What is a Bengali without his food? We have a plethora of food choices, from Daal (lentils), Neem Begun Bhaja (stir fried Neem and Brinjal), Tarkari (vegetables) to Chingri Macher Malaikari (Prawns in creamy coconut milk), Bhetki Macher Paturi (Fish steamed in banana leaf), and Aloo Posto (potatoes mixed with poppy seed). Yet, stereotypes about us have limited us to just roshogolla and maacher jhol. Yes, we love our Maacher Jhol and Roshogolla, but it’s wrong to think we are bound by any hackneyed idea.
Ever heard of Dhokar Daalna? Well in this recipe, I’ll share Bengalis’ all-time favourite Dhokar Daalna recipe which requires neither Maach nor Roshogolla.
Ingredients Required for Dhokar Daalna
- 200 gms chana dal or Bengal gram daal
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- 1/3 turmeric powder
- 1/3 coriander powder
- 1 tsp curd
- 1 tsp ginger paste
- 2 tsp ginger powder
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 2 cardamom
- 2 cloves
- 1/2 tsp garam masala powder
- refined oil as per taste
- salt as per taste
- 1 chopped potato
- 1 chopped onion
- 3-4 green chillies
There’s a process of soaking in water. So, wash the lentils well and soak them overnight.
Step 1- Blend the lentils, ginger paste, 2-3 green chillies and a little bit of salt in a blender.
Step 2- Take a pan, add oil and let it heat. Then take the blended lentils and fry till the water dries up.
Step 3- Now take a plate, grease it with ghee and spread the lentil paste on it and set aside for 20 minutes.
Step 4- After 20 minutes, cut ‘dhoka’ into rhombus shapes (barfi-like-shape) and fry it till it turns into golden brown colour
Step 5- Now take a pan and add some oil (preferably refined oil but you can take any oil of your choice) and fry the chopped potatoes till they caramelise.
Step 6- In the same oil, add rest of the ingredients such as bay leaves, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, chopped onions, green chillies, turmeric, chilli powder as per taste, cumin and coriander powder and stir it well. Lower the heat and add salt as per taste, curd and mix well till the masalas are all cooked. Add a little bit of water, put the fried potatoes into the concoction, and let it boil. Now put the fried ‘dhoka’ in it and cook for 2 minutes. In the end, add ghee and garam masala to enhance the taste and stir lightly (otherwise the ‘dhoka’ can break). Cook it for 1 minute on low flame.
Step 7- Serve hot with steamed rice.
Note: You may top up the meal with a Roshogolla to satisfy that sweet craving, if you so wish!