Dhal Polo (fritters)

This is one of those dishes that cannot be separated from my birth home. I have never had it anywhere else, though I know it is a dish commonly made in the Kokni community. My mother had a special touch with making it and was always asked to bring this for family get-togethers. It’s one of those dishes that can be elegantly served along with your savouries at a function and equally good slapped between 2 slices of white bread with a smidge of Mrs Balls Chutney. We often enjoyed it on the side of a fried egg or served with butter-fried smoked snoek and some ghobra chi chutney (coconut chutney) as a light supper. With a side salad, it would also be a tasty vegetarian light meal. It’s a great way to use up leftover dhal but it’s also worth cooking some up just to make these.

Dhal Polo

1/2 cup cooked leftover dhal (can be any kind, moong/oil/channa). If you don’t have leftovers you would need to boil about a quarter cup raw dhal to give you half a cup of cooked dhal.
3 medium onions chopped finely
1 tsp jeera (cumin) powder
1 tsp dhanya (coriander) powder
1/2 tsp barishap (fennel) powder
3/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/2 cup channa (pea) flour
2 Tbsp self-raising flour
1 tsp salt
1 or 2 green chillies to taste, chopped finely
1/2 cup chopped fresh coriander
1 Tbsp coconut
4 cloves garlic

Grind the coconut and garlic together till fine in a grinder or mortar and pestle. Place onions into a mixing bowl and crush them by hand by squeezing in your fist. Don’t let it get watery. Add all other ingredients plus 1/2 to 3/4 cup of water. Start with half. Add more if needed. The mixture must not be runny. Just about dropping consistency enough to be able to spread with your spoon. Add the self-raising flour just before frying.
In a non stick pan, on medium heat add just enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Once hot, add a tablespoon of mixture and flatten slightly. These can be a little delicate. Use a spatula and gently turn over once golden brown. Remove to a kitchen towel to remove excess oil. Enjoy!


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