Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Dim er Dhoka aka Egg Dhoka

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“How old are you?”, asked my 3 year old

I wanted to be the scrubbed face, squeaky clean hair, dream in the eyes, hope in my heart of early 20’s and so I said, “I am 20”

“No, you’re not, you are 100," she said, looking into my eyes

I panicked, it can’t be that bad I thought. She is only a child and hasn’t seen my Driver License yet, I can still try, I decided.

So I bargained, to get back to those days of fun and freedom and said “Ok then, I am 25”

She looked into the fine lines around my eyes and insisted “But you can be 100, it is better”

It might be…
The higher the number, the better it is does not hold true in all cases, but she is too young to know.

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“Dhoka” in Bengali or Hindi actually means a sham, an act of duping someone. When it comes to food however the word “Dhoka” in Bengali came from I guess “Dhokla” in Gujarati. “Dhokar Dalna” is one of my favorite Bengali food though I haven’t cooked it ever, more about it later. “Dim er Dhoka” or “Egg Dhoka” or “Steamed Egg Cakes in a Curry” gets the name from the similarity in the process and the look I guess. My Ma used to make this on rare occasions maybe twice or thrice in my lifetime, yeah that rare. So when I found it in my cookbook I was pleasantly surprised because I had always thought my Ma made up that name.

I love eggs actually both D and me absolutely love eggs. Before the days of physical check ups, egg curry was a staple food at our home. When I got married, the only thing we could cook every day was Dal and Egg Curry. It was that bad or actually that good. But life has taken its toll and so we watch not only our chickens but also eggs these days.

The “Dim er Dhoka” or the “Steamed Egg Cakes in a Curry” (??) is a pleasant variation to the much loved egg curry. The best part is you can make the steamed egg cubes and eat them for breakfast and then use the rest for the gravy which you can have for lunch or dinner. Ok you can do that with Boiled Eggs too, but that’s beside the point. It is also a very tasty variation which you can serve when you have guests for dinner. It’s pretty convenient to make the egg cakes beforehand. So heres to a very tasty "Egg Dhoka" or "Dim er Dhoka" as we say in Bengali.


Dim er Dhoka/Steamed Egg Cakes in a Gravy

What You Need

For the Steamed Egg Cakes

This yielded about 25/30 egg cubes of the size shown in pic below

Eggs ~ 6
Onion Paste ~ 3 tbsp of paste or 1 small chopped fine
Corriander leaves ~ finely chopped about 1/4 cup
Green Chillies ~ 3 chopped fine (optional)
Tomato ~ ¼ of a medium chopped fine (optional)
Ginger paste ~ 1 tsp
Milk ~ 3 tbsp
Salt ~ as per taste
Baking Powder ~ a pinch

For Gravy (gravy made with about 15-18 of the steamed egg cakes)

Onion Paste ~ 4 tbsp
Tomato ~ 1 medium finely chopped or blanched. I used a medium sized tomato from a can of whole peeled tomatoes
Panch Phoron – 1/2 tsp
Ginger Paste ~ 1 tsp
Garlic Paste ~ 1 tsp
Yogurt ~ ½ cup
Jeera Powder/Cumin Powder ~ 1 tsp
Dhania Powder/Corriander Powder – 1 tsp
Water ~ 1 and 1/2 cups
Sugar – 2 tsp
Red Chilli Powder ~ ½ tsp
Green Chilli ~ 3 very finely chopped

Salt ~ as per taste

How I Did It

For Dhoka or the Steamed Egg Cake

Beat the eggs in a bowl.
To it add the chopped onions, chopped green chillies, chopped tomato, chopped corriander, ginger paste, pinch of baking powder, milk and salt. Beat well
Steam this in a steamer if you have one
If you don’t have one like me, put it in a greased pressure cooker bowl and put in your pressure cooker. Remember to add water to the bottom of the cooker .Tip:Instead of the aluminium pressure cooker separator use a steel one which has been greased well.
The idea is to steam it, in a pressure cooker it will take as much time as it takes for rice to be cooked. In my Futura, rice takes 3 minutes while for this I allowed 4 mins (after the steam is built up and my cooker goes hisss). Tip: After you have switched off the heat, release the pressure of the cooker after waiting for 3-4 minutes. If you can't do this at least take it off the heat and let it cool. Take out the container as soon as the pressure of the cooker has been let off. If you let it sit too long the egg cake might stick to the bottom.

After you have steamed it, it will look like a round cake as shown above.

