Crunchy, mildly spicy, slightly sweet, and flavourful - Narkeler Bora make for a good accompaniment with dal and rice too
In a meal, it is not always the main items that leave an indelible impression on the mind. Sometimes, it’s the side dishes or the vegetable fries, served as accompaniments, that enhance a meal. This is what makes Indian meals so interesting. In Bengali meals, too, boras or fritters and bhajas or deep-fried preparations add that extra zing to a meal. For those who love a comfort meal of dal and rice, these fried small bites can add a yummy twist to your food.
When we talk about Bengali meals, boras or fritters are worth a mention. It is served as savoury, crunchy small bites in a meal. It can also be enjoyed as a snack with a cup of chai, especially during rainy days. There are both vegetarian fritters, like Posto’r Bora, which is bora made with poppy seeds, and non-vegetarian fritters, such as Maacher Teler Bora, which are made with the oily part of a fish.
Narkoler Bora or coconut fritters, made in Bengali style, is arguably one of the relatively less commonly known, but it makes for a delicious accompaniment. There is also another variation called Narkoler Aloo Postor Bora, which is made with coconut, potato, and ground poppy seeds that is deep fried.
A Play Of textures
The crispy, savoury, mildly spicy, and slightly sweet fritters are made with grated coconut, green chilies, flour, rice flour, a little bit of nigella seeds or kala jeera, salt to taste, and a little bit of sugar that are deep fried. However, there are variations of the Coconut Fritters. Some use besan instead of flour, while others use posto paste or poppy seeds paste, and still others add onions. However, the basic ingredients of coconut and green chilies are common to all.
Facts About Coconuts
Coconuts are said to be native to SouthEast Asia. In India, it is cultivated in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Pondicherry, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Odisha, and Goa, among others. Coconuts contain fats, carbohydrates, manganese, proteins, and some vitamins.
These coconut fritters can be made quickly, within say 15-20 minutes. Here’s the recipe for Narkeler Bora.
1. Finely grate or grind the coconut.
2. Finely chop the green chilies.
3. Mix the grated coconut, green chilies, flour, rice flour, salt, sugar, and nigella seeds or kala jeera together.
4. Make sure the ingredients are mixed well together to make small round balls.
5. Make smooth round balls, and shape it well, patting around the edges.
6. Heat oil in a skillet.
7. Lower the balls into the oil and deep fry.
Serve the Narkeler Bora in a meal or as a side dish in a meal of dal and rice or as a snack with chai.