Food and festivities go hand in hand or, perhaps, we should say parallel. If you look attentively, each state has a unique menu for various festivals. For instance, Holi, the festival of colours, brings a culinary atmosphere that is incredibly vivid and rich. 

We bring you a recipe that is actually incredibly rich and vivid, and can be a spicy add on to your Holi spread - Keema Doi Bora. Doi Bora is our very own Dahi Vada, which is the most important part of Holi specials. This famous chaat is made up of vadas that have been soaked in dahi and spices. In layman’s terms, Keema Doi Bora is a spin-off of our favourite Dahi Vada. Warm minced-meat koftas topped with a generous amount of chilled and spiced yoghurt is all this dish is about.

The influence of the Tagore family on the Bengali way of life cannot be overstated. The Tagores continue to define every facet of what it means to be a Bengali, whether it is in music, literature, art, philosophy, politics, or cuisine, even after two centuries. Keemar Doi Bora dish was an original invention of the Thakurbari as the Tagore family is popularly known, and was introduced to the world by Purnima Thakur, when she came into the possession of the Tagore family cookbook.

Here’s the recipe for Keemar Doi Bora.

Ingredients:

500 gms of minced mutton 

1 medium-sized or larger onion, finely chopped  

3-4 green chilies 

Yoghurt, as much as you like  

Black salt, to taste 

Cilantro, as a garnish  

1 ginger, very finely chopped 

Sugar, to taste 

Oil, to deep-fry the meatballs 

2 medium potatoes 

2 tbsps of cornstarch 

1 egg

To dry roast and grind to a fine powder:

1 tsp cumin 

1 tsp of coriander 

2-4 dry red chilies

Method:

Boil the meat along with a cup of water or even less (if you are using chicken keema, skip the boiling part).

Boil the potatoes (do not overcook them).

Cool the keema and then mix with the boiled potatoes with your hands, or in a food processor, mash them well, it should be lump free.

If you are not using boiled potatoes, beat one egg and add it to the keema along with two teaspoons of cornstarch.

Add chopped onions and the chopped green chilies, mix them well with the keema. 

Add salt to taste.

Oil your palms and form golf-sized balls with keema.

Heat up oil in a deep bottom kadai/wok/pot and once the oil is hot, turn it down a bit.

Deep fry the balls turning them periodically to avoid burning and for even colouring (if the oil is too hot, they burn). They should have a deep brown colour but not blackish brown. 

Drain them on an absorbent paper and let them come to room temperature.

Beat up the yoghurt with black salt (or regular salt) and sugar to taste.

Add the finely chopped ginger.

Add the roasted spice powder to taste and sprinkle some finely chopped cilantro.

Drop the balls in the yoghurt and serve.