Bori: The Surprise Ingredient In Bengali Cuisine
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Bori - a dumpling made of sun-dried urad dal or lentil - is truly a wonderful ingredient that holds a lot of importance in Bengali cuisine. With its unique taste, it adds a distinct flavour to any dish when fried and crushed and topped with it, while you may just want to make some special dish only with bori and aloo for a change.

How do you make boris?

The process of preparing this ingredient is also quite simple. It is especially made during winter, because all you need is mellow sun rays to dry up the lentils. In fact, sun rays turn these into hard dumplings, removing its original taste. You can take any dal - moong, masoor or urad - for making the dumplings, although the last one is the most popular one available in the market. In order to make the boris, you will require about two cups of the dal of your choice, nigella seeds or Kalonji and salt for taste. The dal needs to be soaked overnight. Mix and blend the dal well, rub the nigella seeds with your hands and add salt into the mixture. Now, whip the mixture well ensuring that the batter is light and has air in it. After beating the batter for about 10 to 15 minutes, make small dumplings in the shape of water drops and lay them on a pre-greased tray. Then, keep the trays to dry in the soft winter sun the entire day. Your boris will be ready for you to consume. You may even store them in an air-tight container where they stay intact for many months.

What to make with the boris?

You can make a whole lot of recipes with boris. Check out some lip-smacking dishes you can make with bori as one of the ingredients.

Bori Aloor Jhal: One of the most popular ones is the borir jhal with aloo or bori curry with potatoes in mustard sauce. Jhal, of course, is any recipe prepared with mustard as the base and for this you should opt for the yellow mustard seeds, rather than the black ones which are better used as tadka. You can either use the mixer grinder to make the thick paste made with mustard and green chillies or you may go the traditional way using the sheel nora or the conventional stone grinder which, of course, adds a distinct flavour to the recipe. Add some kalaunji and green chillies in oil before adding the mustard paste along with turmeric and salt. Also, it is always advisable to blend the mustard with a bit of salt to prevent it from turning bitter. Fry the boris and potatoes before you add them in the curry.

Lau Bori: Bottle gourd with bori or lau bori is yet another popular recipe among the Bengalis, much preferred during the summer season. You can have the goodness of bottle gourd with some tasty bori fry crushed on top to lend it a crunchy, mushy taste. Have it with plain basmati rice for an ultimate start to a cool summer lunch.

Crispy boris with dal: When you just don’t feel like making anything else, fry the lentil dumplings and simply enjoy the crispy nothings with masoor or moong dal.

So, try these wonderful dumplings from Bengal’s kitchen and pep up your dishes.

*Satarupa B Kaur has been writing professionally for a decade. Always on the go, she loves to travel, read books and enjoy playtime with her toddler, as she explores new places and food.