minutes and then pour in the liquid daal and 1L water. It might sizzle and splutter a little so work carefully. Season with lemon juice, salt and sugar. Simmer for 15 minutes whilst you get on with making the dough for the dhokli.
For the chickpea pasta (dhokli):
In a bowl mix all of the ingredients for the dhokli and knead into a firm, smooth dough, about 8 minutes by hand. Cover the dough with a clean, damp tea towel and rest for 10 minutes.
Divide the dough into four portions and roll out (using extra plain flour) into something resembling a thick chapatti, around 2mm thick. Cut the dough lengthways from the left, and then across from the right, into diamond shapes. TIP: I use a pizza cutter for quick and clean shapes. Set aside and repeat for the rest of the dough. You'll have a few scraps of dough at the edges of each round. You can add them in as they are.
Bring the daal to a rapid rolling boil and one by one drop in all the diamond shaped dhoklis. Remember to keep the daal at a constant rolling boil so the dhokli don't stick to the bottom of the pan. Stir them gently to avoid sticking. You may need to add extra boiling water as it is likely to thicken while the dhokli is cooking. This is normal. When you have done taste it to make sure it's spicy, sweet and sour.
Ladle into bowls and top with fresh coriander.
Pack leftovers away into an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 48 hours. The Daal Dhokli will thicken once cool so when reheating, you'll need to add some extra water to bring it back to a stew-like consistency. Reheat in a saucepan, stirring often to avoid sticking.Freeze leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 months.