Bengali Dhakai Paratha is a century old delicacy and is a traditional Bengali Paratha. It is a flaky layered deep fried poori made with all purpose flour having a hollow center in the middle.
Making and frying these pooris is an art and takes practice, as this is a unique paratha. It is called paratha though there is no resembles to the regular pan fried paratha. These Dhakai Porata belongs to the Luchi or Poori category, deep fried and it puffs up in size and has layers resembling a laccha paratha.
Fried in the right temperature with right amount of oil, results in the layers separating and you can easily see the layers once it is fried. For better understanding we can say it is a cross between Luchi and Lachha Paratha.
Very similar to these Dhakai Paratha are the Porucha Parotta from Virudhunagar, Tamil Nadu. In the Virudhunagar Porucha Parotta, the regular flaky pan fried parotta are deep fried as pooris. However, as the rolled out dough has lot of layers already, we don’t bother about getting the layers separated like these Dhakai Paratha.
So I was excited reading about a similar poori. Dhakai Porota or Dhakai Paratha is one of the most famous Bengali street food, equally popular in both sides of the border of Kolkata and Dhaka. As making these paratha requires skill and patience to make the perfect, these are slowly disappearing.
One another factor contributing to the level of expertise required to make these, these pooris are mostly bought from shops and enjoyed for a lazy Sunday Brunch.
Planning on making the Dhakai Paratha
I planned this fare for lunch and made Alu diye Cholar Dal along with Sweet Bondi. Knowing very well that the side dish will not meet my boys’ or Hubby Dear’s liking, I still went ahead. All of them loved the poori but the sweetish side dish was not liked. I didn’t have a fall back dish and we managed somehow. However, rest of the family loved it.
You will surely need some time on actual kneading the dougha and layering out the pooris. The resting time and then frying will surely take up more than 30 minutes and it is good if you have a foolproof recipe to help you out. I have recorded a video to help with the rolling, kneading and frying the poori. Refer this video ->https://youtu.be/nRhzmQspX2Q
As with all recipes, this one requires the right amount of ingredients to get the perfect ones each time. However, unlike other ones, you need to take care you give the right amount of pressure for the layers to separate, for the pooris to puff up etc.
Thalis & Platters
Week 1 – Platters for Elders
Week 2 – Thalis featuring Non Veg Regional Cuisines – Non Veg Thali
Chicken Donne Biryani – Non Veg Thali 1 for Day 1
Raju gari Kodi Pulao – Non Veg Thali 2 for Day 2
Mutton Biryani – Non Veg Thali 3 for Day 3
Mutton Dum Biryani – Non Veg Thali 4 for Day 4
Fish Curry – Non Veg Thali 5 for Day 5
Prawns Curry – Non Veg Thali 5 for Day 6
Week 3 – Thalis featuring Indian Flatbreads
Banarasi Kachori aur Sabzi Thali for Day 1
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Step By Step Pictures for making Bengali Dhakai Paratha
How to make Dhakai Porota
All purpose flour or maida is rubbed with ghee a process called the moyan which helps the poori to become crispy and flaky during deep frying. This is the most important step for making these dhakai paratha.
Next comes the rolling out the dough without having any cracks as you will end up getting a hard poori.
After the first cutting of the tips is done, gather them all and knead again well to make the cones again. This will result in pooris having many layers.
When the dipped cones are rested for 30 mins, gently roll them out to 6 inch discs and ensure you fry them in hot oil.
Frying the Pooris:
On dropping into hot oil, the pooris will come up right away. This is the stage when you start pouring hot oil in the middle. This will help the layers separate and the hold to form.
Cook on both sides and when ready to remove, tilt it on the side until you find almost all the oil is drained.
Transfer to a kitchen towel and let it stand for at least 5 to 7 mins. It is suggested that these pooris are stacked and kept for 20 to 30 minutes ore even some hours.
As these pooris will have excess oil in between the layers, it is very important that you drain it well before enjoying it.
However, I don’t know, I always want to serve the pooris hot.
Dhakai Paratha should be served after draining oil as much as possible, preferably after 15-20 mins. Dhakai Porota should not be served immediately, right after frying. This is the standard instructions. However, I served after it was left to drain after 10 minutes as I don’t like serving cold pooris.
Unlike regular pooris, it is not advisable to store this Paratha for later consumption. The hidden oil between layers can turn it inedible even after 6-7 hours storage.
Serve it with Alu diye Cholar Dal, or even with Alur Torkari with Chana Dal.