Thursday, May 30, 2013

Dhokar Dalna(Fried Lentils Cake Curry) A Bengali Dish

Dhokar Dalna is a traditional Bengali dish.Dhoka is a fried lentil cakes and Dalna means curry.You all must be wondering why this dish is called''Dhokar Dalna''.''Dhoka'' means cheat in hindi.I am not sure the reason behind it.Even Benglis doesn't know the meanings behind it.I think, from outside you won't realize how awesome this dish tastes.We really enjoyed this dish with chapati as our dinner,its a super delicious,flavorful,less spicy and nutritious on the same time too.
It is purely a satvik dish where no onion and garlic are not using at all.This is one of the recipes which are served during their special occasions like Pooja days.During these days they will cook only veg(Niramish).They won't even use onions and garlic on these days.Basically it serves with plain rice.
I am part of the famous South Vs North Challenge,an event started by Divya Pramil  of You too can Cook.She has divided the members into two and those who are born and brought up in North India is named as Northern team and other team is named as Southern team(food bloggers born N brought up in South India).Every month,a blogger from each team will challenge with their traditional recipe and the opposite team have to cook the recipe challenged by the other team.

Nabanita Das of Esho- Bosho-Aahare  challenged the Southern team with the popular Bengali dish ''Dhokar Dalna''  and while Roha of Hyderabadi cuisine challenged Northen team with ''Khubani Ka Meetha'' a dried apricot dessert served during Hyderabadi weddings.I made this dessert 2 days before and we really enjoyed it.

Here is the recipe for Dhokar Dalna
For Lentils Cake:
  1. Chana dal/Bengal gram-3/4cup(since i don't have matar dal, i used bengal gram)
  2. Matar dal/split peas gram-1/4cup
  3. Ginger paste-1/2tbsp
  4. Onion seeds-1tsp
  5. Turmeric powder-a couple of pinches
  6. Salt to taste 
  7. Asafoetida-a pinch
  8. Oil for frying
For Curry:
  1. Potato-1,medium size,cubed
  2. Green chillies-3,slit
  3. Tomato-1,small size,chopped
  4. Chilly powder-1/2tsp
  5. Onion-1,finely chopped
  6. Bay leaf-1
  7. Cinnamon-1/2''piece
  8. Cloves-2
  9. Cardamom-1
  10. Pepper, crushed-1/2tsp
  11. Cumin seeds-1/4tsp
  12. Cashew nuts-5-7(soaked in warm water for 10minutes) 
  13. Asafoetida powder-a pinch
  14. Salt to taste
  15. Oil-as required 
  1. Soak chana dal and matar dal for3-4 hours and grind the dals as coarse paste with green chillies.
  2. Add onion seeds,turmeric powder,salt,ginger paste to the grounded batter and mix well(i don't use coconut and baking soda).
  3. Grease a plate with oil and keep aside.
  4. Heat 1tbsp oil in a pan,add asafoetida powder and fry.Add the batter and stir continuously on a low flame until all the water evaporates and the batter leaves from the sides and bottom of the pan.
  5. Spread the dough evenly on the greased plate.Keep aside to cool.Cut them into any desired shape with the knife.
  6. Shallow fry or deep fry it until they turns light golden brown colour and keep aside.
  7. Cut the potatoes into cubes and mix it with turmeric and salt.Fry it until it turns crispy golden colour.
  8. Grind the soaked cashew nuts into a fine paste and keep aside.
  9. Heat oil in a kadai,add cumin seeds,bay leaf,finely chopped onion,grated ginger,green chillies stir for few minutes.Add chopped tomatoes and  cook until it cooks well.
  10. Now add chilly powder,turmeric,pepper powder and salt and cook until the oil oozes out.Add fried potatoes to this and close the lid and cook for few minutes.Add some water and bring it to boil again.
  11. Add cashew nut paste to this and mix well.Add fried dhoka /lentil cake to this gravy.Adjust the salt and seasonings.
  12. Sprinkle garam masala powderand 2tbsp ghee on top of it.Cover and switch off the flame.Now Dhokar Dalna is  ready to serve.
  1. While stirring the batter in 1tbsp oil,make sure that it all the water should evaporate completely and the batter should leave from sides and bottom of the pan. 
  2. You can shallow fry the dhoka pieces.Make sure that it won't get over fried,else the pieces won't absorb the gravy.
  3. Once the fried pieces are added to the gravy,don't forget to serve immediately,else the the gravy becomes thick soon. 
Serve warm with Rice or Chapati.....Enjoy the dish..... 

