This recipe is an adaption of the very popular and a traditional homemade Bengali delicacy called 'Dhoka'r Dalna' - meaning fried lentil cakes in gravy. Today I made it in a fusion South Indian style by adding some sambar powder and making it spicy and tangy.
This can be served as perfect appetizers or as a side dish with either chapatti. sambar-rice, curd-rice, khichri or simply dal-chawal. 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 tsp. turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp. + 1 tbsp. red chili powder
- 4 tbsp. oil
- 1 tsp. mustard seeds
- 1 tsp. garlic, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1-2 sprigs curry leaves
- 1/4 tsp. asafoetida
- 1 tsp. tomato paste
- 1 tsp. sambar powder
- 1 tsp. lime juice
- 1 tbsp. coriander leaves, chopped
Grind the chana dal into a smooth paste by adding required quantity of water. To it, add salt to taste, 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder and 1/2 tsp. red chili powder. Mix well.
Add 1 tbsp. oil in a non stick pan and saute the ground paste on a low flame till it turns into a thick lump. Transfer to a greased plate and spread it evenly.
After it has cooled down, cut into square shapes and keep aside. Heat 2 tbsp. oil and shallow fry the pieces till light golden in colour. Drain and keep aside.
Cut them further into small pieces. Heat remaining oil and temper with the mustard seeds. After it stops spluttering, add the garlic and saute till it changes colour.
Now add the onion, curry leaves, followed by the asafoetida and turmeric powder. Fry till light brown. Add the fried lentil cakes (Dhoka pieces) and salt. Stir fry till it is well combined.
Add the tomato paste and sprinkle some water to make it a little moist. Mix well and add the red chili powder and the sambar powder. Give it a stir and add lime juice. Serve, garnished with coriander leaves.
Soak the chana dal overnight.
Grind with required quantity of water. Add salt, turmeric
powder and red chili powder.
Add 1 tbsp. oil in a non-stick pan and saute on a low flame till
it turns into a thick lump.
Transfer to a greased plate and spread it evenly.
When cool, cut into squares.
Transfer to a plate.
Heat 2 tbsp. oil and shallow fry them till light golden in colour.
The fried pieces.
Further cut into smaller pieces.
Heat remaining oil and temper with mustard seeds. Allow it to splutter.
Add the garlic and saute till it changes colour.
Now add the onions and curry leaves. Fry till light brown.
Add the turmeric powder and asafoetida.
Then add the fried Dhoka pieces (fried lentil cakes) and salt to taste.
Add the tomato paste. and mix well.
Add the sambar powder and red chili powder. Give it a mix.
When done, add lime juice and serve, garnished with coriander