The wonderful Maunika came to our kitchen a few weeks ago to teach us to make Dal Dhokli – a vegan, Indian dish which involves cooking an easy, homemade gram-flour based pasta in a turmeric dal. This recipe takes time but it’s so much easier than it sounds and trust me, it is so worth it – one of the best meals we’ve eaten in a while!
For the Dal;
200gms split pigeon peas
1.2 litres warm water
Pinch of turmeric
Pinch of salt
For the spice mix:
2 tbsp vegetable oil
Pinch of asafoetida
1 tsp mustard seeds
1⁄2 tsp cumin seeds
1” cinnamon stick halved
1 medium white onion thinly sliced (80gms) 2 green chillies slit lengthwise
12 curry leaves
1 tbsp grated ginger
1⁄2 tsp turmeric powder
1⁄2 tsp mild red chilli powder
2 tsp tamarind paste
2 tbsp jaggery or soft brown sugar
200mls warm water
Freshly chopped coriander
1 small red onion finely chopped (60gms)
Juice of a lemon
For the dhoklis;
125gms wholemeal flour (or you can swap with plain flour) 2 tbsp chickpea flour
1/2tsp mild red chilli powder
1⁄2 tsp turmeric powder
1⁄2 tsp carom seeds (ajwain) Salt to taste
1 tbsp vegetable oil
Put the dal to boil in a small sauce pan with the 1.2 litres water, turmeric and salt. Bring to a boil and simmer cooking for 45-50 minutes until it’s cooked all the way through. Cool slightly and using a hand blender or potato masher mash the dal to a coarse consistency. It shouldn’t be too smooth.
Now to make the dhoklis mix together all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and knead to a smooth dough. Cover with cling film and rest until the dal is ready.
In a heavy bottom sauce pan heat the oil on medium heat. Add asafoetida and mustard seeds letting them splutter for a few seconds followed by cumin seeds. Fry for 10 seconds and add the cloves and cinnamon stick frying for a further 30 seconds. Add the sliced onion and fry for 6-7 minutes. Now add the green chillies and most of the curry leaves saving some for garnish. Stir for a few seconds and add the ginger. Fry for 30 seconds stirring well making sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom. Add the powdered spices and stir well for a few seconds. Tip in the cooked dal and stir well. Add the tamarind paste and jaggery/sugar. Stir well to mix it in. Season to taste. Bring to a boil and simmer gently on a low heat for 7-8 minutes.
While the dal is simmering knead the dhokli dough well. Pour about 2tbsp oil in a bowl to help roll them out. Divide the dough into 4 equal portions and dab some oil on each dough ball rolling out the portion into 6” diameter. With the help of a pizza cutter or knife cut out strips of 1” width.
Now add the additional water to the dal and simmer for a minute. Add these dhokli strips one at a time to the dal. Stir gently making sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom. Cook the dhokli strips for 12-15 minutes stirring a few times between the cooking process and add a little more water only if it’s too thick.
Turn the heat off and serve warm. Ladle into bowls topped with fresh coriander, little red onion and lemon juice.
Here’s Maunika’s website: http://maunikagowardhan.co.uk/cook-in-a-curry/