Try This Bengali Dal Er Borar Jhol For A Soothing Veg Meal
Image Credit: Daler bora jhol, eatreadandcook@blogspot

A Bengali kitchen has a few recipes that are absolutely life saviours. I tell this from the perspective of those days when you run out of vegetables or any nonvegetarian option like egg, fish or meat. Dal er bora johl is one such Bengali recipe. It requires hardly any ingredients yet turns out to be a show stealer. The taste, richness, and flavour can beat any decadent nonvegetarian dish. The recipe sometimes varies from family to family. A few don’t use onion paste and add grated coconut for the richness. While a few uses a thick paste of onion to give the jhol or gravy a richer consistency. Whichever method one follows, the end result is a drool-worthy dish.

In simple terms, daler bora jhol can be described as small round lentil fritters cooked in sumptuous gravy. The use of pulses makes it protein enriched. The fritters are deep fried and then cooked in a sauce letting the bora soak the flavours.

Dal Er Borar Jhol


  • ½ cup chola dal or Bengal gram
  • ½ cup musur dal or red lentils
  • 2 green chillies
  • 1-inch ginger piece
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 2 tablespoons of mustard oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon panch phoron ((mustard, cumin, fennel, nigella and fenugreek seeds)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1-inch ginger, finely grated
  • 2 green chillies, slit
  • 1 potato (medium-sized), peeled and cut into cubes
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped finely
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • ½ teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1 -2 cups of water
  • ½ sprig of fresh coriander leaves
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon crushed green cardamom


Dal er bora jhol, Image Credit: cookshideout 

  1. Wash Bengal gram and red lentils and soak them in warm water for half an hour to three hours. 
  2. Drain the excess water from the lentils. Take a blender and transfer lentils; add ginger, green chillies and salt to taste.
  3. Depending on the consistency, add two tablespoons of water and grind all the ingredients to a coarse batter.
  4. Heat mustard oil in a wok, take 1 teaspoon of the lentil batter and fry them like pakodis.
  5.  Keep the flame low to medium fry until it turns golden brown on both sides and develops a crispy texture. Fry 4-5 bora or fritters in each batch. And repeat the process till all of them are fried.
  6. Spread tissue paper on a plate and keep the fritters on it to soak the excess oil
  7. Heat mustard oil in a wok. Once it leaves fumes, add the panch phoron and let it splutter. Add the onion, grated ginger and slitted green chillies
  8. Cook for 3-4 minutes on low flame.
  9. Add the potato, stir them well and cook them by covering the wok for 5 minutes. Keep the flame low and stir once in a while to ensure the potatoes aren’t burnt.
  10. Remove the cover, and add chopped tomatoes
  11. Blend in cumin powder, red chilli powder and coriander powder. Give them a thorough mix.
  12. Put a lid on the wok. Keeping the flame low, cook till the tomatoes get softened.
  13. Add water and salt to taste. Stir all the ingredients. Let the gravy come to a slight boil.
  14. Add the lentil fritters and cook on a medium flame for 2-3 minutes. Turn off the heat and add chopped fresh coriander leaves and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and green cardamom powder.

Serve with rice, luchi or paratha.