Call it human tendency or affinity, but there is certainly a craze for non-vegetarian food among people who take a liking to both veggies and meat. However, there are several vegetarian preparations that can prove tough competition to the much sought after Galouti kebab, Mutton Pasanda or Prawn Vindaloo and leave one yearning for more. Here is something called Dhokar Dalna for all those who do not quite like dal or believe that chana dal can never be tasty. The next time a vegetarian friend comes visiting; do not brainstorm on what to cook for dinner. Instead, get geared to amaze him/her with this exotic Bengali delicacy.
Ingredients: (serves 6)
- Chana Dal – 200 gms
- Bay Leaves – 2 to 3
- Tomato – half (optional)
- Ginger Paste – 2 tbsp
- Cumin Powder – 2 to 3 tsp
- Green Chillies – 6 to 8
- Garam Masala Powder – 1 tsp
- Turmeric Powder – ½ tsp
- Coriander – 1/4th cup (chopped)
- Mustard Oil – 5 tbsps
- Sugar – 2 tsp
- Salt to taste
How to make Dhokar Dalna?
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
– Wash the chana dal well and soak it overnight.
– Mix 1 teaspoon ginger paste, 3 teaspoons of cumin powder and 5 green chillies (finely chopped) in water to make a thick paste and let it stand for 15-20 minutes.
– Put the dal in a mixer grinder and make a fine paste. Do remember to add a pinch of salt, 1 teaspoon sugar, the remaining ginger paste and 3 green chillies to it.
– Pour the paste in a greased container with lid and steam it in the pressure cooker. Do not over steam, otherwise it would become too tough.
– Once it cools down, cut the cake-like thing or Dhoka into equal pieces. Fry the pieces in 3 tablespoon oil till it turns golden brown and keep aside.
– Now add the remaining mustard oil in the same pan. Add bay leaves and the chopped tomato. Saute a bit.
– Next add the ginger-cumin powder-chilli paste and keep cooking on low heat till the colour changes.
– The mix of spices once cooked to perfection will give out a sweet aroma. Now, add the fried Dhoka pieces to the masala and mix well.
– Add turmeric powder, salt, remaining sugar and a cup of water and bring the potion to boil till it reaches a creamy consistency.
– Add the garam masala powder and mix well.
– Top it off with the chopped coriander leaves before serving.
This dish is a bit time consuming, but trust me, once you have accomplished preparing it, you would be more than overwhelmed by its taste. Dhokar Dalna is ideally served with steaming hot rice. But I would recommend that you also try it with phulke or parantha.