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Dhokar Dalna: Bengali Vegetarian Recipe

Bengali cuisine always has something new to offer. You will find something delicious to which you can look forward to, regardless of whether you are a vegetarian or a non vegetarian. Bengalis can create wonder food with almost all the possible edible ingredients. This is the reason why Bengali cuisine so versatile.

Today we have another delicious vegetarian recipe from the Bengali kitchen for you. This recipe is called Dhokar Dalna. Small cakes made of chana dal are first steamed, fried and the simmered in a spicy gravy. It is a perfect item for people who abstain from eating onions and garlic because this dish is purely vegetarian in that sense. This vegetarian recipe can also be consumed during the various Hindu vratas or fasts.

So, check out the recipe for Dhokar Dalna and give it a try. We are sure you will love it.

Serves: 4
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes

For The Cakes

  • Chana dal- 1 cup
  • Green chillies- 3
  • Salt- as per taste
  • Ginger- 1 small piece
  • Oil- for deep frying

For The Curry

  • Cumin seeds- 1tsp
  • Hing- a pinch
  • Bay leaf- 1
  • Tomatoes- 2 (pureed)
  • Yogurt- 1 cup
  • Roasted cumin powder- 1tsp
  • Roasted coriander powder- 1tsp
  • Salt- as per taste
  • Red chilli powder- 1tsp
  • Turmeric powder- ½ tsp
  • Garam masala powder- ½ tsp
  • Ghee- 1tsp
  • Oil- 2tbsp
  • Coriander leaves- 2tbsp (chopped, for garnish)

For The Cakes

1. Wash and soak the chana dal overnight.
2. Next day, drain the water from the dal and grind it in a mixer with green chillies and ginger into a thick paste.
3. Take the mixture in a bowl, add salt to it and beat it with a spoon for 2-3 minutes.
4. Grease a bowl with a little oil and pour this mixture into it.
5. Place the bowl in your steamer and steam it for about 5-6 minutes. Make sure the mixture does not become too hard.
6. After that carefully remove the bowl from the steamer and let it cool down.
7. After cooling down, cut the steamed mixture into small square cake pieces with a knife.
8. Transfer the steamed cakes into a bowl.
9. Heat oil for deep frying and fry the steamed cakes in it till they turn golden brown.
10. Once done, transfer them to a paper towel and keep it aside.

For The Curry
1. Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds, hing, bay leaf. Fry for a few seconds.
2. Add the tomato puree to it and cook till the tomatoes are properly done.
3. Mix roasted cumin powder, roasted coriander powder, red chilli powder, turmeric powder with the yogurt.
4. Add this yogurt mixture to the pan and stir well. Make sure no lumps are formed.
5. Add salt and saute the masala on low heat.
6. Then add a cup of water to it. Bring it to a boil.
7. Now add the fried dal cakes to the gravy and mix well.
8. Add garam masala powder, ghee and simmer the curry for 2-3 minutes.
9. Once done, switch off the flame and garnish the gravy with chopped coriander leaves.

Dhokar dalna is ready to be served. This delicious vegetarian recipe goes well with steamed rice or rotis.

Story first published: Tuesday, May 20, 2014, 12:54 [IST]