When my Grandmother was active, and of course, undoubtedly,the in-charge of kitchen, Dhokar Dalna, Chhanaar dalna(Please note it was not Paneer, those days, enchorer dalna or mochaar ghanto etc etc were part of the regular veg. (niramish) menu planner.
Even though we drool over the names of the above dishes, the effort and pain behind those dishes have made them very special, part of a traditional meal cooked with love and care.
But, life is always about 'customisation', and 'improvisation'. For today's generation of homemakers, there are many many solutions to realisation of gluttonic dreams of a true Bong family, living away from Kolkata.
Thanks to the enterpreneural skills of spice Giants in Kolkata, we have the liberty of deciding to have Dhokaar Dalna for dinner at 8pm after a nasty frustrating day in office. Among many known and unknown packets and brands available in Kolkata, one is available in my Supermarket in Gurgaon as well.
This is a staple in my pantry, for one of those home-sick evenings. So, familiar sight of this pink pack is a must in my pantry.
This week, on one of those weeknights, I did not have anything to put on dinner plate than Dhokaar Dalna with Roti. The outcome was soul food, spiked with nostalgia.
Dhoka Mix... 1 packet
Warm water....as per instruction
Potato cubed: 1 large
Jeera (sabut) : 1 tsp
Tejpatta : 1 or 2
Garam Masala(sabut): Clove, Cinnamon, Green Cardamom: 2 each
Jeera Powder : 2 tsp
Haldi Powder : 1 tsp
Garam Masala Powder: 1/2 tsp
Red Chilli Powder: 1 tsp(to taste)
Soak the Dhoka powder in warm water as per instructions.Heat 2 teaspoon of oil in a wok. When heated, pour the mixture. Stir continuously till it forms a lump, and separates from the sides of the wok. Grease a steel thaali lightly and pour the lump while it is still hot. Pat lightly to form an even square. Cut it into cubes, and let it cool. Shallow fry the dhoka cubes till brown.
In the same oil, lightly fry the potato cubes, and keep aside. Mix all spice powders into a paste.
Add sabut garam masala and jeera(sabut)and tejpatta to the oil.Reduce flame.Add the spice paste, and stir continuously. Add salt and sugar to taste. When spices start leaving the edge of the wok, add water and put the wok on high flame.Let the gravy boil and add the potatoes.Cover, and reduce flame. Let it boil till the potatoes get cooked and the gravy thickens. Add the dhokaa pieces. Simmer for 5-7 minutes.
When done, add chopped coriander before serving. Tastes equally heavenly with roti, paratha or steamed rice.