Cut in cubes, they look like dhokla and you have to really restrain yourself from eating them. The measure I used, made about 30 cubes of the size shown here. I used 15-18 of them for the gravy, while the rest we had for next days breakfast.

For Gravy

Heat Oil in Kadhai/Frying pan
Add ½ tsp of Panch Phoron
As soon as it sputters add the Onion Paste. Add about 2 tsp of sugar
Sauté till the paste turns a light brown and you see the oil separate from the paste.
Add the tomato. I used a medium sized tomato from a can of peeled whole tomatoes. If you are using fresh ones either chop fine, or blanch or just puree them in the processor
Add the garlic paste at this point along with the green chillies.
Sauté till the tomato is nicely mushed up.
Meanwhile in a bowl beat the yogurt with ginger paste, Cumin Powder, Corriander Powder and Red Chilli Powder.
Take the Kadhai off the heat and add the yogurt. Adding the yogurt at high heat might make it curdle so I always do this.
Mix well and then put it back on medium heat.
Saute till you see…What ? The oil separating from the masala paste.
At this point add 1 and ½ cup of water or less depending on the amount of gravy you want
Add salt and let the gravy come to a nice boil. You will see the merry bubbles
Add the cubed egg cakes, kep the flame at medium and let the gravy thicken.
The gravy should not be runny, it should be a thick gravy. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves if you wish
Enjoy with Rice or Chapati.

Note: You can get creative with the gravy and improvise. I sometimes make a gravy with potatoes and instead of panch phoron I temper with Cumin Seeds and Bay Leaves. That lends a different taste.

Trivia: Eggs contain the highest quality of food protein second only to mothers milk for human nutrition. So "Sunday ho Ya Monday,Roz Khao Aaandey"


  1. Lovely blog and great recipes :). I just started blog hopping and getting inspired by all you ladies out there. As you can guess from my name that I am a Bangali and currently in US and hence missing all the yummy Bengali food. Thanks for sharing these great recipes :).

  2. Thats a neat idea Sandeepa. We both are egg fans too. So I am sure this will be a hit dish at home. Thanks for sharing.

  3. LOL @ 100 yr old.I must be 200 then!;D
    They are so sweet at that age,innocence personified!Enjoy:)
    Egg Dhoka with gravy looks fabulous.Love the idea of serving with gravy.Usual Dhoklas are just seasoned.I will make for brunch sometime.photos are gorgeous.

  4. Yeah, 100 is a nice age, if all your parts are intact and you get your name in the papers for a long life well-lived. Otherwise my vote goes for 20!
    I made this dish from a cookbook once but never made it again - was thinking I should post it on the blog one of these days but you've done the needful!

  5. Haha Good one, so lets bargain and say it "50" to satisfy the lil one. It should be half when u bargain right!!:). Can't talk about egg dhoka but the picture looks great!

  6. Such a lovely recipe! Its like frittata - Indian style, in a gravy and spicy!

  7. love reading your blog...I am bengali too....and reading through some of your posts brings back lovely memories!!keep up the good work....it's so much fun for a whole lot of us :)

  8. that dhoka looks so mouthwatering. will have to make it sometime. yummy pics.

  9. Hi Sandeepa, My room mate in school used to make this curry, but I never figured out how she made the fluffy eggs (which is what I used to call them then). Thanks for the detailed recipe.
    Will have to try this one soon.

  10. Very nice dhoklas. I just love them Thanks for sharing

  11. Hi sandeepa,
    nice recipe.I am fond of all bengali recipes,since i am from south india i used have them only in restuarant.Thanks for sharing.
    Do post many bengali sweets.I love them:)))


  12. wow, what a different recipe!

    Loved reading your daughter's anecdotes, as usual! 100? hahaaa..sorry.

  13. Hey what a different dish!!!!Even I know such a simmilar dish,i will be posting pretty soon.

  14. I have never tried dhokla at home...and this steamed egg cake egg dhoka is quite new to me....and it looks too good in that pic ....

    And my lady, pls hide your driver's license from that 3 yr old....:)


  15. This sounds mouth watering....awesome dish...will try it soon. Meanwhile, hide your license from your little girl!!! :)))

  16. I just recently discovered dhoka through Jugalbandi, now this version. It's getting harder and harder to make up my mind what I'd like to try first. Really lovely.

