Go Back
Chhanar dhokar dalna

Bengali chhanar / panner dhokar dalna / Curried spicy paneer and lentil cakes

Steamed spicy paneer and lentil cakes are curried in a lightly scented cumin-ginger paste. Chanar dhokar dalna goes very well with bengali pulao or luchi.

Course Side Dish
Recipe Cuisine Bengali
Keyword bengali chhanar dhokar dalna, dhokar dalna with paneer
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes

Recipe Ingredients

To make dhoka / lentil cakes

  • 1 cup Chana dal / Bengal gram , after soaking
  • 200 gm Chhena / crumbled paneer (yield from 1 L milk)
  • 1/2 cup Coconut, grated
  • 4 tbsp Khova / mawa
  • 2 tsp Green chillies, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp Ginger-cumin paste
  • 1/2 tsp Fennel seeds, roughly ground
  • Salt and sugar to taste

To make the curry

  • 4 tbsp Ginger-cumin paste
  • 1/2 cup Tomato puree
  • 1/4 cup Milk / Coconut milk
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1/2 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
  • Potatoes cut into qaurts : 2 cups

Recipe Instructions

Make ahead

  1. Wash and soak the chana dal for 5-6 hours.
  2. Prepare the tomato puree from a well ripened tomato
  3. Wash and soak the cumin seed for half an hour.

To prepare jeere-aada bata / cumin-ginger paste

  1. Peel and roughly chop finger long ginger piece. Grind it together with 3-4 tbsp pre soaked cumin seeds. Keep aside.

to prepare dhoka / paneer-lentil cakes

  1. Grind together all the ingredients listed under dhoka / lentil cakes.
  2. It will be a smooth mix but will have slight coarse texture. Do not puree it.

  3. 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.

  4. The above process can be done in water bath or steam in pressure cooker.

  5. On a well greased tray, pour the mixture, flatten it , give it square or circular shape whichever is possible.

  6. When cooled slightly, cut the cakes into desired shapes . Please refer to the picture given in the post.

  7. Heat enough oil in a kadhai or deep bottom pan.
  8. Fry the dhoka till they are golden brown.
  9. If they are not fried properly, dhokas will break when simmered in gravy.
  10. In the same oil, fry the potatoes and keep aside.

To prepare the curry

  1. Heat two tablespoon oil in a pan.
  2. When it is hot enough, add bay leaves, cinnamon-cardamom and cloves.
  3. Add the ginger-cumin paste. Fry it for a minute, then add tomato puree.

  4. Add the lightly fried potatoes.
  5. Followed by all the spices except garam masala.
  6. Saute the masala paste till oil leaves out from the corner of the pan.
  7. Add salt and sugar taste.
  8. Add water enough to cover half of the kadhai.
  9. Lower the heat and let the potatoes cooked through.
  10. Once done, add gently the paneer lentil cakes or dhoka.

  11. Add more water if requires.
  12. Cover the pan and let the dhoka simmered in gravy for 5 minute. Switch off the heat.

  13. Stir in coconut milk or milk (use warm). Switch on the heat and let it come to a gentle boil. Do this on low heat only.

  14. Just before finishing, sprinkle garam masala and drizzle a spoonful of ghee.
  15. Serve it warm.

Recipe Notes

Dhokas will soaked up all the water, so before adding the dhokas, make sure enough water is there in the pan. It is best to prepare this dish at least one hour before serving. so that dhokas will not end up as dry or crumbly. It should be juicy.