Lentil Fritters are one of the most-loved fried-snacks in most parts of India and many other parts of the world. However, the Indian spices make them so different in taste that you keep on asking for more.
In a previous post I talked of relishing Masoor Dal with steaming white rice and crispy “daler bora” – or red lentil soup with crispy Lentil fritters. Let’s talk about preparing these little taste-bombs!
There are many types of lentils which could be used to cook lentil fritters – Red Lentils, Yellow/tan Lentils, Brown/Spanish pardina, green lentils, etc. However the tastiest and most appetizing of all for a Bengali household is the “Chholar Daler Bora” or the “Bengal Gram Fritters”. Further, if you mix a generous proportion of Bengal gram with another Lentil, it will definitely give you a different taste altogether!
- 1 cup chholar/chana dal (Bengal Gram)
- 1 grated onion
- Salt as per taste.
- ½ tsp red chilli powder
- ¼ tsp of turmeric
- 2-3 green chillies finely chopped into tiny pieces.
- 1 cup Mustard Oil – depends on the depth of your frying pan.
- Soak the Chholar Dal overnight to make them soft, and then make a thick paste of this the next day.
- To ensure an enhanced metallic taste, use the traditional way of hand-grinding by using the traditional “sil batta” or “Shil Nora” made of stone. This restricts the dal getting too-finely grinded, contributing greatly to keep its taste intact.
- Now mix the dal paste with the rest of the ingredients in a big bowl. Initially you’ll find it difficult to mix the paste together due to its dryness. So add little amount (1 TBSP) of water to mix them finely by hand. Even after adding water and mixing it’s bound to dry up a little; Add little more water again to mix, and repeat the process for a while. This will make your bora fluffy, soak less oil and make them taste better
- Add the chopped green chillies and grated onion.
- Once ready with the finely-mixed paste (judged by finding the paste dry but full of moisture) prepare for frying.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan till you see fine smoke coming out of the oil
- Next, instantly drop small dumplings of this paste into the pan. Deep fry first in low to medium heat and then adjust the flame from medium to high.
- You will see that “daler bora” are changing colors slowly to fully brown. Once you see a reddish brown color, take them off from the pan and keep them aside.
- Your Chholar daler bora is now ready to serve
Very simple yet very tasty and easy to cook, enjoy your “chholar daler bora” hot with tomato ketchup or any other forms of chutney on any fine evening – or with hot steaming rice and masoor dal during lunch or dinner.
The crispy chholar daler bora tastes better compared to the various kinds of potato chips, on any rainy day and even as snacks.
So try this recipe at your home. Am confident that it will be a hit with your spouse, children and friends in equal measure.