Mocha Dhokar Dalna
Dhokar Dalna is a classic no onion no garlic preparation of Bengali cuisine. Chholar Daal/Chana daal is made into cakes, fried and cooked in a gingery gravy to prepare this dalna. This is how basic dhokar dalna is prepared.
My thakuma used to often add flavor and taste to the dhoka by adding some vegetable or flavor to it. One of her to go preparation on a veg day was mochha dhokar dalna. Lentil cakes were prepared along with mochha/banana flower. Well! I agree with you on that. Chopping banana flower is a task and you are adding more work to it by preparing dhoka. But this was mostly prepared on vegetarian days and therefore preparing a vegetarian meal in a machhe bhaat e Bangali’s household is always elaborate. A bit of preplanning is always done to prepare the dish. Mocha is often chopped and at times even steamed the previous day.
Other Dhokar Dalna recipes on the blog
Mochha Dhokar Dalna
- 1½ cup of chopped mocha
- 1 cup of chholar daal/chana daal
- ½ cup of grated coconut
- Salt to taste
- 1 tablespoon of grated ginger
- 2 green chilies
- 3 tablespoons of mustard oil
- ¼ teaspoon of cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon of roasted cumin powder
- ½ teaspoon of red chili powder
- ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder
- oil for frying the dhokas
For the Dalna
- 2-3 bay leaves
- 1 inch cinnamon sticks
- 4-5 cardamom pods
- 5-6 cloves
- ½ tablespoon of grated ginger
- ¼ cup of yogurt
- 1 big potato peeled and cubed for the dalna
- Salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon of cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon of coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon of red chili powder
- 3 tablespoons of mustard oil
- ½ tablespoon of Bengali garam masala powder
- 1 tablespoon of ghee
- Steam the banana flower/mocha with salt and turmeric powder and keep them aside.
- Soak the chana daal for 6 hours to overnight. Blend the chana daal to a paste.
- Now, to the blender add the steamed mocha, salt, red chili powder, grated coconut, ginger to the chana daal paste and blend everything together to a paste.
- Take a kadai, add 3 tablespoons of mustard oil and heat it. Temper the oil with cumin seeds.
- As the cumin seeds begin to splutter, add the mixture in the blender to the kadai.
- Continuously stir the mixture on a low medium flame till you see the mixture coming together in the form of a dough. Turn off the flame and let it cool for a couple of minutes.
- Grease a plate/tray with oil. This surface will be used to shape the dhokas. Transfer the dhoka mixture to the plate/tray. Spread the mixture while it is still hot to about 1 inch of thickness.
- With a knife cut the dhokas in the shape of diamonds. But do not separate them while it is hot. Let the mixture cool completely. Now, you can separate the dhokas. (See Notes)
- In a kadai heat oil for frying. Once the oil is hot, gently drop the dhokas in oil for frying. Fry the dhokas in batches on medium low heat and keep them aside. (See Notes)
- After each batch you can remove the bits from oil and continue frying the dhokas. After frying keep them aside.
For making the Dalna
- In a kadai, heat mustard oil. Add the potatoes to the kadai, saute them till they are golden brown in colour. Keep them aside.
- Meanwhile, mix turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, grated ginger and red chili powder. Add ¼ cup of water to the mixture.
- Temper the remaining oil with bay leaves, cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks and cloves.
- As the oil turns aromatic add the spice mixture to the kadai. Cook till you see oil leaving the sides of the pan.
- Take the yogurt in a bowl and whisk the yogurt. Now add the yogurt to the kadai with vigorous stirring. Add about a cup of water.
- Add the potatoes to the kadai and continue cooking the potatoes on medium flame till they are done.
- Gently add the dhokas to the kadai and continue cooking till you achieve the desired consistency. (See Notes)
- Add the sugar, Bengali garam masala powder, ghee and let it simmer for 5 minutes on low flame.
- Turn off the flame and serve the dhokar dalna with steamed rice, Bengali fried rice or basanti polao.
- Blend the mocha/banana flower and chana daal separately else mixing them might not give you an even mixture.
- Do not try to separate the dhokas while it is still hot, else they will crumble into pieces. The dough needs to be spread while still hot else the mixture will turn crumbly and it will be difficult to shape the dhokas.
- You need not deep fry the dhokas since the dhokas are already cooked. Just toss each side of the dhoka in oil for about a minute and strain them from oil.
- Do not cook the dhokas in the gravy for too long. Cooking the dhokas in the gravy for a long time will disintegrate the dhokas.
- Keep the gravy little runny as the dhokas will absorb water from the gravy even after you stop cooking.
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