Koraishutir Dhokar Curry, loosely translated in English is “Peas cake curry”. It is an aromatic, creamy, soothing and extremely economical dish and a wonderful addition to my Bengali vegetarian recipe collections! If you follow a vegan diet, omit the ghee at the end, yet it will full of flavours!
COVID 19 social distance and Home cooking!
Because of COVID-19, along with maintaining social distance, home cooking has become a required life skill for many people! These days we don’t have the easy access to get the takeaway meals! Sometimes we are scared to order a meal from the takeaway services. In other cases, our favourite food joints are not able to deliver meals. Another harsh reality is many people are losing their jobs. So, it is more economical to cook at home than ordering meals from outside!
So for the healthy, nutritious, home-cooked meals as much as we required Meal plans, Meal preps. We also need to learn the budgeting skill for our meal plan. Food waste is a big problem. Over the times we are going to face more challenges if we don’t stop food-wasting right now! I often try to use one ingredient for many recipes. If there is an ingredient in my pantry or fridge which I know that going to spoil or expire soon, I try to cook something with that ingredient as soon as possible! The story behind making this Koraishutir Dhokar Curry began with this idea!
A few days back, we celebrated our daughter’s seventh Birthday! I baked her favourite chocolate cake the night before. You can see the picture of her birthday cake here! Only three of us living here and no other family members are here in Melbourne. We strongly feel it is our responsibility to let her know about her ethnic culture and traditions!
The day started with the morning prayer, followed by a typical Bengali breakfast Porota, Torkari and Misti(sweet). Then like every year this year also I made a traditional Bengali meal for lunch. The menu consists of Panch Bhaja ( five types of fried vegetables), Badhakopir Torkari, Macher Mathar Dal, Prawn or Chingrir Malaikari. Because she doesn’t like, I didn’t make Chutney, but I made Sandesh and Payesh(rice pudding).
As this is not a suitable time for a birthday party or any kind of social gathering, so in the evening we did a virtual cake cutting celebration with her friends and our family members. It was a different kind of birthday celebration, none of us experienced or heard about this kind of celebration! Right?
Freshly made Coconut Milk Vs canned Coconut Milk
Coconut milk is an essential ingredient for Prawn Malaikari. Earlier it used to be a long process to make coconut milk from the freshly grated coconut. Of course, the taste of freshly made coconut milk is far better than the store-bought ones, but the process is very long and time-consuming.
Not only for home cooking but also many other aspects of our life, I find the moderation is the key to success! So this time too I cooked Malaikari with canned coconut cream, you can use coconut milk too. Though I didn’t require the whole can of cream. And according to the package instruction, after opening the can, I had to consume it within two to three days! While I was cooking, I was planning to cook a vegetarian curry with it! Then I remembered, I have frozen peas in the freezer! Voila! Let’s combine these two ingredients and decided to make Koraishutir Dhoka Curry for our weekly vegetarian menu!
There is nothing called curry in Bengali cuisine
It has Dalna, Jhol, Jhal, Rosa, Korma, Torkari, Ghonto etc. Every single name has a specific characteristic, and curry is a western name given to any Indian gravy based dish! This recipe has inspired by two traditional Bengali recipes Chingrir Malaikari and Dhokar Dalna. Yet by taste and look wise very different from both the dishes, so I decided to call it Koraishutir Dhokar Curry!
Green Peas ( Koraishuti or Motorshuti) and Bengali Cuisine!
According to Food Historians, Green peas are an extremely ancient food cultivated in the Middle-East countries. It was introduced in India through traders! Like Peas, there are many other vegetables such as Cabbage, Tomato, Cauliflowers, beet, potatoes which are now the part of the daily diet. These vegetables were imported into Bengal during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries by traders.
There are countless dishes in Bengali cuisine where we add Green Peas. Badhakopir Ghonto, Fhulkopir Ghonto, Aloo Fulkopi Koraishutir Dalna these are to name few! Koraishutir Kochuri and Aloo r dom is the winter delicacy, a match made in Bengali Kitchen. During winter months, without this combination a Bengali celebratory meal or special Sunday breakfast is incomplete!
I guess not only Potato but also green peas remarkably imported and accepted in Bengali cuisine! Enjoy this flavourful peas recipe.
Koraishutir Dhokar Curry
- 10 gm Ginger
- 4 Green chilli - approx 3 tsp
- 2 tbsp Mustard oil
- 2 Bay leaves
- 3 Green Cardamom
- 2 Cloves
- 1 inch Cinnamon stick
- 1 tbsp Tomatoes - chopped
- Salt - to taste
- ¾ cup Coconut milk - 150 ml
- ½ tsp Sugar - optional
- ½ tsp Garam Masala
- 1 tsp Ghee - optional
To make Dhoka:
- A day ahead, soak the lentil overnight. Following day, rinse the lentil, drain water, transfer into a grinder, sprinkle salt and make a smooth paste.
- Next, add frozen peas, green chillies, ginger, and salt in the grinder, add a little bit of water and make a smooth paste.
- Heat a tablespoon of oil in a heavy-duty cooking pot over medium heat, once hot, reduce the heat to low and add cumin seed, Hing or asafoetida, stir for a few seconds and add lentil paste, peas paste and about ⅛ cup of water.
- Stir until the mixture is quite dry, sprinkle Bhaja moshla and continue stirring to make a firm dough.
- Grease a plate with oil and transfer the dough, spread with a spatula and make a large flat square. Make sure it is 2 cm thick. Once it is cool, cut into either small squares or diamond shapes.
- Heat oil for frying, add 3-4 pieces in the hot oil and fry the Dhoka pieces. over medium-high heat fry each side for about 2 minutes to develop slightly golden colour in the edges, then turn the other side, when both sides are fried, remove from the oil. Repeat the same process for the rest of the pieces.
To make Curry:
- Heat oil, in a cooking pan. Once the oil is hot, reduce the heat, add all the whole spices, give a stir to release the aroma from the oil.
- Then, add ginger-green chilli paste, give a quick stir, add chopped tomatoes, sprinkle salt and sugar for the gravy.
- Next, add Fried Dhokas, coconut milk, and about a half cup of water. Increase the heat to high. With the help of a ladle give a stir.
- Once the gravy starts boiling, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 3-4 minutes. As the gravy thickens, add a tsp of Ghee and sprinkle Garam masala. Cover with a lid and turn off the heat.
- Give five minuted resting time, enjoy with steamed rice or Pulao.