Dhokar Dalna - Fried Lentil cakes in a tomato gravy is an authentic Bengali dish. A pure Satvik dish, sans no Onions and no garlic. This was generally served on special occasions like weddings and festivals to the widows who were not allowed to take onions or garlic. I have never tasted a Bengali dish except for the famous Rasgullas. So this time for the Blogging Marathon, I decided to prepare one from the "Bengal State" and I landed on this one. A very delicious gravy with those lentil cakes, that goes well with the Rice. The "Dhokar" can be eaten alone as a snack. In fact I did gobble up pieces while frying them before I could put it in the gravy. Check out the recipes, the other marathoners have cooked here.
DHOKAR DALNA Prep Time: 10 Mins | Cook Time: 30 Mins | Yields : 3-4
Ingredients For the Dhokar / Fried Lentil Cakes
1 Cup Channa Dal
3-4 no's Green Chillies
¼ teaspoon Turmeric powder
1 teaspoon Fresh grated Ginger
A pinch Asafoetida
¼ teaspoon Black cumin seeds / Kalonji / Nigella seeds
Oil For shallow frying
For the Dalna
1 Bay Leaf
1 tsp Black cumin seeds / Kalonji / Nigella seeds
A pinch Asafoetida
1 Medium sized Tomato, finely chopped
1 Medium sized Potato, cubed
½ tsp Cumin powder
½ tsp Coriander powder
½ tsp Red chilli powder
2 teaspoon Thick curd / Yoghurt
1 teaspoon Sugar
1 teaspoon Garam Masala
Water, as required
Instructions For the Dhokar / Fried Lentil Cakes
Soak the channa dal for 3-4 hours. Drain the water and along with green chillies, salt grind it into a coarse paste. Add turmeric powder through asafoetida and mix it well.
Meanwhile grease a plate with little oil and keep aside.
Heat oil in a pan, add the black cumin seeds and once they splutter, add the paste and keep stirring it.
Keep stirring it until the dal mixture comes together without sticking to the pan. A lightly sticky dough like consistency but it should not become very dry though. It will break while you are frying it.
Pour it in the greased plate and flat it out with your palm or a flat spatula. While it is warm, run a knife through it to make it into any shape of your choice like square or diamond.
Allow it to cool completely. Then either deep fry them or shallow fry them in oil and keep it aside.
For the Dalna / Gravy
Mix the cumin powder, coriander powder and red chilli powder in yoghurt / curd. Keep it aside.
Heat Oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the cubed potatoes and brown the edges. (1)
Add the bay leaf, cumin seeds and once they splutter add the tomatoes and cook them until they become soft and mushy.
Once the tomatoes are cooked, add the curd paste and stir it.
Add in the potatoes and a cup of water and simmer it until the potatoes are done.
Finally add the Fried lentil cakes, sugar and Garam Masala. Once the concoction comes to boil turn off the flame and garnish it with coriander leaves.
Crisping the edges of the potatoes, adds a nice texture to the dish. But that's purely optional.
The lentils and the potatoes soak up much of the gravy. You will need more gravy quantity.