Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Cholar daaler Borar jhol.........lentil fritters in a gravy

A friend's mother used to make this awesome jhol as the special "ranna" on Saturdays which in a lot of Bengali households in reserved for "niramish".The first time I had it, I went beyond second helping to the third helping.Believe me I would have had more if it was humanly possible.I asked Aunty for the recipe and passed it on to my mother.I had high hopes that my mother would create the borar jhol magic in our household.There was just one hitch in the recipe,the boras need to be deep fried!!!My mother imagines clogged arteries,cholesterol,massive heart attacks when someone tells her to "deep fry".So the magic ended in our household. Aunty knowing how much I loved the borar jhol tried to make it on the Saturdays she knew I was visiting.
I tried to create the borar jhol magic in my household last week.It was a decent attempt.I say decent because I forgot to whip the daal batter before frying the boras. Aunty had said "daal bata ta bhalo kore haath diye phetiye nish"(whip the daal batter with your hand).
Being my mother's daughter,I did not really deep fry the boras. I don't have a small kadhai ......I have a massive kadhai which serves well when we have guests.....for deep frying you need to put close to a litre of oil in it.I panicked at about 250 ml I think.The boras will become bigger in oil....since I did not have enough oil to submerge them,the boras instead of rising in height from the hot air inside were spilling a little from the sides. So if you want to make this dish right .....Be Brave with oil....or get a small kadhai.

For the bora
Cholar daal/Chana daal-1 cup soaked for about 2 hrs
Kalo jeera/nigella seeds-1/2 teaspoon
Green chili-2
Ginger-1 inch piece
Salt-to taste

Grind the daal with the nigella seeds,chilies and the ginger.Make sure you take out all the excess water from the daal before grinding.The daal will grind in the water that it has absorbed.Now take the daal out and add salt....a little less than a teaspoon is a good amount.The boras absorb the gravy which will have a little less salt when you are frying is fine.Now whip the daal a little to make it light.Get some air inside so that it becomes fluffy when you fry it.A minute of whipping is good enough.Now make 1 inch small balls of this daal paste and deep fry in hot oil.When deep golden brown take it out and keep aside.My experience on frying is that when you put the daal batter in the oil,your heat should be on high.After that the heat should be put on medium for the boras to cook thoroughly and to get the gradual deep golden brown color.

For the jhol
Ginger paste-1/2 tablespoon
Nigella seeds-1 teaspoon
Red chilli paste-1 teaspoon(Soak 4-5 dried red chilies in some water and grind it to a paste)
Cumin powder-1 tablespoon
Coriander powder-1 tablespoon
Turmeric powder-1/2 tablespoon
Sugar-1/2 tablespoon
Salt-to taste
Potatoes-1 medium sliced and fried (You can fry the potatoes after the boras are fried)
Oil-2 tablespoons

First make a paste of the cumin powder,coriander powder,turmeric powder in about 2-3 tablespoons of water. We generally make a paste out of our dry masalas before putting it in the oil,the masalas don't burn this way.
Now in a pan,heat oil.Put in the nigella seeds add in the sugar.Let the sugar turn red before adding the red chili paste.The color of your oil will change a nice red from the frying chilies.Add the ginger paste and follow with the dry masala paste that you made.Ginger if you fry too much in oil turns a little let the ginger cook with the masala paste. Now add the fried potatoes and about 3 cups of water to make the gravy.Add salt to taste.Once the gravy has come to a boil add the boras and let it boil for a couple of minutes before turning off the heat.The boras will soak a lot of the gravy so don't fret 3 cups of water is not a lot.
The proportions make about 10 boras. I put 8 in the can take a guess on the missing 2:-)

No comments:

Post a Comment