Dal Bori in Indian Cooking: Things to Know

Dal Bori or lentil dumplings are savoury Indian doughnuts. They are used in veg curries, fish curries and a variety of snacks to whip up satisfying delicacies.

These lentil dumplings are infused with rich aromatic spices. They are not just mere decorative elements but soak in flavours from curry and taste awesome.

Bori or lentil dumplings are made from a variety of lentils such as, musur (pink lentils), motor (split pea lentil), biulir dal (black gram) etc.

Only one kind of dal is usually used to make bori whereas sometimes, a variety of lentils are used for the purpose.

However, urad dal is most commonly used to make bori. Winter watermelon is added to lentil paste to tighten and thicken the texture.

Rice flour can be used to make them crispy.

Making bori is an art. This art is almost going to be extinct in urban areas as reputed brands are now selling these products.

However, this art is still alive in rural areas where you can find women, after their household works, busy making bori.

They use silbata instead of machine blender to make the paste.

Once the mixture is prepared, small, medium or large size dumplings are made.

These dumplings are laid out on a cheesecloth or mat and left in the sunlight. The paste sticks to the mat but when dried, easily comes out.

These boris are sun-dried for 3-5 days and then stored in an airtight container. Bori, stored this way, can stay fresh for a few months.

So far, we have talked about plain bori. There is naksha bori. It is an amazing kind.

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They feature intricate designs as if, some artists have given a free rein to their imagination.

Though hands are used to make bori, naksha bori is made with a funnel or cone shaped thing which is filled with the paste and then squeezed to do ornamentation.

Naksha bori is also called gaina bori because the designs look like jewelleries. A layer of poppy seeds is spread on the mat before laying out the paste.

In Bengal, East Midnapore is famous for making gaina bari or naksha bori.

What is Dal Bori?

Dal Bori (Lentil Dumplings) in Indian Cooking

It is a type of lentil-based dumpling that is made by mixing ground lentils (usually urad dal or masoor dal) with spices and water to form a dough-like consistency. The dough is then shaped into small balls which are finally sun dried.

Uses of Bori in Indian Cuisines

Small bori is fried and served with hot rice and dal. Right out of the pan, they taste crispy and crunchy. However, they are also used in many vegetable curries and even some fish dishes.

Begun borir tarkari is a popular Bengali vegetable cuisine. It uses medium sized lentil dumplings. Bori soaks in the mildly soupy gravy and offers aromatic flavours at every bite.

Lal shak bhaja (red spinach fries) is a hot favourite with Bengalis. It always uses lentil dumplings and dried red chillies.

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Bori diye macher jhol is a popular fish recipe in Bengal. It is prepared with freshwater fish. Only turmeric powder and coriander powder are used. This mild spicy recipe uses green chillies and bori, both of which absorb the flavour of the curry.

Let us now turn our attention to kitchens of other Indian states and know how they make a good use of bari. Nucchina unde is a famous Karnataka cuisine.

It takes little oil to cook and so makes a healthy breakfast recipe. This savoury steamed recipe is prepared with lentils, herbs and spices.

Lentil dumpling curry is a traditional South Indian dish. It is usually served at lunch during festivals or at weddings. In the local Tamil language, it is called paruppu urundai.

Grounded lentils are mixed with spices and herbs and made into dumplings which are then added to gravy for boiling.

An interesting point is whereas in Bengal, lentil dumplings are fried before adding to gravy, this Tamil dish uses them directly.

They soak in the flavours from gravy and become softer. The melt-in-mouth dumplings are worth every bite. It works well with steamed rice.

What is the Taste of Dal Bori?

The taste of Dal Bori can vary depending on the specific recipe and cooking method used, but generally, it has a crispy outer layer with a soft and fluffy interior.

It is mildly spiced and has a nutty flavor from the lentils used to make it.

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When added to soups or curries, the bori absorbs the flavors of the dish, making it a delicious addition to many dishes.

Overall, Dal Bori has a comforting and satisfying taste.

Questions & Answers

How Do You Eat Bori?

One can eat bori either fried or cooked with curry.

What Does Bori Mean?

Bori means dried lentil dumplings.

What is Bori Called in Different Languages?

Bori is a Bengali word. In English, it is called lentil dumpling.


Dal Bori or lentil dumplings are a versatile and flavorful ingredient used in various Indian dishes, from curries to snacks.

They are made by mixing ground lentils with spices and water, shaping them into small balls, and sun drying them.

Bori can be enjoyed either fried or cooked in curry, and they have a crispy outer layer and a soft and fluffy interior.

Although this traditional art of making bori is disappearing in urban areas, it is still alive in rural areas.

Furthermore, there are different types of bori, such as naksha bori, which feature intricate designs and are made with a funnel or cone-shaped tool.

In summary, bori is an essential ingredient in Indian cuisine, and it adds a unique and delicious flavor to many dishes.

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