Happy Cooking!!!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Khubani Ka Meetha(Dried Apricot Dessert With Custard)

Khubani ka meetha is an authentic traditional Hyderabadi desert recipe.It is a must dessert served in Hyderabadi weddings.It is made out of dried apricots.''Khubani'' means apricot in urdu language and ''meetha''meaning sweet that's why it is called''khubani ka meetha''.

Today I made this classic Hyderadadi dessert for the Potluck Party Event hosted byJagruti's Cooking Odyssey.
I made the yummy dessert from my friend Avika Nair's A day through my life. She brought ''Khubani Ka Meetha'' to the party.Avika's pictures were so tempting and it looks delicious.This was something very new to me and never tried it before.....Avika,Thank you so much for sharing this dish with us.

There are numerous advantageous of eating apricots,both fresh and dried on a regular basis.Apricots are rich in vitamins A,B2,B3 and C.It contains high amount of  magnesium and phosphorous and this helps to improve the function of brain.Magnesium can also helps to normalize the blood pressure very effectively.I decided to try this classic dessert with custard.
  1. Dried Apricot-12
  2. Sugar-2tbsp
  3. Cardamom-2,crushed
  4. Lemon juice-few drops
  5. Custard powder-2tbsp
  6. Milk-3/4cup
  7. Sugar-1tbsp(for making the custard)
  8. Custard for topping-2scoops  

  1. Wash and soak dried apricots in water overnight.Make sure you add enough water to cover all the apricots.
  2. Remove the apricots from water after the soaking time.Do not throw the soaked water.
  3. Heat a saucepan and add the reserved liquid(used for soaking)and the apricots.Allow to boil.
  4. When it starts to boil,add sugar and stir well.
  5. Mash the apricots and cook the apricots on low flame till you get a thick consistency.
  6. Add clove and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  7. Add a pinch of cardamom powder and cook for 3minutes more  on a low flame. This is the apricot compote.Allow to cool.
  8. Meanwhile,make custard.Boil milk and add sugar.
  9. Take a small bowl and dissolve custard powder with 3-5tbsp of milk without lumps.Add this to the boiling milk and stir well.Allow to cool.

  1. Take a bowl and make desired layers of the apricot compote and vanilla custard.
  2. Garnish with chopped apricot nuts or cashew nuts. 

Serve chilled with custard,ice-cream or malai and Enjoy...
Happy Cooking!!!

I am Linking this classic Hyderabadi Dessert to Potluck Party,Cyber Style.....

Thank you so much Shobha keshwani for sharing Kabile tarif Award to me for myMango Payasam /Dessert.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Mushroom(Koon)Thoran /Stir Fried Mushrooms With Coconut

Mushroom is neither a vegetable nor a fruit.It's a fungi that grows in a moist environment and has a very short life.It is cultivated and used for thousands of years,both as a food and for their medicinal properties.Mushrooms are the only food that doesn't require sunlight to grow.It contains about 90% water and are very low in calories.They are excellent source of Selenium which helps to reduce prostate cancer.It contains very low amount of sodium and are good source of vitamins B and K and fat.One serving of this gives20- 40% of the daily value of Copper,a mineral that has cardiac-protective properties. 
Mushrooms can be cooked in a variety of ways.This is one of my Mom's favorite mushroom preparations.

