Authentic Gujarati Dal Dhokli (Instant Pot & Stovetop)

My family’s recipe for dal dhokli is one of the coziest traditional Gujarati comfort foods.  Made in an Instant Pot or stovetop ,it combines the goodness of lentils (dal) with wheat flour dumplings (dhokli) simmered in a flavorful, spiced broth with a secret ingredient.
This dish offers warmth, comfort, and a satisfying blend of textures and flavors.

Bowl of Gujarati dal dhokli with cilantro leaves.

Dal dhokli is a traditional Indian dish staple of Gujarati cuisine. It consists of cooked spiced wheat flour dough (dhokli) simmered in a spicy, tangy lentil soup (dal). 

The wheat flour dough is soft and chewy and absorbs the flavors of the savory broth as they cook. They provide a substantial and satisfying element to the dish, reminiscent of dumplings in soups or stews in other cuisines.

  • One pot meal: can be served on its own or with some basmati rice, Indian mango pickle,  or a side of papad. 
  • Cooking methods: It can be made on a stovetop or in an Instant Pot.
  • Vegetarian and vegan
White bowl of dal dhokli with a spoon.
Topped with fresh cilantro. Serve dal dhokli warm on its own or with basmati rice, Indian mango pickle, and/or papad.

Key Ingredient Notes

I’ve divided the ingredients into three parts: dal, tadka (cooking of spices in oil), and dhokli.  It won’t seem overwhelming to make the dish in these three parts. 

Just have ingredients measured out ahead of time. It’ll make the process simpler.

Dal Ingredients

Ingredients for dal dhokli in small plates and bowls.
  1. Toor Dal (Pigeon Pea Lentils): Soak the toor dal for at least 30 minutes before cooking to reduce cooking time and ensure even cooking. Substitute: If toor dal is unavailable, use split yellow lentils (moong dal) or chickpeas (chana dal) as alternatives.
  2. Fenugreek Seeds: Adds depth and complexity to the taste of the dal; try not to skip it!Tip: soak the fenugreek seeds with the toor dal.
  3. Green Chili Paste and Ginger Paste: I keep these frozen frozen in my fridge.  Feel free to substitute fresh green chili or ginger.  Just make sure to chop or mince them finely.
  4. Crushed Tomatoes:  I use canned crushed tomatoes for consistency and flavor concentration.  Feel free to use fresh tomatoes as a substitute.
  5. Desiccated Coconut: An ingredient unique to my mom’s recipe! Desiccated coconut adds richness and texture to the dal.  
  6. Raw Peanuts: Adds texture to the dal.  They provide a slight crunch.
  7. Spices: Turmeric powder, garam masala powder, salt, cumin-coriander powder, and sugar Tip: You can make your cumin-coriander powder by dry-roasting 1 part coriander seeds to ½ part cumin seeds and grinding them into a fine powder.

Dhokli Ingredients

This part is simple.  Whole wheat flour, spices, and water make a quick dough.

Dhokli ingredients in a bowl and plate.

The wheat flour dough is rolled out thinly and cut into small pieces or squares, then added to the boiling dal and various spices.

Tadka Ingredients

Ingredients for tadka in plates.
  1. Oil:  Use a neutral oil with a high smoke point for tempering. I use canola oil. You can also use ghee (clarified butter) for added richness and flavor.
  2. Mustard Seeds: Mustard seeds add a nutty flavor and mild heat to the tadka. When heated in oil, they release their aroma and flavor.
  3. Cloves and Cinnamon Sticks: Crushing or bruising the cloves and cinnamon sticks slightly before adding them to the oil helps release their essential oils and flavors.
  4. Curry Leaves:  Gives a unique taste that can’t be substituted. Add them to the hot oil and temper until they turn crisp and fragrant.
  5. Asafoetida: Adds an umami flavor.

Make the Dal

Soak toor dal and fenugreek seeds overnight or at least 2 hours.  Drain and rinse just before use.

Use an egg beater, hand blender, or whisk to turn the dal into a smooth, creamy texture.

Soaked toor dal and fenugreek seeds in a bowl.
Soak toor dal and fenugreek seeds overnight or atleast 2 hours. Drain and rinse just before use.
Egg beater breaking apart the cooked toor dal.
Use an egg beater or whisk to turn the soaked dal and fenugreek seeds into a smooth creamy texture.

