Dal-Dhokli is an easy instant pot recipe that makes a delicious and wholesome one pot meal. It is an ultimate comfort and well-balanced bowl of food for a cold or rainy afternoon. A traditional delicacy, where bite sized dough dhokli or dumplings are pressure cooked, along with spicy and tangy lentils. Dal dhokli makes a perfect, nutritious, comforting, and delicious meal for a busy day. The best part is, you can enjoy it anytime of the day - from breakfast to dinner.
What is Dal Dhokli?
Dal dhokli is a very popular delicacy from the western states of India. The concept of dal dhokli is where small bites of dough are cooked together in lentils. Every region has a little variation in terms of the type of lentils used, shape of dough dumplings and spices.
In Gujrati dal dhokli, dough is first rolled into a thin chapati and then cut into pieces. This is then added to toor/arhar dal. The addition of jaggery makes Gujrati dhokli a bit sweet in flavor. The Maharashtrian version of dal dhokli is known as ‘Varan Phal’ also referred to as Chakolaya. 'Varan' in Marathi means dal and 'phal' stands for wheat dumpling. A special spice mix known as goda masala, and the use of kokum make Varan Phal different from other regional versions of dal dhokli.
The version of dal dhokli, that I am sharing is known as Rajasthani dal dhokli. In Rajasthani dhokli, the dough is not rolled to make chapati. Instead the dough of dhokli is divided into small balls. These dough balls are then cooked in a spicy urad-chana dal, panchmel dal or often mung dal (dal – lentil soup). This Rajasthani dal dhokli is more on the spicier side, compared to Gujrati dal dhokli, which some people (like me) find rather sweet.
Rajasthani Dal Dhokli with Methi and Mixed Flours
Rajasthani dal dhoklis are usually made using whole wheat flour dhokli or dumplings. To make it more nutritious, I make the dhokli dough using four different flours (whole wheat, bajra, besan and almond flour). Adding methi leaves and other flours mentioned above makes this whole recipe more nutritious and wholesome. Making dhokli this way is a great to enhance the overall flavors of the recipe.
Bajra or Pearl Millet offers an amazing combination of good carbs, along with ample amounts of dietary fiber that make it an ideal grain to incorporate in our lifestyle. The hot potency or virya nature of bajra is praised for numerous health benefits in Ayurveda. The anti-inflammatory properties and the presence of Omega-3 oils, make Bajra an ideal food for winter. Therefore, I try to incorporate bajra or bajra flour in my family's diet on a regular basis. I have only sub half of whole wheat flour with bajra flour. To make it gluten free skip, the whole wheat flour completely and use only bajra flour.
The addition of besan (Gram Flour) and almond flour in the dough enhances the texture and flavors of dhokli as well.
Methi Leaves or Fresh Fenugreek are my favorite greens to incorporate during winter time. Fenugreek is enriched with antioxidants helps reduce cholesterol levels, lower inflammation and helps to build the immune system. Methi leaves also help in lowering blood sugar levels. If you like fresh methi leaves, then there are a few more recipes on the blog which might interest you: Multigrain Baked Methi Mathri, Methi Muli Corn Dumplings, Methi Matar Malai Paneer, are some examples.
Good for Lactating MOMs
Since fenugreek and pearl millet both are considered to be galactagogues food, this recipe makes a great meal for breastfeeding moms. I would suggest using mung or red lentils instead of urad lentil when cooking for new moms. The two lentils mentioned above are easier to digest compared to urad lentils.
Which lentil is best for Dal Dhokli?
Different regions prefer different lentils. In Rajasthan, one can relish dal dhokli in combination with Urad-Chana Dal, Panchmel Dal (Five lentil mix) or split mung dal with skin. In the Gujrat and Maharashtra regions, dal dhokli is cooked in toor/arhar dal. So, there is no right or wrong choice when it comes to lentil combinations. Use the one you enjoy the most.
This time I have used a combination of split Urad-Chana dal. When it comes to pairing with methi and bajra, I enjoy urad-chana dal the most. I have used split skinless urad in this recipe but I often make this using split Urad Gota or split Urad with skin. No changes are needed in the cooking time and process, when using any of these lentils.
How to make Rajasthani Dal Dhokli in a Pressure Cooker?
In India Dal dhokli is cooked in a pressure cooker only. So , if you don’t own an Instant Pot yet you can still enjoy this delicious recipe. For making dal dhokli in a pressure cooker, first start by making Dhokli or dumplings.
Steps to make Dhokli:
- Gather all the ingredients for dhokli per the recipe below.
- In a mixing bowl, add all the dhokli ingredients except water. (to keep it vegan skip on yogurt)
- Mix well, slowly add some water as needed to make a stiff dough.
- Divide the dough to make small marble sized balls. Press them like a disc and set aside.
Prepare Dal in pressure cooker to cook Dhokli:
- Gather all the ingredients for dal per recipe below.
- Heat the pressure cooker on medium heat, add ghee (to keep it vegan use oil), hing and cumin seeds to it.
- When they start to splutter, add green chilies, ginger and chopped onion, sauté until onions are translucent.
