Instant Pot Shortcut Dal Dhokli (gluten-free option!)

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This shortcut dal dhokli takes minutes to make! No rolling dhoklis required!

instant pot dal dhokli

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?

instant pot dal dhokli

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.

instant pot dal dhokli

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.

instant pot dal dhokli

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.

instant pot dal dhokli

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. 😏

Enjoy!

Instant Pot Shortcut Dal Dhokli (Gluten-free option!)

instant pot dal dhokli

Instant Pot Shortcut Dal Dhokli (Gluten-free option!)

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. 
4.94 from 16 reviews
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Servings 4

Ingredients
 

Spices

  • 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

Instructions
 

  • Press sauté, add ghee/oil to the pot. Once it’s hot, add cumin seeds, mustard seeds, hing and curry leaves.
    dal dhokli
  • 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.
    dal dhokli
  • Add the toor dal, tamarind paste, water and mix well, then add the lasagna noodles.
    dal dhokli
  • 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.

Video

Notes

  • *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.
Did you make this recipe?Tag @myheartbeets on Instagram and hashtag it #myheartbeets!

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instant pot dal dhokli

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Hi, I’m Ashley. Thanks for being here! I truly believe that food brings us closer together. Gather around a table with good food and good people, and you’ll have the ingredients you need to create some happy memories. My hope is that you find recipes here that you can’t wait to share with family and friends.

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Comments

  1. Roopa Gandhi says

    Hi Ashley
    I made this while back and it came out really well.
    Could I also make this with regular lasagna noodle sheets instead of oven ready ones?
    If so what would need to be adjusted -proportion of liquid cooking time?
    Appreciate your help!

  2. Neha Thakkar says

    Ridiculously easy and that’s why we make it often. Of course love it and being a Gujju that says something

  3. Sima says

    5 stars
    This is such a great way to get the great take of dhokli, without the effort! Such a yummy cheat. This recipe has become one of our regulars!

  4. Lopa says

    5 stars
    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe Ashley! I’ve made it several times & it never disappoints. I made it today w/onions, potatoes & green beans, it is so good!

  5. Diana says

    Ashley, any other dal types that would work well if we don’t have toor dal? I seem to use toor the most, which is why I’m out of stock, but have many other lentils to use in the pantry.

  6. Elgee says

    I’ve made this several times already. Love it! I like it with lasagna noodles, but since I’m really supposed to avoid many different grains I have since made it using red lentil pasta in ziti shape. That cooked well using the same time as the original recipe. Thanks for the recipe. This is a keeper!

  7. Mish says

    5 stars
    Great recipe. Worked perfectly the first time I made it when I followed the release steps exactly. Tastes so authentic even though it’s using pasta. I wanted to share one unexpected result that happened the second time…due to the pandemic I try to go for 30-45min walks with my family at the end of the day. I thought I’d set up & turn on the instant pot and come home to dal dhokli but due to the length of time of our walk…all the liquid was absorbed by the pasta (tried with 16oz of bow tie pasta. Instead of dal dhokadi in its more liquid form, we had the most amazing pasta with dal dhokadi sauce 🙂

  8. Ganesh Kuber says

    5 stars
    This one had been on my list of to do for a while. Made it today with a few changes: added a small onion chopped at the beginning, I just like onion. Made it a bit soupy by adding extra water. Was out of lasagna pasta so used whole wheat organic bow tie pasta, worked just fine.

    Great results, thanks for a such a delicious recipe. Dinner done with a bowl of it (well actually two 😜).

  9. Manasa says

    4 stars
    This recipe sounded so simple, I had to try it! I confess, I’ve never had the actual dish but I guessed one cannot go very wrong with a dal based recipe.. Am very glad that I tried it. I made it twice in the past 10 days and both times everyone at home loved it. Thank you so much for yet another fool proof delectable recipe! Do you think this dish will freeze well in case I double the recipe ?
    Thanks again for the really amazing recipe!!

    • My Heart Beets says

      Manasa, I’m so glad you made this and that everyone loved it! Thanks for letting me know 🙂 As for freezing, I haven’t tried so I can’t say for sure but my guess is that it’ll freeze fine.

  10. Safa says

    Hi Ashley, if I make this dish in the morning, would it still be good in the evening? Or, do the noodles get too soggy? Thanks so much!

  11. John C says

    Novice question–can this be made without a pressure cooker/instapot? If so, just cook the dal longer until tender and allow lasagna to cook as normal?

  12. Avani Kamdar says

    5 stars
    This is such an amazingly simple and finger licking good recipe!! Being gujjus, dal dhokli is one of our fav comfort meals but the hassle of making dal and rolling out dhoklis, etc always made it a dish that I would make on days I had extra time in the kitchen. But your recipe is a game changer! I have seen many many posts on the FB group raving about your recipes but I have to admit this is one of the first ones that I tried and I am a fan 🙂 I will definitely be using my instant pot a lot more now to try out your other recipes (which has sadly been used only about half a dozen times in the almost two yrs since I bought it).

    • My Heart Beets says

      Avani, that’s so great to hear! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave me a review 🙂 Really glad you liked this! I can’t wait to hear what you think of any other recipes of mine that you try!

  13. Chhavi says

    5 stars
    Hi Ashley, could you please recommend a brand of gluten free lassagna noodles that you jsed and that worked well with this daal ? Planning to try it soon as it looks so tempting.
    On another note, your sambhar is a staple kn our household – tried so many recipes and npthing even comes close in flavor and ease. I guess the fact your sambhar is approved by your hubby, is proof that it is authentic 🙂
    Thanks for the great recipes!

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Chhavi, I really like Barilla gluten-free pasta and Dellalo’s gluten-free pasta – those are the two I usually buy 🙂 I can’t wait to hear what you think of this recipe! Also, I’m so glad you and your hubby like my sambar recipe – that’s so great to hear!

  14. Sarah says

    5 stars
    Hey Ashley,

    This recipe sounded so intriguing, I had to try it! I confess, I’ve never had the actual dish and since it traditionally has wheat in it, I probably never will…but I can’t imagine it would be much better than this 🙂 It was a hit at my house using gluten free noodles. The brown rice noodles are often sludgy if I don’t rinse them, but I didn’t notice that at all in this dish. I did have to sub in a little chana dal (didn’t quite have enough toor dal, boo) and it was a little under done but the toor dal was fine. Next time I’ll make sure to have toor dal on hand! I really liked the unique flavors from the hing, curry leaves and ajwain, which I don’t often get to use. Thanks for sharing!

  15. Vidya says

    Fantastic recipe. Just made it and gave it a taste test. Tastes divine. My 12 yo son loved it too. He said “Good job mom” :). Thanks for all your recipes and all the work you put into perfecting them.

      • Maneesha says

        5 stars
        sooo yummy! I am Gujarati, and I honestly couldn’t tell this dhokli was made of pasta – so delicious and easy to make! My husband and I like smooth daal, so I first made regular daal, then added the pasta sheets, then pressure cooked for 7 mins, and it turned out great! Thanks, Ashley! This is a brilliant recipe!

    • Ruta Gandhi says

      The receipe looks so good and easy to cook. But do we need to crush the dal or does it become liquid enough when cooked in instant pot?

      • My Heart Beets says

        Hi Ruta, there are pieces of dal and while soft, this isn’t a perfectly smooth dal. If you prefer a smooth dal then you may want to first make the dal, blend and then add the noodles. Let me know what you decide and how it goes!

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