Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Dhokar Dalna – Bengali Lentil cake Gravy

This was the authentic Bengali gravy made with lentil cakes and the potatoes simmered in coconut milk. 

This was the challenge for this month’s south VsNorth challenge. Nabanita of Esho – Bosho – Aahare has challenged the south team with this delicious gravy.

  This is a traditional Bengali satvik dish with out onion and garlic. In this deep fried lentil cakes are simmered in a rich gravy of coconut milk, cashew – raisin paste and potato and seasoned with cumin, ginger paste and garam masala.

  Though the Bengali meaning of dhoka is “to cheat”, here the dhokas are the fried lentil cakes.
 The lentil cakes tastes similar to masal vada somewhat. I munched few when fried.
 The making of this gravy may seem difficult for the beginners but I find it was easy.

For lentil cake:
Channa dhal – 1 ½ cup
Matar dhal  / Split peas dal ( Pattani paruppu ) – ½ cup
Grated coconut – ½ cup
Ginger paste – 1 tsp
Onion seeds – 2 tsp ( I didn’t use )
Red chilli – 3
Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil – 1 tbs
Oil for frying the lentil cakes
For Gravy :
Potato – 3
Tomato – 1
Coconut milk – 2 cup
Grated coconut – ½ cup
Ginger paste – 1 tbs
Asafetida – ¼ tsp
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Cumin powder – 1 tbs
Slit green chillies - 3
Garam masala powder – 2 tbs
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
Cashew raisin paste – 4 tbs ( 20 cashew and 15 raisins )
Oil – 2 tbs
Salt as required

Method :
Making of Lentil cakes :
Wash and Soak both dhals for 2 hours.
Drain out the excess water and grind into a coarse paste with the ginger and red chillies. Green chilli is used in original recipe , I used red chilli instead.
Add in the turmeric powder , onion seeds , salt , grated coconut and mix well.

Heat a tablespoon of oil in the kadai and add this mixture and cook in medium flame.
Keep stirring till the mixture is cooked well. It will change color to darker. It won’t stick to the pan.
Add this to a greased flat tray and let it cool.
Cut into pieces of required shape , I cut into squares.
Heat oil in a kadai ,  deep fry these lentil cakes till golden brown.

Making of gravy :
Soak the cashew and raisins for 20 minutes and grind into a fine paste.
Chop the tomato into fine pieces.
Chop the potato into cubes.
Heat a tablespoon of oil in a pan , and sauté the potatoes.
Add in the turmeric powder and half a teaspoon of salt.
Sauté till the potatoes are became golden brown in colour.
Take out and keep aside.
In the same pan , add the remaining oil , cumin seeds , asafetida and let it crackle.
Add the slit green chillies , ginger paste and chopped tomatoes , sauté well.

Add  in the cumin powder , red chilli powder , turmeric powder , garam masala and mix well.
Add the grated coconut , coconut milk , cashew raisin paste and mix well.
Add in the sauted potatoes and required salt.

Let it simmer for 5 – 8 minutes.

Add in the lentil cakes and mix well.
Take off from flame and serve.

Serve along with rice , roti. We had it with chappati.

This gravy was with the flavor of coconut and dhal . It has a combination of tastes like sweet and  spice.

Note :
Add the lentil cakes just before serving.
To enhance the taste add a spoon of ghee to the gravy.
Coconut milk must be medium thick.
While cooking the grounded lentil mixture use a tablespoon of oil only not more than that.
Deep fry lentil cakes gently in a medium flame for even cooking.

  @ foodelicious



  1. Your cakes look so perfect Sharan.. Well done on the challenge :) Curry looks super delicious, wish I had participated this mnth...

  2. this dokhla looks delicious saranya

  3. Perfectly made dear, looks delicious.

    today's post:

  4. Well done saran...looks perfect and delicious one...

  5. Lovely .. dhokar dalna looks yummy can u please serve one plate for me?hope you enjoyed a lot... Saranya :)

  6. The cakes have come out perfect :) Btw, a tiny correction - 'dhoka' is not 'cheat' in Bengali, it's cheat in Hindi. In Bengali, the word you would use is 'thog'. Cheating would be 'thokano'. Dhoka in Bengali does mean lentil cakes, but it also means ' to enter'. I am not sure what the origins of the word dhoka here is, but I would think it has to do something with mixing of pulses and then putting them in.....dalna is the curry.

  7. Lovely and inviting recipe.. Looks yummy Sharanya :-)

  8. Authentic bengali preparation. Thanks for linking it to ONLY gluten free.