- Add chopped tomatoes and sauté until mushy. Now add all the spices and sauté them for a minute.
- Add rinsed urad and chana dal along with 4.5 cups of water and let the water start boiling.
Add prepared dhokli to dal:
- Once the water comes to boil, add all the prepared dhokli to the boiling dal.
- Close the lid and pressure cook for 20 minutes.
- Keep the heat low so that whistle does not go off. Otherwise, on high heat there are chances that water may leak from pressure valve.
- Switch off the heat after 20 minutes and let the pressure release naturally.
- Add some garam masala, lemon juice and chopped cilantro.
Piping hot ‘Rajasthani Dal Dhokli’ is ready to devour.
Perfect Recipe for Meal Prep
Dal dhokli makes a perfect meal prep recipe for extremely busy days or when you are not in the mood for elaborate cooking. Double the batch of dhokli and freeze half of it for another time. Dhokli freezes really well. To freeze uncooked dhoklis, place a parchment paper on cookie sheet. Place dhokli in a single layer on top of the parchment paper. Then top the first layer with another parchment paper sheet and place another layer of dhokli. Finally, wrap the cookie sheet with cling wrap and place into freezer for 6-8 hrs. Once frozen, transfer the frozen dhokli in a freezer safe container (or reusable silicon bags such as STASHERS).
When you want to cook dal dhokli simply dump frozen dhokli in your choice of dal, pressure cook and enjoy. Scrumptious dal dhokli will be ready in no time.
Vegan Rajasthani Dal Dhokli
Authentic recipes for Rajasthani Dal Dhokli are not vegan, because yogurt in the dough. Also, ghee is used for tadka/tempering. To make vegan dhokli, you can either use any dairy-free yogurt or skip the yogurt and add ¼ teaspoon baking soda while making dough for dhokli. For tadka, substitute any vegetable oil you use in your cooking. With these two changes, you can also enjoy the vegan version of this wholesome and nutritious Rajasthani Dal Dhokli.
Tips to remember when making Dal Dhokli:
- Dough for dhokli needs to be stiff.
- For vegan version, skip the yogurt in the dhokli dough and add baking soda.
- For gluten free version, substitute whole wheat flour with same amount of bajra flour.
- Double the dough batch of dhokli and freeze half of them for next quick meal.
- Add prepared dhokli only after water starts boiling, not to cold or warm water.
- Dhokli tends to absorb a lot of water, so add enough water while cooking. This also gets thick upon getting cold.
- Split skinned Urad, Urad Gota, split skinned Mung and Red lentil can be used as a substitute without making any changes in the cooking process.
So, let’s not wait anymore and give this authentic Dal Dhokli recipe a try!!!
Dal Dhokli with Methi and Mixed Flours - An Easy Instant Pot Recipe
Ingredients for Dhokli:
Oil and Spices:
Dairy and Produce:
- ¼ cup Yogurt dahi (use vegan yogurt for vegan version)
- ½ cup Fresh Methi Leaves 50 grams, chopped
- ¼ cup Water adjust as required
Ingredients for Dal:
- 1 cup Split Black Gram Skinless Urad Dal Dhuli
- ¼ cup Bengal Gram Chana Dal
Instructions to make Dhokli:
- In a mixing bowl add all the flours and spices and mix together.
- Now add yogurt, oil, chopped methi leaves and start kneading into a dough. (If making vegan, either use vegan yogurt or skip yogurt and add ¼ teaspoon of baking soda.)
- Add water as required in small increment to knead a stiff dough.
- Let the dough rest for 15 minutes and then divide into small equal portions.
- Take each portion first roll into a log and the divide into marble sized small balls.
- Press each ball with heel of your palm to make a disc.
- Repeat the process until done. Keep the prepared dhokli aside until ready to use.
Instructions to make Dal:
- Wash the lentils for 3-4 extracts of water and put it aside until ready to use.
- Start the instant pot on SAUTE normal heat mode and add ghee/oil in it. Add asafoetida cumin seeds and cloves to hot ghee/oil and let the seeds splutter.
- Then add green chili, ginger and sauté for 30 seconds.
- Next, add diced onion and sauté until translucent.
- After that add tomatoes and sauté until soft and mushy.
- Add all the spices except garam masala and lemon juice. Mix them.
- Now add washed and rinsed lentils to sauteed onion tomato mixture.
- Add water 4-5 times the volume of lentils using the same measuring cup and give it a good stir. Switch the sauté mode heat to more and bring water to boil.
- Once water starts boiling, add prepared dhokli one by one so that they don’t clump to each other.
- Give it a good stir and cancel the sauté mode.
- Close the instant pot lid with vent in sealing position.
- Press MANUAL or PRESSURE COOK mode for two minutes with NPR (natural pressure release). When float valves pop down, open the lid, and check the consistency. If it is too thick add some water to adjust the consistency and bring it again to boil using sauté normal heat mode.
- Add garam masala, lemon juice and chopped cilantro.
- Rajasthani Dal-Dhokli is ready to be served.