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:
- Chana dal/Bengal gram-3/4cup(since i don't have matar dal, i used bengal gram)
- Matar dal/split peas gram-1/4cup
- Ginger paste-1/2tbsp
- Onion seeds-1tsp
- Turmeric powder-a couple of pinches
- Salt to taste
- Asafoetida-a pinch
- Oil for frying
- Potato-1,medium size,cubed
- Green chillies-3,slit
- Tomato-1,small size,chopped
- Chilly powder-1/2tsp
- Onion-1,finely chopped
- Bay leaf-1
- Pepper, crushed-1/2tsp
- Cumin seeds-1/4tsp
- Cashew nuts-5-7(soaked in warm water for 10minutes)
- Asafoetida powder-a pinch
- Salt to taste
- Oil-as required
- Soak chana dal and matar dal for3-4 hours and grind the dals as coarse paste with green chillies.
- Add onion seeds,turmeric powder,salt,ginger paste to the grounded batter and mix well(i don't use coconut and baking soda).
- Grease a plate with oil and keep aside.
- 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.
- Spread the dough evenly on the greased plate.Keep aside to cool.Cut them into any desired shape with the knife.
- Shallow fry or deep fry it until they turns light golden brown colour and keep aside.
- Cut the potatoes into cubes and mix it with turmeric and salt.Fry it until it turns crispy golden colour.
- Grind the soaked cashew nuts into a fine paste and keep aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- Add cashew nut paste to this and mix well.Add fried dhoka /lentil cake to this gravy.Adjust the salt and seasonings.
- Sprinkle garam masala powderand 2tbsp ghee on top of it.Cover and switch off the flame.Now Dhokar Dalna is ready to serve.
- 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.
- You can shallow fry the dhoka pieces.Make sure that it won't get over fried,else the pieces won't absorb the gravy.
- Once the fried pieces are added to the gravy,don't forget to serve immediately,else the the gravy becomes thick soon.