Life is hectic ! For everyone ! The run on the mill state of life has left no space for us to sit down in peace and sip a cup of tea or read a book or let alone be with our thoughts !! So what should be done in order to achieve some comfort in this chaos ?
We cook !!
We cook a dish which is nothing less than mother’s love served in a bowl ! Today we make “Dal Dhokli”or “Spiced freshly made flat whole wheat pasta in lentil soup”.
This dish is a staple in all Gujarati households in India. It is nothing less than a revelation that something so simple and uncomplicated can taste so delicious ! A healthy and nutritious meal in a bowl, containing good amount of protein, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins. The cherry on top being, it can be made in flat 30 minutes. It is my go to recipe when I am looking for an answer to the most arduous question in every cook’s life — “What to make for dinner ?”
- Dal / lentil gravy needs to be watered down greatly so that the pasta cooks in it and makes it thick and soupy.
- Never release the pasta in a flat lentil/dal water. It should be boiling rigorously when pastas are immersed. This will ensure that they don’t sit at the bottom of the vessel and or stick to each other.
- I use jaggery as sweetener as its healthier but sugar too can be used for flavouring. Taste may differ.
- Garcinia Indica / Kokum can be replaced with tamarind/imlii water but it is more healthier.
- Dhokli / Pasta has to be rolled very thin. Thick pastas are not only unappetising but they will take longer to cook.
For the gravy
2 Cups Toor Dal / Pigeon Pea lentil
4 cups of water or more to water down the lentil gravy.
2.5 Tsp Green chilli ginger paste
Tiny pinch of Red Chilli Powder
Tiny pinch of Cumin and Coriander Powder / Dhana Jeera Powder
1 Tsp Mustard Seeds/ Rai
1 Tsp Cumin Seeds / Jeera
1/2 Tsp asafoetida/ Hing
1 Tsp Turmeric / Haldi
1 Tbsp Oil/Ghee
6 pieces of semi dried peels of Garcinia Indica / Kokum
2 Tbsp Jaggery
Freshly chopped coriander
For The Dhokli/ Pasta Dough
2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
2 Tsp Red Chilli Powder
2 Tsp Cumin & Coriander Powder / Dhana Jeera Powder
1 Tsp Turmeric/Haldi
1/2 Tsp asafoetida / Hing
3/4 Tsp Carom Seeds/ Ajwain
1/8 Cup Oil
Salt to taste
1 Cup Water
Wash and pressure cook the lentils/dal with enough water.
While the lentils are cooking, prepare the pasta dough using the ingredients mentioned in the list. Keep aside for 15 mins.
While the dough is resting, mash the cooked lentils to a smooth paste and water it down to a thin translucent watery consistency. Add green chilli ginger paste, tiny pinch each of red chilli powder & cumin & corainder powder, salt to taste. Give it a stir and place it back on the hob.Add garcinia indica / kokum and jaggery to the soup.
Heat a small pan with 1 tbsp ghee or oil and add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, asafeotida, turmeric. Add the tempering to the watery gravy. Let this come to a rigorous boil.
Roll out the dough balls to a very thin flat bread and cut them into squares or diamonds. Immerse them into the lentil soup only when the soup is boiling rigorously. Pastas should be cooked in about 10 to 15 mins and the gravy will thicken and change colour to a more warm and welcoming yellow.
Garnish with freshly chopped coriander and serve hot with a bowl of rice and salad on the side.