Dalna or gravy curry is very famous among Bengalis and there are various types of dalna that we, the Bengalis, prepare. Dalna is a star of Bengali vegetarian kitchen and typically prepared without onion and garlic. Among all the other forms of dalna, Aloo Phulkopir Dalna is probably the most easy one and yet, it is utterly delicious and rich in taste.
I didn’t had the luck to spend much time with Dida (maternal granny). But, the little I remember about her, is her small and cozy kitchen that always used to smell heavenly. She was a Brahmin widow and so her kitchen happened to be a pure vegetarian one. Few of the dishes, I still remember, were her signature and Aloo Phulkopir Dalna was one of them. Cooked and served on stone cookware, steamed rice slowly mingling with the dalna with a sprinkle of gondhoraj lebu (lemon) juice – Oh, I can still feel the taste in my mouth.
Cooked with cauliflower and potato in a spicy gravy, Aloo Phulkopi Dalna is not to be confused with Alu Gobi. While Aloo Gobi usually is a stir fry contains onion and garlic, in Aloo Phulkopir Dalna has a spicy-tangy gravy and it is a completely no-onion no-garlic recipe and thus, it is considered as a satvik aahar. Here’s the recipe.
- 1 cauliflower (cut into medium sized florets)
- 2 medium sized potatoes, diced (medium sized)
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 5 green chillies, slitted from middle
- 1 table-spoon grated ginger
- 1/2 table-spoon cumin seeds
- 1 cinnamon stick (1 inch approx)
- 4 cardamom, crushed
- 4 cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- 1.5 tea-spoon turmeric powder
- 1 tea-spoon cumin powder
- 1 tea-spoon coriander powder
- 1/2 tea-spoon red chilli powder
- 1/2 tea-spoon garam masala powder
- 4 table-spoon mustard oil
- 2 table-spoon ghee
- 1.5 tea-spoon sugar
- salt, according to taste
- 2 cups of warm water
- Heat 2 table-spoon mustard oil and shallow fry the cauliflower adding little salt and 1/2 tea-spoon turmeric powder until it changes colour and becomes little soft. Remove and keep aside.
- In the same pan, heat the remaining oil and shallow fry the potato pieces adding salt and 1/2 tea-spoon turmeric powder until they turn golden. Remove and keep aside.
- Now, heat ghee and temper with cumin seeds, cinnamon stick, cardamom, cloves and bay leaves. Allow them to splutter.
- Add grated ginger, chopped tomato, green chillies, 1/2 tea-spoon turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, red chilli powder and salt. Lower the flame and sprinkle little water. Saute till the tomato turns mushy.
- Now, add potato and 1 cup warm water. Cover the lid and cook for 5 minutes in lower flame.
- Add cauliflower and remaining water and cover the lid.
- On a low to medium flame, cook for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are properly cooked.
- Check the consistency of the gravy, it should be rich in colour and runny.
- Sprinkle sugar and garam masala power and mix well. Turn off the flame.
- Your Aloo Phulkopir Dalna is ready to be served now.
This is a traditional Bengali vegetarian dish and is best served with Luchi (deep fried puffy bread) or Gorom Bhat (steamed rice). To double the taste, don’t forget to squeeze a quarter piece of Gondhoraj lebu (lemon) while eating.
Enjoy this authentic Bengali delicacy and do drop me a comment giving your feedback about this recipe. You can also tag me on Instagram using the handle @when_a_bong_cooks.