Here is the Recipe for Mushroom Thoran with coconut:

  1. Mushrooms-450g
  2. Grated coconut-1/2cup
  3. Small onion/shallots-7-10,sliced
  4. Green chillies-4-5,finely chopped
  5. Garlic-2 cloves,chopped
  6. Curry leaves-2 sprigs
  7. Turmeric powder-1/4tsp
  8. Mustard seeds-1/2tsp
  9. Dry red chillies-2,halved
  10. Salt to taste
  11. Oil-as required
Mushroom Thoran
  1. Put the mushrooms in a water containing 1/2tsp  turmeric powder for about 10 minutes.Wash them with water.Chop them into small pieces.
  2. Heat oil in a pan and splutter mustard seeds.Add dry red chilies.
  3. Now add the sliced small onions,green chilies,curry leaves, garlic and stir for a couple of minutes.
  4. Add turmeric powder and stir.Add the chopped mushrooms and stir for few minutes.
  5. Do not add water as water will ooze out from the mushrooms.
  6. Now add grated coconut and salt to this and mix well.Saute well for few more minutes or until it turns to dry.
  7. Adjust the salt and remove from heat.
Mushroom Thoran/Stir Fried Mushroom With Coconut
Serve as Side dish with Rice and Enjoy!!! 

Happy Cooking!!!

    Tuesday, May 21, 2013

    Koorka(Chinese Potato) Ularthiyathu / Stir Fry /Spiced Koorka Roast with Coconut Slices

    Koorka (chinese potato) is a particular variety of tuber widely used in Kerala kitchens.These are cultivated in East and West Africa,South Africa,South Asia and South India.
    Koorka is a hairy tuber that looks similar to small chembu or a colocasia/taro.It is a seasonal vegetable.In Kerala,it is normally cultivated during the months of July-August.

    Today I am going to share with you a tasty and delicious recipe of Koorka Ularthiyathu/Stir fry/roast.
    1. Koorka/Chinese potato-1/2kg
    2. Small onion/shallots-12-15,sliced
    3. Garlic-3 cloves
    4. Coconut bits(thenga kothu)-a handful
    5. Turmeric powder-a pinch
    6. Coriander powder-1tbsp
    7. Chilly powder-1/2tbsp
    8. Garam masala-1/2tbsp
    9. Pepper-1/2tsp,crushed
    10. Mustard seeds-1/2tsp
    11. curry leaves-2 sprigs
    12. Coconut oil-as required

    1. Scrape off the skin of each chinese potato/koorka using a knife and immediately immerse it in water to prevent them from changing into a dark brown colour.
    2. Wash them again and cut each one into halves,or quarters,or even smaller,depending on the size.Put them back into the water.
    3. Drain the water and immediately add koorka pieces into a cooking pan along with coconut bites,turmeric powder,salt,chilly powder,coriander powder,half of the sliced onion,garam masala,crushed pepper and a few curry leaves.Add 1/2 cup of water,cover and cook until the koorka turns soft and almost all the water has been absorbed.
    4. Heat coconut oil in a pan.Splutter mustard seeds.Add half of the sliced small onions and crushed garlic and stir in low flame till it turns translucent.Tear off half of the curry leaves to this and stir for a minute without burning the same.
    5. Now add the cooked koorka and stir continuously on a low flame for few more minutes.Do a taste-test and adjust salt if required.
    6. Drizzle coconut oil while stirring.Just before turning of the heat,tear off rest of the curry leaves and sprinkle 1/2tbsp of coconut oil.Do not skip this step as it really enhances the taste and aroma of this dish.
    1.  Do not overcook the koorka(chinese potato).
    2.  After scraping off skin of each one,immediately immerse it in a bowl of water.This will prevent them to turn dark brown colour.
    Serve hot with Rice and  Sambar  or Rasam or with Chapati. Happy Cooking!!!

    Sunday, May 19, 2013

    Prawns / Chemmeen Peera(Shrimps With Shredded Coconut)Kerala Style

    Prawns is the most popular seafood in the world especially in Kerala.They are extremely good source of proteins and also contains high levels of vitamins that are essential for healthy skin,bones and teeth.

    In Kerala, many variety of dishes are made with prawns,like prawns theeyal,prawns biryani,prawns cutlet.....options are endless.Meen peera can be prepared using small fish like anchovies(Netholi),prawns(Chemmeen)or occassionly using small sardines too!!! I had peera of seer fish(Ney meen)once and have heard people say that even tuna can be used.So basically what I learnt is that there is no hard and fast rule as to which fish to be used for Peera!!!

