Does it ever happen to you on a weekend that you want to have a home cooked meal and there is nothing left in the house...not a single veggie or a packet of pasta or even Maggie noodles? You just don't want to eat any take out food or even get out of the house for that matter. Well, we experience this quite a few times. Sometimes after a long busy week, all we want on a weekend is to be at home...watching movies, documentaries etc or simply sleep for long hours in the afternoon. On days like this Dal-Dhokli is a real savior. I always have the required ingredients on hand and can have a wholesome meal without much efforts.
Make dal the way you like and add dhokli, which basically is a dumpling made of whole wheat flour. To make it further nutritious, try filling it with some sauteed greens. Take a small piece of dough, roll it out and put the sauteed greens in the center. Roll out another piece and place it on top, press all sides firmly - like a ravioli(so that greens don't come out when dropped in dal). Then drop these dumplings in dal.
Since I am a Maharashtrian, my dal is a typical maharashtrian curry (called Amtee) to which I add a couple more spices. To this, add dhoklis and let the dal boil. Dhoklis will get cooked in dal.
Ingredients for Dal:
1/2 cup Toor dal (cooked until soft and mashed - Pressure cook in 1/2 cup water, add a pinch of turmeric and asafoetida while cooking)
2-3 green chillies (cut into couple of pieces)
5-6 curry leaves
1/2 tsp goda masala (a maharashtrian style masala made up of different indian spices)
1/4 tsp garam masala (optional)
2 tbsp tamrind puree (or less depending on how you like your curry)
1.5 tbsp jaggery
salt to taste
1 tsp oil
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds (optional)
1/2 tsp grated ginger root
Ingredients for Dhokli (dumplings):
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp red chilli powder (more or less as per taste)
1/4 tsp carom seeds (optional)
To make dough for dhoklis, mix all these ingredients and form a firm dough (not too tight). Add about a teaspoon of oil and knead the dough properly.
For dal (curry), make the tempering. Add to it green chillies, curry leaves, dal, spices and all the remaining ingredients. Let it simmer for a while. While dal is cooking, start making the dumplings. Grab a piece of dough and roll it out. Cut it into small squares. Follow the same procedure for the remaining dough. Now, drop these in dal and crank the heat up. Let the dal boil for about 10 minutes while the dumplings cook. Dal-dhokli is ready to eat.
Top it of with some ghee, chopped onion and tomato (optional...you can add just some ghee or eat without any toppings, which I normally do on such "empty-fridge" weekends), and sprinkle some sev if you like. Serve hot.
Please note- If you don't have green chillies or curry leaves, you can totally skip them, and add red chilli powder instead.