Dhokar Dalna

Divya Pramil of You too can cook started an event South Vs North Challenge which is becoming very very interesting every month. There are two teams in this group. A member from Northern team provides an authentic north Indian recipe and challenges the Southern team to try. Likewise a member from Southern team challenges the Northern team with an authentic South Indian recipe. This month's southern team's challenge is hosted by Nabanita of Esho Bosho Aahare and she has challenged us with an authentic Bengali recipe Dhokar Dalna which means lentil cakes in curry. Dhoka is made with channa dhal and split pea dhal. As I couldn't get split pea dhal, I just substituted it with channa dhal itself. I also made half the batch of dhoka and made the whole batch of the curry as PK is not very much interested in very thick and dry curry. The dalna is very rich with the addition of coconut milk and cashew raisin paste. The combination was absolutely delicious and I served it along with chapathi for our dinner. I have some left and I will try it with rice tomorrow as Nabanita suggested trying this with rice. 

For Dhoka:
Channa Dhal-1 cup
Grated Coconut-1/4 cup
Green Chilly-2
Nigella Seeds-1 tsp
Ginger-1/2 tsp
Turmeric Powder-1/2 tsp
Oil-1/2 tbs

Salt-to taste
Asafoetida-1/2 tsp
Oil-To Deep Fry

For Dalna:
Mustard Oil-5 tbs
Cumin Seeds-1 tsp
Green Chilly-2
Coconut Milk-2 cups
Cashew Nuts-2 tbs
Raisins-2 tbs
Grated Coconut 1/4 cup
Turmeric Powder-1 tsp
Asafoetida-1/2 tsp
Salt-to taste
Cumin Powder-1 tsp
Garam Masala-1/2 tsp
Red Chilly Powder-1 tsp
Ginger-1/2 tsp
Coriander Leaves-3 tbs

For Dhoka:
1. Soak channa dhal for 3 hours.
2. Drain water and grind it to a coarse paste. Add little water to bring it together.
3. In a bowl add the coarsely ground channa dhal along with coconut, finely chopped green chillies, salt, nigella seeds, ginger, turmeric powder, asafoetida and salt. Mix well.
4. Heat a non stick pan and add 1/2 tbs oil.
5. Add the mixture and stir until it becomes a soft dough. The dough may look slightly crumbly.
6. Grease a plate and transfer the dough to the plate.
7. Press it to form a disc.
8. Let it cool.
9. Cut it into small squares.
10. Heat oil and fry the squares until golden. 
11. Drain and transfer to a plate.

For Dalna:
1. Peel potato and cut into small cubes. Deep fry the pieces in oil until golden. Drain and transfer to a plate.
2. Heat oil and add cumin, green chillies and chopped tomato.
3. Add the coconut milk. Add red chilly powder, cumin powder, ginger, garam masala, asafoetida, turmeric powder, salt and coconut. Bring it to boil.
4. Grind cashew and raisins along with some water to make a smooth paste.
5. Add this paste to the gravy. Simmer and boil for 5 minutes.
6. Add the lentil cakes and boil for 2 more minutes.
7. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with gravy or chapathi.

1. Do not add more than 1/2 tbs oil for frying the channa dhal mixture. If you add more oil then the cakes will crumble.
2. When frying the cakes, be very careful. After dropping the cakes in oil wait for atleast 2 minutes before stirring. By this time the top of the cake swill become crispy and when stirred they will not break.
3. Doubling the dhoka recipe and using the dalna as it is will make an authentic dhoka dalna. I have altered as per PK's taste.
4. If you like soft cakes in gravy, then add it to gravy and allow it to boil for 5-7 minutes.
5. But if you want nice crispy cakes in gravy then add it just before removing from flame and serve immediately.
6. You can also prepare the cakes and the gravy befrore and during the time of serving, you can bring the gravy to boil add the cakes and serve.

Soak dhal for 3 hours.

Coarsely grind it and add the other ingredients.

Mix to form a thick mixture.

Add oil and fry the mixture until it comes together as a soft dough.

Press the dough in a greased plate.

Cut into squares.

Carefully remove the squares using a knife.

Depp fry them in batches.

Remove from oil when golden.

Prepare gravy and add the cakes to the gravy.

Serve along with roti or chapathi.

Labels: , ,