    It's an authentic Kerala style dry dish with all spices,small onions,ginger,garlic,green chillies,curry leaves,shredded  coconut mixed with kudampuli and fish like prawns,kozhuva anchoives(Netholi) and sardines.If you are using big fish, it will be better if you de-bone the fish before preparing it.Fish peera tastes best when prepared in an earthen pot.
    This is a very easy recipe-less time,less oil,less spice...

    1. Prawns/chemmeen-500gm,cleaned and deveined
    2. Grated coconut-1cup
    3. Small onions-15-20,sliced
    4. Green chillies-3-5,minced
    5. Ginger-1''piece,finely chopped
    6. Garlic-3-5 small cloves,sliced
    7. Curry leaves-2-3sprigs
    8. Kudampuli(kokum)-3-4 medium sized pieces
    9. Chilly powder-2tbsp(add according to your tolerance level)
    10. Turmeric powder-1/4tsp
    11. Mustard seeds-1/2tsp
    12. Fenugreek seeds-1/4tsp
    13. Coconut oil-as required
    14. Salt to taste 

    1. Clean and wash prawns thoroughly.
    2. Wash and soak the kudampuli in 1/2 cup of water for 10-15 minutes.
    3. Combine prawns with  ginger,garlic,green chillies,small onions,curry leaves,kudampuli(and the water in which it was soaked),grated coconut,turmeric powder and chilly powder.
    4. Heat coconut oil in an earthen pot.Splutter mustard seeds followed by fenugreek seeds.Add combined fish mixture along with salt and water to this.Don't add too much water because prawns has moisture content.
    5. Cover and cook on medium-low heat,stirring occasionally to make sure the prawns doesn't stick to the bottom of the vessel.Open the lid and allow excess water to evaporate.
    6. Cooking time will depend on the type of fish used.
    7. Prawns need more cooking time.It takes around 15-20minutes.
    8. Drizzle 1tbsp of coconut oil over the fish peera and stir.Remove from flame.Keep covered until ready to serve.
    1. You can also cook prawns first with kokum,turmeric powder,salt in little water.
    2. You can use few pieces of raw mangoes for sourness instead of kudampuli/kokum also. 
    3. Any type of fish can be use for 'Peera'.But small fish like anchovies(Netholi-Uzuva)or sardines can also use for this Kerala style recipe.
    4. Using coconut oil gives an authentic flavor and aroma to this dish,but you can use any type of cooking oil.
    5. Adjust the spices according to your spice tolerance level. 

     Serve tasty 'Meen Peera' with warm Rice and Enjoy.....

    Happy Cooking!!!

    Friday, May 17, 2013

    Avocado Dosa

    Avocados are one of the best foods you can eat,packed with nutrients and heart healthy compounds.The oleic acids in avocados can help to reduce cholesterol levels.It contains lots of soluble and insoluble fibers.They are excellent source of lutein,a carotenoid that works as an antioxidant and helps protect against eye disease.It gives powerful anti-inflammatory benefits also.
    To get the most nutritional value from avocados,avoid those which have become over-ripe.The portion of the avocado closest to the skin is the most dense in nutrients.
    Today I am sharing the recipe of Avocado dosa.

    Avocado Dosa
     Here comes the Recipe.....

    • Raw rice-1cup
    • Urad dal-1/2cup
    • Avocado-1,big
    • Salt to taste
    • Oil-as required
    • Soak rice for around 4-5hours.Soak urid dal for 1hour.Grind them to a smooth paste,add salt and leave it overnight,around12 hours.
    • Discard the seed of avocado and take out the flesh from inside.
    • Grind the pulp to a smooth paste and add it to the fermented batter.Mix well.
    • Make thin dosas like ghee roast.

    Avocado Dosa
    Serve hot with coconut or tomato chutney.Enjoy the Avocado Dosa.....

    Happy Cooking!!!