Bengali Koraishutir Dhokar Dalna
Koraishutir dhokar dalna is a beautiful rendition of the classic Bengali dish dhokar dalna. Thanks to Thakurbari, the House of Tagores who were not only pioneer in championing the cause on social art and cultural reforms. But also were very innovative in culinary spheres. Rendition of classical dishes, fusing with European culinary techniques and giving it a delectable twist, was all that identifies with Thakurbarir ranna. Par excellence.
Chanar Dhokar Dalna is another example of such beautiful interpretation of classic dhokar dalna.
Koraishutir dhokar dalna is the one where the spicy peas and lentil cakes are steamed and then fried in enough oil till they turn golden brown. You can devour them as a snack or make a curry with scented cumin-ginger paste. Which is a very flavourful combination of two ingredients and it becomes a backbone of many Bengali vegetarian dishes. As we do not use onion and garlic with our vegetables.
Finesse Of Bengali Vegetarian Dishes
The essence of Bengali cuisine lies in maintaining a delicate balance between the main ingredients and its seasonings. Bengali vegetarian dishes are exemplary of fine cooking where utmost care are taken so that main ingredient can shine through . And taste and appearance of the main ingredients like fish or vegetables should not be drowned in heavy gravy.
Most of the Bengali vegetarian dishes are traditionally cooked without onions, garlic and tomatoes too.
Dhokar dalna is a fine example of that essence and exemplary of culinary repertoire. Bengali cuisine is primarily segregated into many categories like dalna, kalia, korma, chorchori and chenchki etc.. and all these represents different cooking styles and cutting styles. For dalna we prefer to cut the vegetables in chunks or quarts. Dalnas are usually richly spiced and cooked in a thin or thick gravy flavored with ground spices and Bengali garam masala. In short dalnas are royal in nature bursting with rich aromas.
How To Make Koraishutir Dhokar Dalna
Koraishutir dhokar dalna is a beautiful variant of this classic dish. With natural sweetness of green peas beautifully melded with chana dal or Bengal grams and together that makes a perfect marriage of taste and flavour.
But before heading towards to the recipe section, please note the following –
That koraishutir dhokar dalna taste best with winter fresh green peas. When you make this dish with frozen green peas, that does not do the full justice to this beautiful dish.
Second, we add little bit of shredded coconut in dhokar dalna. You can say its our family tradition to add shredded coconut in dhokar dalna. It brings out the best textural differences in dhokar dalna.
Third, very important point. Do not make a smooth paste out of the green peas and lentils. If you do, it will taste cakey or pasty when added in the gravy. Make a COARSE PASTE.
Before heading for recipe, there are few make-ahead that will definitely save your time like –
- soak the chana dal well in advance, blend it and steam the dhoka
- Prepare the jeere-aadabata / cumin-ginger paste
P.S – I use only Bengali garam masala for this dish, recipe can be found in the link provided.
Bengali Koraishutir dhokar dalna / Curried spicy green peas and lentil cakes
To make dhoka / lentil cakes
- ½ cup Chana dal / Bengal gram
- 1 ¼ cup Fresh Green Peas
- 3 tbsp Coconut, grated
- 2 tsp Green chillies, finely chopped
- 1 tsp Ginger-cumin paste
- ½ tsp Fennel seeds, roughly ground
- Salt and sugar to taste
To make the curry
- 4 tbsp Ginger-cumin paste
- ¼ tsp Turmeric powder
- ½ tsp Red chilli powder
- 1 tsp Green chillies chopped
- 1-2 Bay leaves
- Cardamom - cinnamon and cloves : 2 piece each
- Bengali Garam masala : a large pinch
- Oil for frying
- 1 tbsp Ghee
- 2 cups Potatoes cut into quarters
- Wash and soak the chana dal for 5-6 hours.
- Wash and soak the cumin seed for half an hour.
To prepare jeere-aada bata / cumin-ginger paste
- Peel and roughly chop finger long ginger piece. Grind it together with 3-4 tbsp pre soaked cumin seeds. Keep aside.
To prepare dhoka / green pea-lentil cakes
- Grind together all the ingredients listed under dhoka / lentil cakes.
- It will be a smooth mix but will have coarse texture. Do not puree it. Use very little water to make the paste.
- In a non stick pan (or use a kadhai) pour the mixture and on low medium heat keep stirring it till it becomes a solid mass like structure. This will take around 20 minute.
- The above process can be done in water bath or steam in pressure cooker.
- On a well greased tray, pour the mixture, flatten it , give it square or circular shape whichever is possible.
- When cooled slightly, cut the cakes into desired shapes . Please refer to the picture given in the post.
- Heat enough oil in a kadhai or deep bottom pan.
- Fry the dhoka till they are golden brown.
- If they are not fried properly, dhokas will break when simmered in gravy.
- In the same oil, fry the potatoes and keep aside.
To prepare the curry
- Heat two tablespoon oil in a pan.
- When it is hot enough, add bay leaves, cinnamon-cardamom and cloves.
- Add the ginger-cumin paste. Fry it for a minute.
- Add the lightly fried potatoes.
- Followed by all the spices except garam masala.
- Saute the masala paste till oil leaves out from the corner of the pan.
- Add salt and sugar to taste.
- Add water enough to cover half of the kadhai.
- Lower the heat and let the potatoes cooked through.
- Once done, add gently the green pea lentil cakes or koraishutir dhoka.
- Add more water if requires.
- Cover the pan and let the dhoka simmered in gravy for 5 minute. Switch off the heat.
- Just before finishing, sprinkle garam masala and drizzle a spoonful of ghee.
- Serve it warm.