Place toor dal, fenugreek seeds, and salt in the inner pot of the Instant Pot and add water. 

Add remaining spices. Pressure cook for 7 minutes and let the pressure release naturally.

Creamy toor dal in a pot.
Here’s the texture I had after using an egg beater.
Spices added to dal in pressure cooker.
Add remaining spices. Pressure cook for 7 minutes and let pressure release naturally.

Meanwhile, make the dhokli

While the dal cooks, you can make the dhokli.

Combine whole wheat flour and spices in a mixing bowl. Create a well in the center and pour in the oil. Blend the ingredients with either clean hands or a spoon until well incorporated. Rub the mixture between your fingers to ensure thorough mixing of the oil.

Add water and knead for five minutes to form dough.  Cover and let rest for five minutes.

Whole wheat flour, spices, and oil in a pan.
Combine whole wheat flour and spices in a mixing bowl. Create a well in the center and pour in the oil. Using either clean hands or a spoon, blend the ingredients together until well incorporated. Rub the mixture between your fingers to ensure thorough mixing of the oil.
Dhokli dough in a bowl.
Add water and knead for five minutes to form dough. Cover and let rest for five minutes.

Separate the dough into four equal-sized portions. Roll out each portion thinly.

Use a knife to cut each rolled-out dough portion. I did squares to keep it simple. You can do diamonds, triangles, or any shape.

Four portions of dhokli dough.
Separate the dough into four equal-sized portions.
Rolling out dhokli dough with a rolling pin.
Roll out each dough portion thinly.
Cut dhokli dough into squares.
Use a knife to cut each rolled out dough portion. I did squares. You can do diamonds, triangles, any shape.

Tips For Making Dhokli

  • Consistency of the Dough: Ensure that the dough for the dhokli is smooth, pliable, and free from lumps. Adjust the amount of water as needed to achieve the right consistency.
  • Resting Time: Allow the dhokli dough to rest for a few minutes before rolling it out. This helps relax the gluten and makes the dough easier to work with.
  • Rolling Technique: To ensure uniform cooking, roll out the dhokli dough thinly and evenly. Dust the rolling surface with flour to prevent sticking.
  • Cutting Shapes: Dhokli can be cut into shapes such as squares, diamonds, or circles. Choose a shape that suits your preference and traditional style.
  • Cooking Method: Dhokli can be cooked directly in the simmering dal broth or boiled separately before adding to the dal. Adjust the cooking time to ensure the dhokli is tender but not overcooked.

Finish it Off With Tadka

Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Add mustard seeds and let them crackle before introducing cloves and cinnamon sticks to the pan. Stir gently as the spices release their aroma for about 30 seconds. Toss in fresh curry leaves and sauté until they become crisp. Sprinkle a pinch of asafoetida into the pan and stir well, cooking for 10-15 seconds until fragrant.

Remove the pan from heat and immediately pour the tadka over the prepared dal dhokli, gently stirring to distribute the flavors.

Add dhokli pieces to the Instant Pot.  Close and pressure cook for 3 minutes to help meld the flavors together.  Let it naturally release pressure.

Tadka in a small frying pan.
Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Add mustard seeds and allow them to crackle before introducing cloves and cinnamon sticks to the pan. Stir gently as the spices release their aroma for about 30 seconds. Toss in fresh curry leaves and sauté until they become crisp. Sprinkle a pinch of asafoetida into the pan and stir well, cooking for an additional 10-15 seconds until fragrant.
Tadka in dal.
Remove the pan from heat and immediately pour the tadka over the prepared dal dhokli, gently stirring to distribute the flavors.
Dal dhokli in an Instant Pot.
Add cut dhokli to the Instant Pot. Close and pressure cook for 3 minutes to help meld the flavors together. Let it naturally release pressure.
Dal dhokli in a white bowl with a steel spoon.

