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Thursday, 7 January 2016

Dhoka'r Dalna (Fried Lentil Cakes in Gravy - Bengali Style)


          This is my version of a traditional Bengali Vegetarian dish called "Dhokar Dalna", where chana dal (Bengal gram) cakes are fried and made into a gravy. Please note this is a no-onion & no-garlic recipe which can be equally relished with both rice or chapattis. 

          There are obviously many versions to this homemade delicacy. But whatever be the method of cooking this Bengali speciality, it simply tastes yummy. The process may be slightly lengthy, but the end product is worth all the effort. Please find below a step by step guide with pictures to prepare it.








  • 1/2 cup Chana dal (Bengal Gram), soaked overnight
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric powdee
  • 1/ 2 tsp. red chili powder
  • 3 tbsp. mustard oil
  • 1 tsp. kalonji (nigella seeds)
  • 1/4 tsp. asafoetida
  • 1 potato, sliced
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1" cinnamon stick
  • 2 green cardamoms
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 green chilies, slit
  • 1 tbsp. ginger paste
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. cumin powder
  • 1 tsp. red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garam masala powder
  • 1 tsp. ghee
  • 1 tsp. coriander leaves, chopped to garnish
  • 2 fresh slit red chilies to garnish






          Soak the chana dal in suffoiecient water overnight. Grind into a smooth paste. Add salt, turmeric powder and 1/2 tsp. red chili powder. Mix well and keep aside.

          Grind the ginger and tomatoes to a paste. To it add 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder, 1 tsp. red chili powder and coriander cumin powder mixed with a little water.

          Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a non-stick pan and temper with kalonji and asafoetida. Saute for a few seconds. Add the chana dal paste and saute on a medium flame till it turns into a thick lump.

          Transfer to a greased plate and set aside to cool for 15 minutes. Cut into desired shapes. Heat remaining oil and shallow fry the pieces till light brown in colour. Drain and keep aside.

          In the same oil fry the potatoes too till light brown in colour. Keep aside. Temper the same oil with cumin seeds, cinnamon, cardamoms and cloves.

          Add the spice paste and saute till dry. Add 2 cups water and salt. Bring it to a boil and add the fried potatoes.

          Cover and simmer on a low flame for 4-5 minutes. When the potatoes turns soft, add the garam masala and ghee. Give it a stir and keep aside.

          While serving, arrange the fried dhokas on a serving bowl. Heat the gravy and pour over the dhokas.  Serve, garnished with coriander leaves and slit chilies.





                        Soak the chana dal in water overnight. Grind it to a smooth paste.




                        To the ground chana dal paste, add salt, turmeric powder & red 
                        chili powder. Mix well.




                        Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a non-stick pan and temper with kalonji and 
                        asafoetida. Saute for a few seconds.





                         Add the chana dal mix and saute till it leaves the sides of the pan.





                          Transfer to a greased plate and allow it t cool. 




                           Cut into desired shapes.




                          Heat oil and shallow fry them to light golden colour.




                           Drain and keep aside.





                           Fry the potatoes too in the same oil to light brown. Drain and 
                           keep aside.




                        Temper the oil with cumin seeds, cinnamon, cardamoms, cloves 
                         and green chilies.




                           Add the ginger and powdered spice paste.




                         Saute till dry.





                          Add two cups of water and bring it to a boil.




                          Add the fried potatoes and salt.




                           Cover and simmer on a low flame till the potatoes turns soft.




                          Add the garam masala and ghee and give it a stir.





                          While serving, arrange the fried dhokas on a serving bowl. Heat 
                           the gravy and pour over the dhokas.  Serve, garnished with coriander 
                           leaves and slit chilies.












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