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Dahl dokri (dahl with dumplings) - a cure for the common cold

Written By Reena on 12 Feb 2010 | 05:00

This recipe is a great winter dish - hearty, warming and soul affirming.  The combination of lentils and dumplings are a soothing contrast to the sharp, spicy dahl.  So it may not exactly be a cure for the cold but it definitely makes you feel happier while you suffer!  The lengthy list of ingredients makes the dish look complicated but it really isn't any more difficult than a vegetable soup.

Serves 4 as a main course


For the dahl
  • 125 grams toor dahl
  • 15 grams dried tamarind (you can substitute this with 1 tablespoon lemon juice if you prefer)
  • A pinch of bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 teaspoons coriander-cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 grams jaggery/ gur (solid indian sugar) or brown sugar
For the dumplings
  • 100 grams chapatti flour
  • 1 tablespoon of gram flour
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon light tasting vegetable oil
For the tempering
  • 3 tablespoons light tasting vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 5 - 6 curry leaves (optional)
  • 20 grams shelled roasted peanuts
  • 227 grams chopped tinned tomatoes
  • 1 pinch chilli powder
  • 1 pinch turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 5 grams chopped fresh coriander
Note: You’ll probably have to pick up the toor dahl from an Indian grocery shop. It has lots of other names: Split pigeon peas (English), tuver dahl (Gujarati), tuvaram paruppu (Tamil). If you have a choice between oily or un-oily then go for oily but don’t worry too much.


  1. Place the toor dahl in a small mixing bowl and cover with hot water.  Leave to soak for 30 minutes.
  2. Place the tamarind in a small bowl.  Add 50 millilitres of boiling water and leave to one side.  If you are substituting the tamarind with lemon juice miss this step.
For the dumplings:
  1. Sieve the chapatti flour and gram flour into a mixing bowl.
  2. Add the chilli powder, turmeric, salt and vegetable oil to the flour.  Stir gently.
  3. Add 50 millilitres of warm water to the flour and then knead to form a firmish dough.  Add more water or flour if required.
  4. Roll the dough out onto a chopping board until it is approximately 2 millimetres thick.  
  5. Cut the dough into squares (approximately 3 centimetres x 3 centimetres) and leave to one side.
For the dahl:
  1. After the dahl has soaked for 30 minutes, rinse it twice in hot water.    
  2. Place the dahl in a medium sized pan and add 350 millilitres of boiling water.
  3. Add a pinch of bicarbonate of soda to the pan and stir.  Cover the pan and cook on a medium heat for approximately 20 minutes or until the dahl is soft.
  4. Switch off the heat and then using a hand blender blend the dahl to a smooth soup-like consistency.
  5. Strain the tamarind and add the resulting water to the dahl.  If you are using lemon juice instead, just add this directly to the dahl.
  6. Now add the coriander-cumin powder, turmeric, chilli powder, salt, jaggery or sugar and stir well.  Put the lid on the pan and leave to one side.
For the tempering:
  1. Heat the vegetable oil on a medium heat in a separate large pan.
  2. Add the mustard seeds,  cumin seeds and curry leaves to the hot oil and let them sizzle and spit. 
  3. Once they have finished spitting (carefully!) add the peanuts, chopped tomatoes, chilli powder, and turmeric powder.  Stir well. 
For the finished dish:
  1. Add the dahl to the pan containing the tempering along with 500 millilitres of water and stir well.
  2. Put a lid on the pan and let it cook for 5 minutes on a low heat.
  3. Now add the dumplings one at a time to ensure that they don't stick together. 
  4. Stir gently, cover the pan, increase the heat to medium and let everything cook for two minutes.
  5. Cook for a further 10 mins on a low heat stirring occasionally to ensure that the dumplings don't stick to the bottom of the pan.
  6. Now turn off the heat, add the garam masala, stir and then garnish with the chopped coriander.
  7. Serve immediately.

About Reena


  1. that looks so delicious, I can wait to make it.

  2. Hi Saju. I hope you enjoy it. Best wishes. Reena