Bong Connection Vegan Vegetarian

Dhokar Dalna

This is a traditional recipe of West Bengal .The name “Dhoka” meaning in Bengali or Hindi is deception.This is actually a lentil curry but made in a very unusual way.I had earned many good review about this dish when I cooked it during get-togethers or packed in lunch boxes at work, among my  friends outside Bengal.The fun is most of the people cannot make out the ingredients of the dish by tasting it.May be that’s why the name “dhoka”.It can be consumed as a starter or as a side dish.It is a healthy and tasty vegan gluten free dish.


1.Chana dal or Bengal gram dal(2 cups soaked for minimum 4 to 5 hours)

2.Asafoetida (a pinch)

3.Cumin powder (1/2 tbsp) chilly powder (1/2 tbsp)

5.Ginger grated (1 tbsp)

6.Green chilies (2 chopped finely)



1.Grind the soaked lentils

2.In a wok add 2 to 3 tbsp of oil,add cumin and asafoetida(hing)and ginger,chilly paste and stir

3.Add the lentil paste and stir thoroughly.

4.Add salt and 1 tbsp of sugar to taste.If you want to customize and add some herbs ,go ahead and do it.any variation will taste great.

5.Stir till the mixture leaves the sides of the pan.

6.Now grease a plate and spread this hot mixture slowly pressing with palms.

7.Allow it to cool.

8.Cut this into diamond shaped pieces.

9.In the wok take 1 cup of oil and heat it for frying.

10.Deep fry these pieces one by one.

11.Your Dhoka is ready,you can serve these as a starter now.

For gravy

1.Potatoes (cut into big pieces optional)

2.Onion (1 grated)

3.Ginger paste (2 tbsp)

4.Cumin whole(1/2 tbsp)

5.Cumin powder(1 tbsp)

6.Coriander powder(1 tbsp)

7.Red chily powder(1/2 tbsp)

8.All spice powder(1 tbsp)

9.Bay leaves (2)

10.Oil (2 tbsp)

11.Salt to taste
Making dalna
you can make your own variation for the gravy.
1.Deep fry or boil the potato pieces.
2.Add a tbsp of oil and heat in.
3.Add cumin whole into it and bay leaves.
4.Add onion and ginger paste.
5.Add turmeric,cumin powder and stir.
6.Add a cup of water allow to cook on low flame.
7.Add the potatoes and cook till they are soft.
8.At last add the “Dhokas” and cover and cook for 5 to 10 minutes.
9.Add all spice powder and a tbsp of clarified butter or ghee.
10.Garnish with coriander leaves and serve.


Indrani Sen is a teacher,lecturer in Information Technology/Computer Science for the past 12 years. She has authored 4 text books in Information Technology.
She is passionate about cooking and loves to blog about food and travel.This blog is like my baby as I have built it from scratch by myself with little help from colleagues ,friends and of course Google.

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