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Recipes | Millet Dumplings in Lentil Sauce aka Bajra Daal Dhokli – A Comforting One-Pot Meal

3 September 2013 10 Comments


Mom, make your Rajasthani Pasta again, some of my friends will be coming home after the movie and they have asked for it.” Informed son and left hurriedly to join his friends. Today he is off to watch a regional movie (Thalaiva) on his own, refusing any favors from us. From boarding a shared auto, booking the tickets and co-coordinating with his friends…my little dumpling is a grown up kid now.

I am not old enough to start reading fairy tales again…but its time I changed my parenting guidelines. When he waved bye and planted a kiss saying “Don’t you worry mom, I will take care”.  I know I would have given anything to keep him little….
But then, I do remember that the best gift I can give to him is to allow him to do things on his own and let him believe in himself.


Short of chickpea flour in my pantry I called mom and asked what can be replaced to make Daal Dhoklis. “Make Bajre (Pearl Millet) Ki  Daal Dhoklis with Masoor Daal (Lentil)“. Pat came the reply from the other end.

Chickpea flour or Besan is normally used to make Dhoklis in most houses of Gujarat and Rajasthan but there are a few cities in Rajasthan where Millet is preferred for the same.

I don’t know the logic mom has in mind for religiously sticking to the combo of Millet- lentil and chickpea -pigeon pea (bajra-masoor daal and besan-toor daal) for making Daal Dhoklis. But now I too follow the same combo at my home without reasoning her, and it does taste delicious 🙂

Basic difference in both the recipes is the grain & the lentil used apart from slight changes in the cooking method. In this recipe I add raw peanuts and cook onion and tomato along with lentil. I feel that this gives a thick saucy curry for the recipe, as the lentil I use is de-husked unlike the whole split gram used in this recipe.

Recipes | Millet and Lentil Daal Dhokli - A Comforting One-Pot Meal

Millet and millet flour

I personally prefer Millet over chickpea flour dumplings which is more filling, nutritious and also gives a rustic touch to the recipe.

Recipes | Millet and Lentil Daal Dhokli - A Comforting One-Pot Meal

Lentil or Masoor Daal

Lentil (dhuli Masoor) makes lighter curry for the recipe than the whole split grams used in this recipe here.

Recipes | Millet and Lentil Daal Dhokli - A Comforting One-Pot Meal

Fun activity to keep my children busy….all the Dhoklis are shaped by them.

And this is why Daal Dhokli is a favorite weekend treat at our home. Did you notice that funny looking creature from Mars and English alphabet Dumplings…Oh, there are cricket bats, balls, Barbie dolls and many more shapes ready to go in.

Children enjoy this fun activity and love to search for their creations after the recipe is done 🙂


For Millet Dumplings or Dhokli

  • 1 cup Pearl flour millet (Bajra)
  • 1/2 cup wholewheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp. chilly powder
  • 1/4 tsp. carom (ajwain) seeds
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Water to knead dough

For Lentil or Daal;

  • 1 cup lentil (masoor daal)
  • 5 cups water
  • 2 tbsp peanuts
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tsp. garam masala powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin and coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp. sugar/grated jaggery (optional)
  • Salt to taste

For Tempering;

  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1/4 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp. fenugreek seeds
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 green chilies chopped
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • A pinch of asafoetida powder
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • Coriander leaves to garnish

Recipes | Millet and Lentil Daal Dhokli - A Comforting One-Pot Meal

Method; Wash and soak the lentil (masoor Daal) for 3-4 hours to reduce the time of cooking.

Millet Dumplings or Dhoklis: Add all the ingredients (except water) for making Dhoklis in a large bowl and mix well. Pour water little at a time  and knead a semi hard or stiff dough. Grease your palm with oil and pinch marble sized balls of dough and roll it.

Flatten each ball into a circular disc and make a small hole in the center. Cover the Dhoklis with a damp kitchen towel.

