August 20, 2008
Dhokar Dalna is part of traditional Bengali cuisine cooked and served in Pujo, or as second course of a meal. I was reminiscing about it with my parents, also telling them that I've received a few requests asking for the recipe. And they surprised me with Dhokar Dalna curry the next day.
I am not sure where the name originated, neither did my parents. Dhoka means to cheat, and I have been wondering what does the the curry using lentils is cheating on? I am still curious, so drop me a line if you have any theories :)
Here is how they made it:
1 cup cholar dal (chana dal/Bengal gram)
2 medium tomato
1 tspoon ginger grated
1 tspoon cumin seeds
1 tspoon coriander powder
1 tspoon cumin seed powder
pinch of asafoetida
1/2 tspoon turmeric powder
1 tspoon chilli powder
2 green chillis
1 tspoon cumin seeds
1/2 tspoon garam masala
1/2 tspoon ghee
2-3 tbspoon oil
salt to taste
Wash and soak Bengal gram lentils in water for 4-6 hours. Drain water and grind the dal to a paste in a mixer. Heat 1 tspoon oil and temper it with 1/2 tspoon cumin seeds, asafoetida, 1/2 tspoon ginger paste, 1/4 tspoon turmeric powder and salt. Pour the ground dal and cook till the mixture is soft and sticky, but not completely dry.
Smear little oil in a dish. Pour the cooked dal and spread evenly on the dish. Press lightly with your spoon so that it sets properly. Cool and cut the dhoka into square or diamond shapes.
Heat two tbspoon oil and fry the dhokas to light brown. Remove and keep aside.
Then heat the rest of remaining oil in a deep bottomed pan and temper it with the 1/2 tspoon remaining cumin seeds. Fry for a minute till it stops sputtering.
In the meantime, puree the tomatoes, ginger and green chillies together. Add the pureed mixture with turmeric, red chili powder, coriander powder, cumin seeds powder and saute for 3-4 minutes on low heat.
Then, add about two small cups of of water and salt and let it simmer for 4-5 minutes. Add the fried dhokas, and bring the curry to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for another 4-5 minutes till the dhoka starts to soak up part of the curry.
Put ghee and garam masala and take it off the heat. It should be the last thing added. just before the dish is taken off the heat.
Serve warm with rice. This is my entry to Curry Mela going on at Srivalli's Cooking 4 all Seasons. Thank you for hosting!