The best time of the year has arrived and as a Bengali, like many other Bengalis across the world, this is my time to indulge in pet-pujo. For every Bengali, Durga Pujo is not merely associated with prayers and devotion, rather, this is a celebration of life. Buying new cloths, cleaning and decorating homes, mingling with new people, meeting friends and family, pandal-hopping, unlimited adda, song, dance and food (both veg and non-veg) – all these and many more are integral parts of Durga Pujo. All the year we wait for this one single festival and when it comes, we eat, we live, we love and then we repeat.
We cannot think of Durga Pujo without good food. Feast, feast and feast – that’s all that we do basically. We prepare all the special dishes at home and when we are out, we just go gaga over the food joints. Where the rest of the country celebrates Navratri with vegetarian food, Bengalis gulp all those chicken and mutton pieces all through the festival. But yes, there are actually few vegetarian dishes that we absolutely love to have at this time of the year. Among such dishes one that is the most tempting one is Radhaballabhi/Radhaballavi. This is a utterly delicious deep fried puffy bread (similar to Luchi) stuffed with Kalai Dal (Bengali Urad Dal) and this tastes heavenly with Niramish Alur Dom or Chanar/Cholar Dal [both the recipes are on blog, click on the names the get them]. And yes, when I say this is a vegetarian dish, what I mean is that this is an absolute Sattvic Aahar and contains no onion and garlic. Bengalis consider onion and garlic to be non-vegetarian ingredients.
Luchi has been quite common in my house during festive time. Maa never made Radhaballabhi and as kids whenever we demanded for the same she made luchi and always tried to convince us that it tastes better that Radhaballabhi. We we never convinced though 😀 To have Radhaballabhi, we always used to reach out to Pishimoni and she never disappointed us. Growing up, I learned many dishes from Pishimoni and this is one of them. At later stages, when I was big enough to enter kitchen, I made Radhaballabhi several time and as Maa had it for the first time she said “bah! tui to Pishimonir moto parish banate” (you can make this like Pishimoni). I was never a cooking-shukking kind of girl, but whenever it’s a festival or any special occasion, I was and I am – always hyperactive.
Coming to this year Durga Pujo celebration, our feast have already started from Mahalaya. Today, I thought of making Radhaballabhi for breakfast and I was quite anxious as I am making this after a long gap. But all went good and my Radhaballabhi turned out to be just perfect 🙂 Here’s the recipe for you all.
- 1 cup kalai dal (Bengali urad dal) – soak overnight and next day make a paste of the dal
- oil, as required for deep frying
- 2 cup maida (all purpose flour)
- 1/3 portion of kalai dal paste
- 1 teaspoon fennel seed powder (crush seeds to make powder)
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seed powder (crush seeds to make powder)
- 1/2 tablespoon finely grated ginger
- 2-3 pinch salt
- 3 tablespoon ghee or oil
- lukewarm water, as needed
- 2/3 portion of kalai dal paste
- 1 tablespoon ginger paste
- 1 teaspoon green chilli paste
- 1 teaspoon bhaja masla (dry roast cumin seed and dried red chilli and grind to fine powder)
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 tablespoon refined oil
- salt, according to taste
- We will prepare the stuffing first and to do the same, heat 2 tablespoon oil in a pan and temper with fennel seed, ginger paste and chilli paste. On a low flame, stir for around 40 seconds.
- Add kalai dal paste, bhaja masla, sugar and salt and stir gently. Mix everything very well.
- Keep on stirring until the dal paste mixes well with other spices and the moisture evaporates. When the mixture will take a dough like shape in the pan, it is done.
- Remove the stuffing mixture from flame and let it cool down.
- Meanwhile, prepare the dough. In a large bowel, mix maida with salt and ghee (or oil). Mix oil and flour gently until it turns like bread crumbs.
- Now, add kalai dal paste, fennel seed powder, cumin seed powder and grated ginger and mix well. Start kneading and since the dal paste has moisture, you will not require additional water at the starting.
- Add required lukewarm water after sometime and knead to a soft dough. Let the dough rest for 30 minute.
- To prepare Radhaballabhi, cut standard sized balls from the dough. With the help of your fingers, press the balls to make bowl shapes.
- Now, stuff them with kalai dal stuffing and seal the edges to make round dumplings.
- Press the dumpling with your palm to flatten them.
- Rub the dumplings with little oil and roll out uniformly to flat round disc. The size should be approx 5″ in diameter.
- Heat sufficient oil in a deep bottom kadai and deep fry the discs one by one. With the spatula, press gently while frying to ensure the discs puff well.
- Remove one by one from the kadai and serve hot.
Serve these super soft and puffy Radhaballabhis with alur dom or chanar dal and enjoy your festival breakfast with friends and family.
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.
Happy Eating and Shubho Sharadiya!!!