  17. You never fail to amaze us all, dear.. that egg cake looks so perfect, and what an original way to serve eggs! I've had lots of egg curries with hardboiled eggs, but this is my first time seeing them steamed! :) how clever!

  18. I have got to try this. It looks soooo good. Yumm!

    I love you daughter, she sounds adorable.

  19. Sandeepa, always love reading mom daughter conversations.

    Egg Dhoka looks great, love egg curries this is a wonderful variation to the hard boiled eggs that are added to the egg kurmas.

  20. yummy it looks ....i dont eat eggs ...but it looks yummy ..nice pic ....

  21. I think you should start a blog on your daughter!!!! It would be a nice read for sure. :)

    Thats a very inovative dish indeed!! :)

  22. I love the names of your recipes, San! They sounmd so exotic!! :)
    The Dhoka looks delicious as is and with the curry must be awesome! Love the dinner and breakfast in one shot concept.

    Kisses to your little one, o' 100-year-old one! :)

  23. Mahua
    Thanks for visiting my blog, you are most welcome

    Just waiting for you to create your version ;-)

    Since the Egg Dhoka is not as fluffy as "Dhokla" it is good in a gravy. The Dhoka we make with Chana Dal is a little diff from Dhokla, shall post some time

    Would love to see your cookbook version too

    I started the Desi way, with 1/4th ;-)

    But is frittata steamed ? But yeah kind of same concept

    Loved having you here. Bangali khub kom dekhi Blog e, tomay dekhe khub i bhalo laglo

    If you like eggs this is a good one

    Yeah they are really fluffy or spongy

  24. Meena
    These are NOT Dhoklas. We call them Egg Dhoka.
    I don't want any Dhokla lover to get flustered

    Oh thanks. I love that sweet pic on your profile

    But you don't eat eggs I guess :(

    Looking forward to your version

    This one is really easy...not much effort. Not only should I hide my DL maybe I should get a face lift or some thing ;-)

    Thanks :)

    What you saw in Jugalbandi was Dhokla which is a dish from Gujarat, in the western part of India
    In Bengal, the eastern part of India we make Dhoka (no l) , a vegetarian dish, which was probably inspired by the Dhokla

    This dish is a Egg Dhoka,because of the similarity in looks with the Dhoka

    The explanation is so that you don't get confused with all the dishes :)

  25. Shilpa
    You are right, this is a nice variation

    Thanks, didn't get a chance to grill yet :)

    Yeah this is a pretty nice variation

    Thanks :)

    But then you wouldn't read it:(. Now you know the reason behind my blog's name

    Thanks for taking time. how are you ?

  26. Sandeepa, So now we all know how old are ya;-). Just kidding girl but isn't it so true ...kids at that age always think higher the number better it is. I have seen a lot of my students say so as well. One of my dearest student Christopher mentioned that his dad just turned 1000 yrs old yesterday... Now 100 if far better than 1000. Heehee.

  27. Wonderful pics,Sandeepa,with all those frames and varieties all along the four corners of them..Lovely posts too..Enjoyed the garden pics too :)..
    I wonder how you focus a particular portion of the pic and blur(beautifully)the background...??!!!..on that curry leaves sprig pic???Is it bcoz of the camera quality???
    Anyhow it's a real pleasure to go thru your place..

  28. LOL... 100 yrs??? that sounds too cute. may be u should start separate blog for little S:)
    dim er dhoka is such a cute name and wonderful recipe. i dont eat eggs but i guess K will love it. they do look like dhokla.
    sorry san. was not keeping well for the past few days n just recovered a bit. so couldn't chk ur blog b4...got to catch up with so many blogs now...

  29. Sandeepa, Dimer Dhoka looks delicious. I have never had it or even heard of it before, but looks yummy. Though I must admit that if I tried to make it - in our house the egg cakes will get gobbld up long before I get round to making the jhol :-)

  30. Hi Sandeepa, how are you ? I am having some trouble posting my comments here. I have tried commenting thrice earlier, but they somehow vanish :( ; something might be wrong with my blogger account I guess.

    It is great to read your lovely blog again. Little S is absolutely adorable, and this recipe looks too good. Sorry for vanishing from the food blog for a while. Please send me you email id for this blog, if you have one.

  31. This is such an interesting dish, with gorgeous pics Sandeepa! As usual you have a wonderful way of explaining the background ... especially helpful to me where I thought I misread "egg dhokla" at the top. Very sweet with your daughter too -- you can always begin the "annual 25th" tradition next time you have a birthday ;)
    Thanks for another great read as well as new recipe!

