A long forgotten Sunday lunch dish; a close cousin of the Gujarati daal dhokli, this lentil-based pasta is a favorite with my family. Just what you need on a rainy day.


Ingredients:

For the daal (lentils):

  • 1 cup split pigeon peas (toor/arhar dal)
  • 2 tbsp. tamarind extract
  • 2 tbsp. jaggery
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp. fenugreek seeds
  • ¼ tsp asafetida
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp. kala/goda masala
  • 1 tsp. red chili powder
  • handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • Salt to taste

For the pasta:

  • 1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 heaped tbsp. gram flour (besan)
  • Any other health-enforcing flours—millets, rice, soybean, corn—go mad.
  • (I use a traditional Maharashtrian multigrain flour, Bhaajani, which is commonly available in all supermarkets.)
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • ½ tsp. red chili powder
  • Small bunch of greens, very finely chopped (if liked; I like to add fenugreek to mine)
  • Water to bind

Method:

  1. Cook the pigeon peas in a pressure cooker.
  2. Meanwhile, knead a firm dough using all the pasta ingredients.
  3. In a thick-bottomed pot, heat the oil. Crackle the mustard and fenugreek seeds, asafetida, and turmeric powder until fragrant.
  4. Immediately add the tamarind extract, cooked daal, and all the spices.
  5. Season to taste, and add jaggery.
  6. Top up with almost a liter of water and bring to a boil.
  7. Meanwhile, roll out the pasta dough into a ¼ inch thickness. With the help of a knife or pizza cutter, cut out squares or diamonds.
  8. Dunk your pieces of art into the boiling daal and boil away until all the batches are cooked.
  9. Serve piping hot, topped with ghee.