Apr 15, 2011

Bengali New Year Special - Dhokar Dalna

Subho Nababarsha

A happy and Properous new year wish from me to all my visitors, readers, and to all Bengali Blogger friends.

Bengali New Year or Poila Boishakh is the first day of the Bengali calendar that is celebrated in both Bangladesh and West Bengal and in Bengali communities in Assam and Tripura. Naba Barsha or Paila Baisakh is a very important occassion for Bengalies.
In the Various part of West Bengal, this day is celebrated through cultural programmes fairs etc. The most famous of these is Bangla Sangeet Mela, held at Nandan-Rabindra Sadan ground in Kolkata. This fair is conducted by the Government of West Bengal.

Prayers are offered to God for the well-being and prosperity of the family. Young ladies clad in white saris with red borders and men clad in dhoti and kurta take part in the Probhat Pheri processions early in the morning to welcome the first day of the Bengali New Year.

Pohela Boishakh is the beginning of all business activities in Bengal. The Bengali Hindu traders purchase new accounting book. The accounting in the halkhata begins only after offering puja.
In Kolkata, long queues of devotees are seen in front of the Kalighat and Dakshineswar temple from late night. Devotees offer puja to receive the blessings of the almighty.

Dhokar dalna is one of the oldest recipes, which is of absolute Bengali origin.  This is a very tasty recipe made of bengal gram (lentil).

Ingredients : 

1 cup cholar dal (chana dal/Bengal gram)
2 medium tomato
1 tsp ginger grated
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin seed powder
pinch of asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp chilli powder
2 green chillis
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp ghee
2-3 tbsp oil
1 tsp sugar
salt to taste

Method :

Wash and soak Bengal gram lentils in water for 4-6 hours. Drain water and grind the dal to a paste in a mixer. Heat 1 tspoon oil and temper it with asafoetida, 1/2 tsp ginger paste, 1/4 tspoon turmeric powder, green chilli paste, sugar and salt. Pour the ground dal and cook till the mixture is soft and sticky, but not completely dry.

Smear little oil in a dish. Pour the cooked dal and spread evenly on the dish. Press lightly with your spoon so that it sets properly. Cool and cut the dhoka into diamond shapes.
Heat oil in a tawa and fry the dhokas to light brown. Remove and keep aside.

Then heat the rest of remaining oil in a deep bottomed pan and temper it with cumin seeds and 1 bay leave. Fry for a minute till it stops sputtering.
In the meantime, puree the tomatoes, ginger and green chillies together. Add the pureed mixture with turmeric, red chili powder, coriander powder, cumin seeds powder and saute for 3-4 minutes on low heat.

Then, add about two small cups of warm water and salt and let it simmer for 4-5 minutes. Add the fried dhokas, and bring the curry to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for another 4-5 minutes till the dhoka starts to soak up part of the curry.

Put ghee and garam masala and take it off the heat. It should be the last thing added. just before the dish is taken off the heat.

Serve hot with plain rice or paratha or roti.

Sending this recipe to Womenera's "C for Colourful Currys"


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