This shortcut dal dhokli takes minutes to make! No rolling dhoklis required!
We are making dal dhokli today! Only, in this shortcut recipe, I’m using store-bought lasagna noodles instead of making dhoklis/dumplings from scratch (just hear me out) and it works SO well! This dal is made with mostly Indian pantry staples, perfect for a weeknight meal or on a day when you’d rather be doing anything other than standing in the kitchen.
Okay. Fair warning. This is not your mama’s dal dhokli (or your dad’s or your Gujarati family friend’s). In fact, my version might make your mama scratch her head and/or roll her eyes a bit…
But guess what! This dal dhokli is actually fantastic and approximately a billion times easier to make than the one you grew up eating. The dal itself is SO flavorful that it makes up for the lack of homemade spiced dhoklis. It’s sweet, spicy and tangy. Really. It’s good. And did I mention absurdly easy?
What is dal dhokli?
Dal dhokli is a popular Gujarati dal typically made by simmering homemade spiced dhoklis (noodles/dumplings) in a sweet, spicy and tangy lentil stew. It can call for ingredients like toor dal, tamarind paste, jaggery and homemade whole wheat noodles. My recipe calls for one pretty major change – rather than using homemade noodles – we’re using lasagna noodles (regular wheat noodles or gluten-free noodles)!
What do you mean lasagna noodles instead of dhoklis? Have you lost your mind (again), Ashley?
I mean, is it really that crazy? Did I sheepishly text/call several Gujarati friends/aunties asking if this was crazy? Did I go so far as to drop off this dal (and nervously await feedback) to make sure it first had their approval?
Yes (to all of the above), I’m telling you to use plain lasagna noodles instead of the spiced homemade dhoklis you’re probably used to eating if you’ve had this dal before. But I swear, it’s going to be okay. The dal has enough flavor to make up for the fact that it calls for lasagna noodles (I’ve even added some ajwain directly to the dal, since it’s missing from the dhoklis).
So no, I have not lost my mind (again), but believe me when I say y’all are about to lose your minds over this dal. It’s so much easier to make than the real deal dal dhokli and it tastes pretty darn close to the original.
Can I make this gluten-free?
That’s the beauty of using lasagna noodles! You can buy gluten-free noodles, which is what I do for myself. I’ve tested this dal dhokli (many times) using both regular lasagna noodles AND gluten-free lasagna noodles. It is good however you make it. My toddler and husband will eat the wheat noodle version and they like it. I eat the gluten-free version and I like it. It’s a very likable dal.
How do I make this with leftover dal?
SO easily. If you’re using leftover dal just make sure you have around 4 cups of dal/liquid, add the lasagna noodles and cook for 5 minutes at high pressure. Naturally release pressure for 5 minutes, then open the valve to release any remaining pressure. I’ve added this info to the recipe card as well.
Just a few things to know
You can adjust this dal to your preferred consistency by adding more water at the end if you prefer a thinner dal. If you prefer more dal to noodles, use 6 sheets of lasagna, but if you prefer a noodle-y dal, use 8 sheets. I (predictably) belong to the 8 sheet club. 🤓
Another difference between this dal and traditional dal dhokli is that in my shortcut version, you’ll see some dal floating around in the soup. I wanted to keep this a one pot recipe and cook both the dal and the noodles at the same time, so you can’t really blend the dal the way you normally would. Again, this is a shortcut recipe which means there are certain minor sacrifices, though I definitely did not sacrifice flavor – if anything, I amped it up a bit to make up for anything lacking.
Feel free to adapt this recipe to your taste. A family friend suggested adding a cinnamon stick and whole cloves to this dal (really good!). Another friend suggested adding leafy greens to the dal. Have fun with it.
I am sure you will love my version of dal dhokli. Again, it’s not authentic (you know, lasagna noodles and all) but it’s easy, convenient and incredibly flavorful and comforting. You’ll love it. And even though I’m absolutely positively certain you’ll love it, it wouldn’t hurt if you happened to leave me a comment after you try it… just confirming what I already know, of course. 😏
While this shortcut dal dhokli calls for lasagna noodles instead of homemade dhokli it definitely has the same essence. It’s flavorful, comforting and very easy to make.
- ½ cup toor dal, soaked for 1–2 hours*
- 2 tablespoons ghee/oil
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
- ¼ teaspoon hing (I use this gluten-free brand and it’s potent – use a pinch to start if you want)
- 1 sprig curry leaves (approx. 15-20)
- 1 tablespoon garlic paste/minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon ginger paste/minced ginger
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne or red chili powder, adjust to taste
- ¼ teaspoon ajwain
- ¼ cup peanuts or cashews (can omit if nut-free)
- 1–2 roma tomatoes, diced (I like 2)
- 1 tablespoon tamarind paste (this is the brand I love and recommend)
- 4 cups water
- 6–8 sheets oven-ready lasagna noodles (wheat or gluten-free), broken into pieces
- 2 tablespoons jaggery (or coconut sugar/brown sugar)
- Cilantro, garnish
- Press sauté, add ghee/oil to the pot. Once it’s hot, add cumin seeds, mustard seeds, hing and curry leaves.
- Once the cumin seeds begin to brown, add the garlic, ginger, spices, peanuts and stir-fry for a minute, then add the tomatoes. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the tomatoes start to break down.
- Add the toor dal, tamarind paste, water and mix well, then add the lasagna noodles.
- Secure the lid, close the pressure valve and cook for 7 minutes at high pressure.
- Naturally release pressure for 10 minutes then open the valve to release any remaining pressure.
- Stir in jaggery, garnish with cilantro and serve.
- *I suggest first soaking the dal so that it cooks well with the noodles.
- If using leftover dal: make sure you have 4 cups of dal/liquid in the instant pot, add the lasagna noodles and cook for 5 minutes at high pressure. Naturally release pressure for 5 minutes, then open the valve to release any remaining pressure.
- For a variation, try adding a cinnamon stick and whole cloves to the dal. You can also stir in some leafy greens before serving.