Thursday, November 17, 2016

Dhokar Dalna / Bengali Lentils Cake Curry

It was almost a ritual to eat Dhokar Dalna at least once a weak. The crispy fried lentil cakes were more pleasing to eat just as they came out of the kadai than with the curry. Once the cakes go into the curry they kind of become soggy and plump by absorbing as much gravy as they can intake. But that soggy texture has their own taste as well...and that is the reason that this Dhokar Dalna is so poplular among us.

how to make Dhokar Dalna / Bengali Lentils Cake Curry recipe and preparation

how to make Dhokar Dalna / Bengali Lentils Cake Curry recipe and preparation

how to make Dhokar Dalna / Bengali Lentils Cake Curry recipe and preparation

how to make Dhokar Dalna / Bengali Lentils Cake Curry recipe and preparation

Dhoka or the lentil cakes are made with chana dal and motor dal or split peas...and it’s this motor dal that gives the cakes a nice crispy crust. If you don’t have any restrictions then make the dhokar dalna with pure desi ghee and homemade garam masalas and I am sure you will make the curry again.

how to make Dhokar Dalna / Bengali Lentils Cake Curry recipe and preparation

Dhokar Dalna / Bengali Lentils Cake Curry
Serves 6-7

how to make Dhokar Dalna / Bengali Lentils Cake Curry recipe and preparation

Ingredients:
For the dhoka / lentil cake:
1 cup of chana dal
½ cup of motor dal / split peas
1 tsp hing / asafoetida
½ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp cumin powder
½ inch ginger – paste
3-4 green chillies – finely chopped
1 tsp kalo jeera / nigella seeds
1 tsp sugar
Salt
2 tbsp oil
Enough oil to deep fry the dhoka / lentil cakes

For the curry:
1 large potato – peeled and cut into cubes
2 plump red tomatoes
½ inch ginger – paste
2 green chillies – slit
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
½ tsp cumin powder
½ tsp coriander powder
A pinch of garam masala powder
1 medium cinnamon stick
3 green cardamoms
3 cloves
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp ghee
Salt
1 tsp sugar

Method:
To make the dhoka / lentil cake:
Mix the lentils / dal in a bowl. Wash and rinse them until clear water runs.
Soak the washed lentils in a bowl of water overnight.
Next morning, drain the water and grind the lentils with a just a little water to make a smooth paste.
Scrap out the paste in a bowl and mix in the salt, turmeric powder, sugar, red chilli powder, cumin powder, green chillies and ginger paste. Stir to mix everything perfectly.
Heat the oil in a kadai. Add the hing and nigella seeds to them.
When they start to splutter add the prepared lentils paste to them.
Stir and cook the paste continuously so that they can’t stick to the bottom of the pan, until you see the paste has become sort of a lump and is coming off the pan / kadai.
Switch off the pan and take a greased plate.
Spread the cooked lentils paste on it with ½ inch of thickness. Even out the sides and the surface of the lentils paste sheet and keep aside for around 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, cut that lentil cake sheet with a sharp knife in squares or in rhombus shapes.
Heat enough oil to deep fry, in a kadai on low to medium flame and fry the lentil cakes until golden brown from both the sides.
Take them out of the oil and place on a kitchen towel or tissue paper to soak off the excess oil.

Make the curry / dalna:
Heat ghee in a kadai and add the cinnamon stick, green cardamoms, cloves and bay leaves.
Sauté for a good 30 seconds and then add the chopped tomatoes.
Sprinkle some salt over them and cook until the tomatoes become totally mushy and the oil starts to ooze out of them.
Add the ginger paste and slit green chillies and cook for a minute more.
Add the turmeric powder, red chilli powder, cumin powder, coriander powder and cubed potatoes to them and fry them for another minute, allowing the spices to develop their flavour. Scrape the bottom and the sides of the kadai.
Add 2 cups of water and salt to season the potatoes.
Cover the kadai.
Cook until the potatoes are soft and tender. It will take around 10 minutes as the potatoes are of very small size.
After 10 minutes open the lid and check whether the potatoes are cooked or not. If the potatoes are still undercooked, cook covered for 5 minutes more.
When the potatoes are ready taste and adjust the seasonings of the curry.
Add the sugar and simmer for until the sugar dissolves.
Since the dhoka / lentil cakes will soak most of the water of the curry, it is necessary to have sufficient water already in the curry, or otherwise the dish will turn dry.
Add the fried dhokas / lentil cakes and simmer on medium flame for about 3-4 minutes.
Finally sprinkle the garam masala powder and drizzle some more ghee if you like and switch off the flame.

Serve hot with white rice.

No comments:

Post a Comment