Bori is an integral part of Bengali cuisine and is a must have in every Bengali kitchen. Boris or Lentil Dumplings are versatile and can be used in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian recipes equally. Bengalis usually use bori in their vegetable curry or fish curry. Just add a handful of boris and it will enhance the taste and texture of the preparation. Apart from adding to a dish, it can be just fried and used as a side dish – for simple meal, I prefer to have dal and bori fry with gorom bhat (hot steamed rice) – it tastes amazing!
Bori is nothing but sun-dried lentil dumpling prepared out of a paste of masoor dal (red lentils), urad dal (black gram), mug dal (yellow lentils) and chanar dal (split peas lentils). I still remember how my Dida (maternal grandmother) used to make awesome dishes with bori. My Dida lost her husband at a very early age and thus used to have purely vegetarian food as a custom that most Bengali Hindu widows follow. Thus, I grew up seeing Dida eating only vegetarian food and her kitchen was a store-house of various boris. Although, masoor dal bori was never a part of that, as widows don’t eat masoor dal.
In my kitchen, what I use mostly is masoor dal bori and religiously use it in fish curry till it’s in stock 😀 My mom always prefer to use home-made bori, but I mostly use that are available in stores. Though it hardly makes any difference taste wise – the only thing missing is ‘the touch of love’ 🙂
Enough of my ‘bori story‘, let me now come to my today’s preparation – it’s Bori diye Macher Jhol and here’s the recipe.
- 4 pieces of Rohu Fish, Bengali cut (you can use any other freshwater fish if you want)
- 1 handful of masoor dal bori
- 1 potato, dice it into long pieces
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 1/2 tea-spoon nigella seeds (kalonji)
- 2 dried red chillies
- 4 green chillies, slitted
- 1/2 tea-spoon ginger paste
- 1/2 tea-spoon garlic paste
- 1 tea-spoon cumin powder (jeera)
- 1 tea-spoon coriander powder (dhaniya)
- 1/2 tea-spoon turmeric powder (haldi)
- 2-3 table-spoon oil (preferably mustard oil)
- salt (according to taste)
- 1 handful chopped coriander leaves to garnish
- Rub the fish pieces with little salt and turmeric powder. Heat oil in a pan and shallow fry the pieces.
- Heat oil again and shallow fry the lentil dumplings. Remove from the pan and keep aside.
- Also, shallow fry the potato pieces adding little salt and turmeric powder. Sprinkle some water and cover the lid for atleast 3-5 minutes. Make sure the potato pieces become little soft. Once it’s done, remove from the pan and keep aside.
- In the same pan heat some more oil and add nigella seeds and dried red chillies. Stir for 30 seconds.
- Now, add ginger-garlic paste, cumin powder, coriander powder and turmeric powder. Stir for another 30 second.
- Add the chopped tomato pieces and stir until the pieces become soft.
- Now, add potato and fried lentil dumplings and add required warm water for gravy. Add required salt and mix well. Cover the lid and bring it to boil.
- Now, slowly add the fish pieces in the gravy and cover the lid again. Lower the flame and cook for 10-15 minutes or until the fish is well cooked.
- Turn off the flame and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
- Your Bori diye Macher Jhol is ready to be served now.
Serve it with hot steamed rice and enjoy with your friends and family. This is a kind of everyday dish and you actually don’t need a special occasion to have it.
Do let me know in comments about how you like this dish. Happy eating!