Nothing fancy, nothing exotic, just simple Daler Bora or Lentil Fritter. Bengali cuisine consists of many such dishes that are too easy to make, yet, taste utterly delicious. Bora (fritter), Bhaja (fry), Bhorta (mash) and Chutney are few things without which a Bengali platter is considered incomplete. We often start our meals with these quick bites served along with a bowl of Dal (lentil soup) and end meals with Chutney. Apart from holding a special place in a six course meal, Bora and Bhaja make great snacks too. Just dip them on your favourite ketchup/chutney or sprinkle some chaat-masala on them and you are good to go.
Anyone can make Daler Bora, yes, no special cooking skill is required for that. The humble Daler Bora is absolutely non-fussy. Now, what happens when you can’t make Dal to pair with these Boras? What happens when you can’t create a full six course meal that can be started with these Boras? Can you still enjoy them and make them as part of your main meal? The answer is, Yes you can and I will tell you how.
Other than the usual way of enjoying Daler Bora, we the Sylheti Bengalis have a very unique way to relish it. We have these Boras with Panta Bhat, but, that is not unique. The most interesting and unique way is, rather than making proper Panta Bhat, we just add water to the cooked rice, add some salt, crush a green chilli on it, add a dash of fried mustard oil to it and give everything a proper makha (mix) with hand. This preparation is somewhat a shortcut version of Panta Bhat and goes extremely well with Daler Bora. Try it to believe it.
Daler Bora with Jol Bhat (rice with water that I have mentioned above) often used to be my simple and wholesome meal just before rushing to school in childhood and later on to college/university. Daler Bora can be made with motor dal as well, but, my favourite is the one made with masoor dal. Here’s how I make Daler Bora.
- 2 cup masoor dal (red lentil)
- 1 onion, very finely chopped
- 3 green chilli, very finely chopped
- 1/2 tea-spoon grated ginger
- 1/2 tea-spoon turmeric powder
- salt, according to taste
- 3/4 cup oil to fry
- Soak masoor dal overnight. Next day, discard the water and blend to a paste. Don’t blend too smooth, the paste should be somewhat coarse.
- Take the paste to a bowl and add onion, chilli, ginger, turmeric powder and salt. Mix everything properly.
- Heat oil in a small heavy bottom pan. With the help of a spoon, dribble the mixed lentil paste. Over low to medium flame, fry until golden brown. Don’t forget to turn them in between to ensure even frying. Fry them batch by batch. Remove from the oil.
- Your Masoor Daler Bora is ready to be served now.
Serve them hot and enjoy. Do drop me a comment giving your feedback about this recipe. You can also tag me on Instagram using the handle @when_a_bong_cooks.