Monday, 4 August 2014

Dhokar Dalna ( Lentil Cakes In A Rich Spicy Gravy)

Dhokar Dalna (Lentil Cakes In A Rich Spicy Gravy) is special occasion traditional Bong dish be it marriage, sacred thread or even anniversaries and birthdays. Extremely delectable and flavourful this dish entices you with a gorgeous texture as well. I remember Dhokar Dalna being served at all the invitations we used to get in my childhood and how I looked forward to it among the other items. My Maa used to cook this so beautifully and perfectly, learnt it from her. This is a family favourite of mine. I try to make this whenever I manage to devote a longer time in cooking because it involves a lengthy process but the fruit of labour is always delish and pleasing.... Here's the recipe....

Dhokar Dalna

Dhokar Dalna

Dhokar Dalna

Dhokar Dalna

Dhokar Dalna



  • 200 gms Chana dal/ Cholar dal (split Bengal gram) soaked for 7-8 hours
  • 2 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 3 large potatoes cut in big dices
  • 1 large tomato pasted
  • 1/2 tsp kaalo jeere (nigella seeds)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 green cardamoms
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 small pinch hing (asafoetida)
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp kashmiri red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • Salt n sugar to taste
  • 1 tblspn ghee/ clarified butter
  • Mustard oil as per requirement


Wash and grind the chana dal to a smooth paste. Heat oil in a thick bottomed skillet and temper with  hing, nigella seeds, half tsp garlic paste and add the lentil paste. Add salt and sugar according to your taste. Now fry the paste well until its firm and dries up. You can add a little bit of wheat flour for binding if you want to the mixture. Now remove it on a flat dish. Flatten it out slowly with the spatula so that the surface is even. Put another flat bottomed dish on it to make the mixture bind properly and let it cool for 45 minutes. After cooling cut the mixture in diamond or square shapes. Heat oil in the skillet and fry the lentil cakes very carefully because they are delicate and tend to break easily. Now for the curry add some more oil if needed and fry the diced potatoes golden brown, take out and keep aside. Add the whole garam masalas, bay leaf, wait for the splutter before adding the ginger paste, the remaining garlic paste and tomato paste. Saute well, add the powdered masalas, salt and a pinch of sugar. Keep stirring. Add the fried potatoes and 2 cups of warm water. Cook covered until the potatoes are done. Now add the fried dhokas or lentil cakes to the gravy. Turn off the heat and sprinkle ghee on top and let it stand for 10 -15 minutes covered before serving with steamed rice.

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