Recipes | Millet and Lentil Daal Dhokli - A Comforting One-Pot Meal

Lentil or Daal: Add all the ingredients for making Daal (except salt) in a pressure cooker with 2 cups of water and pressure cook it for 3 whistles. Let the pressure cooker cool before opening the lid.

Crush all the ingredients with a ladle. I use my hand blender and whisk the cooked Daal for a few seconds to make a puree of it. Add salt in it.

Recipes | Millet and Lentil Daal Dhokli - A Comforting One-Pot Meal

Tempering: Heat oil in a large kadai or thick bottom vessel and crackle mustard seeds in it. Add fenugreek seeds, asafoetida powder, chopped green chilies, cloves, cinnamon stick and pour cooked Daal in it in the same order.

Add remaining 3 cups of water in the Daal and bring it to boil. Reduce the heat and add Dhoklis one by one in the boiling lentil broth. At this stage all the Dhoklis will sink at the bottom.

Cover the vessel and cook for about 15 minutes on low heat or till all the Dhoklis start floating on top of the lentil curry.

Recipes | Millet and Lentil Daal Dhokli - A Comforting One-Pot Meal

The dumpling are cooked once they start floating over the Daal. Keep cooking for another 4-5 minutes and take off the flame.

Sprinkle lemon juice and garnish the Millet Daal Dhoklis with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot.  Check Glossary for names of spices/vegetables /lentils in Hindi.

Recipes | Millet and Lentil Daal Dhokli - A Comforting One-Pot Meal


  1. Pour a teaspoon of fresh ghee to the individual serving plate.
  2. Serve the recipe topped with chopped onion, capsicum or any other vegetables you prefer.
  3. The dumplings or Dhoklis freeze well for many days. Make dumplings, store in a zip-lock bag and freeze. Make Daal or Sambhar and use the frozen dumplings to get a healthy meal in a jiffy.
  4. If you wish to avoid making small discs of dumplings, make a large chapatti with the dumpling dough, cut into thin strips and cook in the lentil.



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  • Vishakha said:

    These dhoklis look very nutritious and flavoured with spices. I like that it’s not very thick because I have had some very thick / big ones many years ago made with just aataa I think.. It had totally put me off. I like the ingredients used in your recipe. The spices must also add a lot more flavour than what I have had before.
    Love the photo with the masoor daal in that aluminium bottle:)

  • aparna said:

    for a second i thought it was idly later reading and seeing the pictures i realized 🙂 good combo !

  • Joanne said:

    I always have millet on hand so I’ll definitely be trying these dumplings! So inventive!
    Joanne recently posted..Late Summer Vegetable Stew with Brown Butter CornbreadMy Profile

  • Priya said:

    Wat an excellent n healthy daal dhokli, i dont mind inviting myself to ur place.

  • Indrani said:

    Loved the recipe. Will try soon. Thank you. 🙂

    I really love reading your blog posts. The stories and the recipes. You are doing a great job.



  • Shashi @ http://runninsrilankan.com said:

    It sure is scary letting go of your kids…Your boy seems super sweet!
    And this dish seems heavenly!
    Thanks for sharing these GORGEOUS photos!

  • Kiran @ KiranTarun.com said:

    Yummy! I don’t know why I’ve never cooked or baked with millet before. Need to try it soon 🙂
    Kiran @ KiranTarun.com recently posted..Tiramisu ParfaitMy Profile

  • Jeanette said:

    I love Indian food and am always intrigued by the use of whole grain such as millet in recipes from around the world. Daal is one of my favorites!
    Jeanette recently posted..Creamy Coconut Chia Seed Greek Yogurt Pudding with Raspberry Puree RecipeMy Profile

  • mjskit said:

    Ditto to everything Indrani said! 🙂 This is such a beautiful soup and I am in love with those millet dumplings! Another absolutely gorgeous post in so many ways!
    mjskit recently posted..Butternut Squash Risotto With Andouille SausageMy Profile

  • Nami | Just One Cookbook said:

    Beautiful dish, Sanjeeta! I love your food styling. I want to eat a nice comforting one pot meal like this!
    Nami | Just One Cookbook recently posted..How To Make BentoMy Profile

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