Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Dal Dhokli

I love potluck get-togethers for the opportunities galore to indulge in long heartwarming conversation with friends and the chance of laying hand on new recipes completely novel and unheard of. I have seen my friends get into an experimental mode and bring in the best of dishes they cook on potlucks. It becomes increasingly difficult to catch notice for culinary skill in the midst of a crowd of well-versed cooks. In one of such get-togethers, one of our Marathi friends cooked Dal Dhokli which was first of its kind of preparations I ever had. The dhoklis were soft, melt-in-the mouth texture and the dal was exquisitely brilliant with a hint of curry leaves and the taste of coconut prevailing over.
With the longing to try it on my own, I quickly noted down the recipe in my memory as she hurriedly ran over the ingredients and described the process in a nutshell. When the first time I tried it at home, I made the mistake of adding dhoklis more than needed and the turnout was very thick in consistency. Further, I messed up with the estimation of the number of kokums to be added and so the tartness was predominating in flavour, not quite up to my taste bud. My first attempt marked out the points I goofed up and hence while cooking it next time, I was more cautious. Happily, my second attempt turned out to be successful and satisfactory. One good thing about dal dhokli is it is a meal in itself and you can have it all by itself or with rice or roti. 

Ingredients:                                                     Cooking time: 40 minutes
ü  1/2 cup moong lentil
ü  1/2 cup toor dal
ü  1 onion (julienned)
ü  1 tomato (chopped)
ü  1 tbsp ginger (chopped)
ü  1 tbsp garlic (chopped)
ü  4-5 green chillies
ü  1 tsp turmeric powder
ü  1 tsp dry red chilli powder
ü  1 tsp coriander powder
ü  Salt to taste
ü  2 tbsp peanuts
ü  7-8 kokums
ü  2-3 small pieces of palm jaggery or adjust the amount according to your taste
ü  2 tbsp grated coconut (optional)
ü  Coriander leaves, for garnishing
For sauté:
ü  1/2 tsp cumin seeds
ü  1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
ü  2 whole dry red chillies
ü  1 string of curry leaves
For Dhokli:
ü  2/3 cup whole wheat flour
ü  1 1/2 tbsp besan or gram flour
ü  1 tsp ajwain or carom seeds
ü  1/2 tsp turmeric powder
ü  1/2 tsp dry red chilli powder
ü  1/2 tsp salt
ü  1 tsp oil
ü  Water as required
1) Wash the lentils together under running water repeatedly. Then put the lentils in a pressure-cooker covered in 2 cups of water. Add turmeric powder, dry red chilli powder, green chillies, coriander powder, kokums, jaggery and tomatoes.  Snap the lid in place and cook up to one whistle.
2) When the pressure cooker comes back to normal temperature, carefully remove the lid and using a masher, whip the dal to mashed consistency.
3) Meanwhile, as pressure cooker is cooling down, mix all the ingredients as mentioned under dhokli except water and knead in slow hand. Then add water, little at a time, and knead dough.
4) Divide the dough into two tennis ball size balls. Dab a bit of oil on the rolling board and roll the balls out into circular discs resembling the shape of paratha. Swipe the knife across the disc in crisscross motion and cut out dhoklis in diamond shapes. Keep them aside.
5) Heat oil in a wok. When oil turns hot, add the ingredients for sauté and allow to sizzle.
6) Add ginger-garlic and shallow fry till garlic changes color. Add onion and fry till onion becomes translucent.
7) Add peanuts; stir a while till peanuts are little roasted. Pour the cooked dal into the wok. Add salt and 2-3 cups of water. Bring the lentil to a boil.
8) Toss the dhoklis in and add grated coconut. Cook covered on medium low heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes till dhoklis are cooked.
9) Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with rice or roti. 

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