Tadka Tips

  • Tempering Technique: Heat the oil over medium heat and add the mustard seeds. Once the mustard seeds crackle, add the cloves, cinnamon sticks, curry leaves, and asafoetida. Allow the spices to sizzle and release their flavors, but be careful not to burn them.
  • Customization: Feel free to customize the tadka based on your preferences. For additional flavor and heat, you can add other spices, such as dried red chili peppers, fenugreek seeds, or whole cumin seeds.
  • Timing: For the stovetop version, add the tadka to the dal before serving to preserve its freshness and aroma. Pour the hot tadka over the cooked dal and dhokli and stir gently to incorporate the flavors.

Serving Suggestions

I added chopped fresh cilantro. Serve dal dhokli warm on its own or with basmati rice, Indian mango pickle, and papad.

Some people like to place a bit of ghee on top when serving.

Bowl of Gujarati dal dhokli with cilantro leaves.

Authentic Gujarati Dal Dhokli (Instant Pot & Stovetop)

Shilpa Joshi
My family’s recipe for dal dhokli is one of the coziest traditional Gujarati comfort foods.  Made in an Instant Pot or stovetop ,it combines the goodness of lentils (dal) with wheat flour dumplings (dhokli) simmered in a flavorful, spiced broth with a secret ingredient.
This dish offers warmth, comfort, and a satisfying blend of textures and flavors.
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Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course dinner
Cuisine Gujarati
Servings 6 servings
Calories 248 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Instant Pot
  • 1 small frying pan for tadka
  • 1 rolling board
  • 1 Rolling Pin

Ingredients
  

Dal

  • ¾ cup toor dal 150g
  • ¼ tsp fenugreek seeds methi seeds
  • tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp cumin coriander powder
  • ½ tbsp green chili paste or finely chopped
  • ½ tbsp ginger paste or finely chopped
  • ½ cup crushed tomatoes (canned) or 1 medium tomato chopped
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • ¼ cup desiccated coconut 14g
  • ¼ cup raw peanuts 40g
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp garam masala powder

Dhokli

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour 145g
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp cumin coriander powder
  • ½ tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tbsp oil I used canola
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 tbsp water TOTAL: ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons water
  • ¼ tsp asafoetida

Tadka/Vaghar (spices cooked in hot oil)

  • 3 tbsp oil I used canola
  • ¼ tsp mustard seeds
  • 3 cloves
  • 3 small pieces cinnamon
  • 8 curry leaves
  • ½ tsp asafoetida

Instructions
 

Instant Pot Dal Dhokli

  • Soak toor dal and fenugreek seeds overnight or atleast 2 hours. Drain and rinse just before use.
  • Place toor dal, fenugreek seeds, and salt in inner pot of Instant Pot and add water.
  • Once cooked open Instant Pot and use an egg beater or whisk to turn the dal into a smooth creamy texture.
  • Add remaining spices. Pressure cook for 7 minutes and let pressure release naturally.
  • Combine whole wheat flour and spices in a mixing bowl. Create a well in the center and pour in the oil. Using either clean hands or a spoon, blend the ingredients together until well incorporated. Rub the mixture between your fingers to ensure thorough mixing of the oil.
  • Add water and knead for five minutes to form dough. Cover and let rest for five minutes.
  • Separate the dough into four equal-sized portions. Roll out each portion thinly.
  • Use a knife to cut each rolled out dough portion. I did squares to keep it simple. You can do diamonds, triangles, any shape.
  • Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Add mustard seeds and allow them to crackle before introducing cloves and cinnamon sticks to the pan. Stir gently as the spices release their aroma for about 30 seconds. Toss in fresh curry leaves and sauté until they become crisp. Sprinkle a pinch of asafoetida into the pan and stir well, cooking for an additional 10-15 seconds until fragrant.
  • Remove the pan from heat and immediately pour the tadka over the prepared dal dhokli, gently stirring to distribute the flavors.
  • Add cut dhokli to the Instant Pot. Close and pressure cook for 3 minutes to help meld the flavors together. Let it naturally release pressure.
  • Added chopped fresh cilantro. Serve dal dhokli warm on its own or with basmati rice, Indian mango pickle, and/or papad.

Nutrition

Calories: 248kcalCarbohydrates: 29gProtein: 7gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gSodium: 797mgPotassium: 109mgFiber: 6gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 104IUVitamin C: 27mgCalcium: 33mgIron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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