Dal Bori in Bengali & Indian Cooking: Things to Know

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, Kolai dal, 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 melon 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 a 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.

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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. 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.

Bori in Bengali & Indian Cooking

Uses of Dal Bori in Bengali & Indian Cooking

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.

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Begun barir 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.

Bori diye macher jhol is a popular fish recipe in Bengal. It is prepared with small 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.

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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.

Dahi vada is a popular South Indian dish. These days, it has become a popular street food and restaurant pride across India.

It is prepared with lentil fritters dipped into creamy yogurt with toppings of different sweet spicy chutneys and spice powders.

Questions & Answers:

What is the Taste of Bori?

Bori tastes savoury.

What is Bori Made of?

Usually bori is made of Kolai dal, Urad dal and Winter melon. However, masoor dal and matar dal are also used to make bori.

How Do You Eat Bori?

One can eat bori either fried or cooked with curry.

What is Bori Called in Different Languages?

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

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