  32. Lol Sandeepa.... I say this often, but I love that baby girl of yours... she is such an adorable smarty pants... does she get that from her mom? :)..

    Egg Dhoka... what an interesting dish! We both love eggs, and this is a new dish for us... It looks absolutely yummalicious!

  33. Hi!
    I love the recipe and the write-up. I am a new blogger. Have been in N America(Canada actually) for 10 years but still feel home sick.
    Loved reading your recipes. I have a 6 yr. old girl and have gone through the same as you.I am Bengali too but from Ranchi.
    Thanks for sharing.

  34. dimer dhoka... looks really delicious. Amar thakuma dhokar dalna banato... haven't had it in a while! will surely try your version.

  35. Interesting recipe! Had dhoker dalna before, but never heard of this. Can't wait to try it out, though looking little difficult..

  36. Wow, this IS an interesting variation! Sort of reminds me of the time when (as a shortcut) I would break eggs right into the boiling gravy to give it that 'steamed' effect! Suffice to say that the end result didn't look particularly pretty though it tasted good enough. Also, saved me the time to boil the eggs. :)

  37. Seema
    Don't scare me, soon she will start saying 1000 :)

    Thanks :) I answered at your blog, hope that helped

    Get well yaar, shall reply soon

    Thats why you should cook when no one is at home and the freeze fast too :)

    I left a comment at your blog. Couldn't find you e-mail id either

    Yeah egg in "dhokla", I don't want to confuse people :)

    Yeah do try it, it definitely tastes good

    Could you please publish your blog URL ? Can't see it

    My Ma too makes awesome "Dhokar Dalna" I think it is a lot of work, maybe for the blog i will try once

    You made Shukto and you think this is difficult !!! Come on, its pretty easy actually

    The dish you said is not a shortcut. It is an accepted recipe. When I post it do not even mention that you made it as a shortcut :)

  38. wow what a wonderful dish .. have never come across it anywhere. steaming the eggs and cutting it into squares is a very good idea.. thanks for sharing.

  39. Oh, can you fall in love with a dish? Well, being a huge egg fan---I have. That looks so delicious. And I loved the post--as always. You're a treasure! And 20 years old--for sure. :)

  40. Sandeepa - 3 min for rice in your Futura Cooker?? Is that a typo or is it really time for me retire my old desi Prestige cooker?

  41. Really? How old are you? 80? ;)

  42. I wish I was 22! I was like a bud bursting to bloom, but yet all buddy not bloomy! :)

  43. Recipe gulo darooooooooon .. Notun biye hoye US eshechhi .. never cooked before .. my hubby is a great cook so I try to match upto his level ;) Your site is a boon for me .. Thanks !!

  44. I though you were showing the vegetarian version of the Dhoka.
    I loved the egg version, but I don't eat eggs and would appreciate the ones that has been made from dal. Please!

  45. This seems to be another authentic Bengali recipe. Love your recipes!

    - Pragyan

  46. Hi Sandeepa,
    I was going through your blog which I lately found in internet.I really loved the way you have presented the recipe.
    I was thinking of preparing some egg curry.Then went through your Egg Recipes and found something very different, 'Egg Dhoka' , which in my life I have never heard of.So thought to go ahead with it. I prepared this recipe in dinner after going from work. It came out well. My husband loved the curry.I want to thank you for this awesome recipe. Keep posting your innovative recipes :)

  47. lovely !! we are egg fans too :) i shall definitely try out this one.I learn a lot about bengali food from your site as I am maried to a bengali..thanx again ! :)

  48. Hi Sandeepa, want to try this gr8 dish.. but can you please tell me the temp and time for making the egg cakes in oven ? I am not much used to the pressure cooker thing and dont want to spoil it at my first try :)

    1. Aparajita, have not done in oven myself. Have done egg muffins or puddings. Pudding -- I use a water bath and the tenp is 325-350F.

      Muffins are like this: http://www.bongcookbook.com/2010/03/spicy-egg-muffins-chasing-monday-blues.html

  49. Awesome recipe.. So easy to make and yet so delicious :)

  50. I tried this dish and it turned out great. I do not have a steamer but mixture was well formed in a corning ware bowl inside a pressure cooker as mentioned in your recipe guide. I omitted yogurt from gravy and added more tomatoes to add to thickness. Thanks for providing recipes and ideas.

  51. M preparing it nw...hope it tastes good too.....


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