Ingredient Feature

Daal Dhokli – The Delicious Dish You Won’t Find at Most Indian Restaurants

July 2, 2014

My baby brother was a very finicky eater and liked to play with his food. The only dish he would enjoy eating was daal dhokli, a staple Gujarati (region in India) dish, and one you’ll rarely find in a restaurant.

Daal Dhokli is made of 2 components:

1. Daal – a traditional lentil stew

2. Dhokli – diamond-shaped steamed wheat tortilla (roti) pieces

I got really excited when Rachna invited me over for a Foodstand daal dhokli dinner party. It had been a long time since I had this special dish. It was a wonderful evening reminiscing childhood memories with new friends and good conversations. She shared with me her mother’s recipe for this one-pot-wonder,  and I’m sharing it with you below. Double the recipe and make a big pot for a dinner party to save leftovers for a hearty lunch the next day.

Daal Dhokli (serves 4 to 5)

Time: 40-60 minutes

What you need:

Ingredients for the Daal (lentils)

  • 1 cup Toovar Daal (aka  arhar dal, tuvar dal, yellow split peas, tur dal and split pigeon pea)
  • 2-3 tbsp unsalted peanuts
  • 2 tbsp ghee (or oil of your choice)
  • 1-2 chopped tomatoes
  • ½ tsp fresh green chili
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • ¼ tsp garam masala powder
  • 5 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt to taste
  • few fresh sprigs of cilantro (coriander)

Ingredients for the Dhokli (whole-wheat roti)

  • 2 cups of whole-wheat flour (flour of your choice)
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil room temp (oil of your choice)
  • ¼ tsp of turmeric
  • ¼ tsp chili powder
  • ¼ tsp cumin powder
  • Salt
  • Water

Spices for Vaghaar (Tempering):

  • ¼ tsp mustard seeds
  • ¼ tsp cumin seeds
  • ¼ tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida (hing)
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 red chilies


  • Steam cooker or rice cooker
  • Wooden board
  • Rolling pin
  • Large pot
  • Tiny pot
  • Pizza knife

Making the meal (You’ll be multitasking!)

Start by steaming the daal:

  • Wash and soak daal with peanuts (at least 20 minutes, up to overnight)

  • Put daal and peanuts into a steam cooker or rice cooker with ~2 cups of water plus some salt

  • Steam (~30 minutes in rice cooker) until the daal is cooked and mushy

While the daal is steaming, prepare the dough for the dhokli:

  • Mix all ingredients in a bowl

  • Add a little water and knead so that the dough feels like putty (not too soft or hard)

  • Knead the dough for at least 5 minutes to ensure is mixed thoroughly, cover it and set aside

While the dough is resting, start boiling the daal:

  • Transfer the steamed daal and peanuts into a big pot

  • Add at least 2 parts water to 1 part daal and start boiling on high heat

  • Add tomatoes, green chili, ginger, and all spices (except garam masala)

  • Keep the daal boiling (stir occasionally), for approximately 10 minutes

Make the dhokli, while the daal is boiling:

  • Roll the dough into several munchkin-sized balls

  • Roll the ball into a circle using your rolling pin (sprinkle flour on the board and dough to make sure the dough doesn’t stick)

  • Keep it thicker than a tortilla or roti

  • Cut squares or diamond-shapes with your pizza knife

  • Drop the cut up roti into the boiling daal pot as you make each one

  • Let the dhokli cook, stir every 2-3 minutes for 15 minutes

  • Add lemon juice and garam masala when the dhokli is nearly cooked (you’ll know the dhokli is cooked in the same way you know pasta is cooked)

Top off your daal dhokli pot with a vaghaar

  • In a small pot add a little oil of your choice to high heat

  • Add vaghaar spices except the hing

  • Let the spices make a popping noise, then quickly add the hing

  • Immediately pour the contents of the pot on top of the daal dhokli pot

  • Stir for a bit and serve

Enjoy this wonderful Gujarati dish garnished with a bit of cilantro (coriander) leaves!


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