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Sunday, January 8, 2012

Dhoka-r Dalna (Lentil Cake Curry)



Dhoka in a bunch of Indian languages mean betrayal, but believe me the last thing Dhokar dalna does is to betray. It faithfully satisfies your palate each time. I have no idea why this is called dhoka, please let me know if you have any idea about it. Essentially dhoka-r dalna is a a curry of cakes made of ground lentil.

It takes some patience to make this dish and hence I rarely make it. However, when I do its an instant hit at our home. Making dhokar-dalna is a two step process. First you need to make the lentil cake called dhoka and next you make the gravy or dalna.

You can make the cake either using the full recipe below, or you can use readymade Dhoka mix. Unfortunately the mix is not available atleast on our side of the US and I make my own dhoka mix. See my ready to use dhoka mix recipe for that.

Making the Dhoka


  1. 1 cup cholar/chaana dal (also called Bengal Gram) soaked overnight
  2. 2,3 green chilies
  3. 1/2" ginger
  4. Salt
  5. Sugar
  6. A  pinch of hing (asfoetida)


Drain the soaked chana dal and grind into a smooth paste with green chilies, ginger, and salt by adding as little water as possible.


Heat about 2 tbsp of oil in a pan and temper with a pinch of asfoetida. Add the ground lentil paste along with little sugar and cook it till the mixture leaves the sides of the pan. This mixture has a tendency to stick to the bottom of the pan unless you stir continuously throughout the process. The end product should be moist and soft.

Grease a flat dish with a spoon of oil and transfer the dal mixture into it. Now with your hand press it downwards and flatten the surface while it is still warm. Now with a sharp knife cut into squares or triangles. Wait for sometime to allow it to cool.IMG_0322

Heat oil in a kadai and deep fry each pieces till both sides turn light golden brown.IMG_0305


Making the Dalna or Gravy


  1. 3 medium sized potatoes each cut into six cubes
  2. 1 tomato coarsely chopped
  3. 1 tbsp. ginger paste
  4. 1 tbsp coriander powder
  5. 1 tsp. cumin powder
  6. 1 tsp. turmeric powder
  7. 2 tsp. chili powder
  8. 1 tsp. garam masala powder
  9. Whole garam masala
    1. 1" whole cinnamon
    2. 2 whole green cardamom
    3. 2,3 cloves
  10. 2,3 tejpatta (bay leaves)
  11. 1 tsp. whole cumin seeds
  12. A pinch of hing (asfoetida)
  13. Salt
  14. Sugar
  15. Ghee


Heat oil in a wok (kadai) and temper the oil  with whole cumin seeds, asfoetida, tejpatta, and whole garam masala. Now add potato cubes to it  along with ginger paste and sauté for a while.

Add chopped tomato to it and fry till the tomatoes become mushy.

In a bowl mix turmeric powder, chili powder, cumin and coriander powder with little water to make a smooth paste. Add this masala and fry. Sprinkle salt, sugar and mix well.

Pour about 2 cups of water to it and cook it covered till potatoes are done. Check the seasoning and adjust. Now very gently add the dhoka to it and simmer for couple of minutes. 

Finish it with a spoon of ghee and garam masala.


1 comment:

India Food Network said...

Yummy !! My mouth is watering.. i have tried this & i liked the most. Thanks for sharing, & even i found amazing link of 'Indian Recipes cooking show', 'Indian Cooking Recipe', 'Indian Cooking' You will also like it.