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Bengali special Dhokar Dalna

Dhokar Dalna is an authentic dish of Bengali cuisine. It is made of two types of lentils: Chola or Chana Dal and Matar Dal. 
Course Main Course
Cuisine Bengali
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Calories 200kcal


  • 1 cup Cholar Dal or Chana Dal
  • 1 cup Matar Dal
  • 1 large Tomato
  • 1 tablespoon Ginger paste
  • 2 cups Milk
  • 1 tablespoon mixture of Cumin and Coriander powder
  • Salt, chili powder and Turmeric as required
  • 1 teaspoon Sugar
  • 2-3 Green Chilies
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1/2 tablespoon Cumin seeds
  • 2 Dry Red Chilies
  • 1 teaspoon Kalo Jeere or kalonji (nigella seeds)
  • Water as needed
  • Mustard Oil


How to prepare Dhokar Dalna - Step by Step Recipe

    Making the Dal Cakes or Dhoka:

    • Take the required quantities of both the lentils (Chana and Matar). Wash them 3-4 times in water or you can soak those for a while and then rinse properly in water.
    • Pour the lentils in a grinder jar and add some water. Grind it to make a smooth paste.
    • Now, take the lentil paste in a mixing bowl. Add in some sugar and salt and a few nigella seeds (kalonji).
    • Add some more water. Give it a nice mix. The mixture should be thick but of a little flowing consistency.
    • Now, heat some mustard oil in a heavy bottomed pan or kadhai. Add the lentil mixture in the pan. Fry it for about 4-5 minutes.
    • After that, take out the mixture and spread it on a plate. Let it cool down completely.
    • Then, cut the cake or dhoka out of the cooled mixture. Make it a diamond shape or like Barfi.
    • Now, take the same frying pan. Add some more oil, fry the cakes.
    • Fry those very evenly on all the sides on medium flame so that the dal gets cooked completely. The cakes will turn out golden brown in color after frying and a bit crispy from outside. Keep the dhoka aside.

    Cooking the Dalna or Gravy:

    • Now in the same pan, add some more oil. Temper it with a few cumin seeds, bay leaves and dry red chilies.
    • After that, goes in the tomato puree (or chopped tomatoes) and the ginger paste. Let it cook on medium flame for 2-3 minutes. Keep stirring occasionally.
    • Then add the salt, turmeric and chili powder as required.
    • Also add the cumin and coriander powder. Give it a nice mix.
    • Add the slit green chilies. Stir fry the spice mixture.
    • Cook the spices till its raw flavor is gone. Also you will see a slight change in color of the mixture.
    • Now is the time to add milk. Mix all well nicely.
    • Let the gravy boil.
    • After that add the lentil cakes or dhoka into the gravy mixture carefully.
    • Cook the gravy for some more minutes (3-4 minutes). Let the cakes soak in the gravy. Turn off the flame.
    • Finally, Dhokar Dalna is ready. Serve it hot with steamed rice or parathas.