Why does it have to always be heart-shaped cookies, cakes or chocolates for Valentine’s Day?  How about presenting a traditional recipe with a simple tweak instead?  Here comes the kid-friendly heart shaped dal dhokli – the Feb month Toka chef recipe!

I always call Dal Dhokli Indian wheat pasta simmered in yellow lentil sauce! Last September I posted a Rajasthani Style Dal Dhokli on my blog. As kiddo likes this very much, I decided to try the Gujarati version also. And that’s when I got the idea of trying different shapes of dhokli and decided to put my cookie cutter to its best use.

I have shared the dal version that my family likes. But the sky is the limit for the dal recipe. You can make your style of dal and add these dhoklis. This is a perfect brunch recipe that you can try on many occasions as well as over the weekends.


Let the creativity begin | The Toka Chef Moment:

A kitchen is a place where a lot of creativity can happen. Like our previous toka chef recipes, kids explore food texture (flour, dal and kokum) and fine motor skills. As I mentioned before, we are presenting a traditional dish in a different way. Talk to your kids about how food can be presented in different ways and I bet they will come up with loads of new ideas.

Dal Dhokli Recipe


For the Dhokli

  • Wheat Flour – 1/2 cup + as required for dusting
  • Besan – 1 tbsp
  • Turmeric Powder – 1/8 tsp
  • Salt – 1/4 tsp
  • Sugar – 1/8 tsp
  • Chili Powder – 1/8 tsp
  • Water – 1/3 cup + 4 to 5 cups for cooking the dhokli

For the Dal

  • Toor Dal – 1/2 cup
  • Water – 3 cups + 3 tbsps
  • Turmeric Powder – 1/8  tsp
  • Ghee or Oil – 2 tsp
  • Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
  • Cumin Seeds – 2 tsps
  • Hing – 1/2 tsp
  • Cinnamon – 1/2  inch piece
  • Cloves – 2
  • Dried Kokum – 2
  • Curry leaves – 5 to 6 leaves
  • Green Chili – 2
  • Finely Chopped Ginger – 1/2 tbsp
  • Chopped Cilantro – 2 tbsps
  • Salt – 1 tsp
  • Sugar – 1/2 tsp


Parental Steps | Prep work

  • Wash the toor dal (you can let your kids wash to toor dal too) and pressure cook for up to 4 whistles by adding 3 cups of water and 1/8tsp of turmeric.
  • Let the pressure release and once cooled, mash the dal and set aside.
  • Soak the two kokums in 3 tbsps of hot water for at least 45 minutes to 1 hour. Mash it well and extract the juice.

Preparing the Dhokli

  • Parental Step – Add the wheat flour, besan, turmeric powder, red chili powder, salt and sugar in a wide bowl.


  • Parental Step – Boil about 4 to 5 cups of water in a wide bowl.
  • Child Step – Let your child mix the ingredients


  • Parental & Child Step: Add water little by little and help your child mix the dough. Let them knead it and set it aside for 5 minutes.


  • Parental & Child Step: Pinch a small ball of dough and roll it flat like we do for roti.


  • Child Step: Using a cookie cutter, let your child cut the desired shapes and set it aside.


  • Similarly, carve out the desired shapes with the remaining dough.


  • Parental Step – Slowly add the dhoklis and let it boil for 5 minutes in medium heat.


  • After 5 minutes, you can see the dhoklis come on top.


  • At this stage turn off the heat and let it sit in the water until the dal is done. You can drain the water, but make sure it doesn’t get dry.

Parental Steps | Preparing the Dal

  • In a pressure pan or kadai heat ghee or oil. Once it is hot, add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, hing, curry leaves.


  • As they start to splutter, add the chopped green chilies, ginger, cloves and cinnamon. Saute for a couple of minutes.
  • Add the mashed dal, salt, and sugar and mix well. Also, add the kokum juice and bring it boil.


  • At this stage, drain the dhokli water and add it to the simmering dal.
  • Let it cook for 5 minutes over low heat.


  • Finally, add chopped cilantro and turn off the heat.

Serve hot with a dollop of ghee.


  • Adjust the salt, spice, and sugar as per your preference.
  • You can use lemon juice instead of kokum.
  • As I mentioned, I prepared a no onion no garlic simple dal. But you can prepare dal in your own style.


Toka Yum Moment

As I mentioned above, my kiddo likes this very much and every time I make this he keeps asking this question – why can’t we prepare rotis and cut them into strips and call it dal dhokli? True right? What are your thoughts?

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