When it comes to sweets, the list is endless. Compared to the other states of the country, the Bengali sweet tooth is quite well-known among Indians. The reason is its plethora of desserts .
Almost all the Bengali sweets are prepared from finely ground and sweetened chhena (Indian cottage cheese). Shondesh or Sandesh, Rasgulla or Roshogolla and Misti doi (sweetened curd) are a must for every Bengali family after the main course and even tok-doi (bitter curd) is also loved by many. “Laddu” and “Barfi” are also familiar sweets in Bangladesh, West Bengal and various other parts of the country, especially during festivals.
On this post, I will talk about a traditional Bengali dessert which is very uncommon among people outside Bengal, but nonetheless very famous among traditional Bengalis. It is known as Rosh-Bora. It’s more of a daily household dessert, usually not found in the sweetmeat shops. It was invented by our great great grandmothers, perhaps during the harvest festivals. Very simple and unique, it doesn’t have too much sugar, but is crispy in taste.
White Urad Dal – 1 cup
Water – 2 cups
Sugar – 2 cups or equivalent sugar syrup
White Oil – 2-3 cups, preferably refined
Sugar syrup preparation:
Add the 2 cups of water to the 2 cups of sugar in a bowl and boil it for 10-12 minutes. Remember not to make the syrup thicker, or else the bora won’t get soaked properly.
- First soak the white urad dal in water for 4-5 hours. You will witness the dal has become quite soft after getting soaked for so long.
- Next, strain the water out, and put the dal into a grinder. Make a finely ground paste in the grinder, with minimum water so that it forms a smooth creamy paste.
- Once done, put the creamy white urad dal paste in a bowl and keep stirring heavily. The more you stir the crisper the “bora” will become. It also helps in making the bora fluffy, and soak more syrup while not retaining the oil.
- In the meantime heat the oil in the kadai. For deep-frying, use more oil. Once the oil gets steaming hot turn the heat to medium settings.
- Make round balls with the creamy dal paste with your hand and keep dropping the round dumplings into the hot oil on low flame. Fry till it changes its color to light-golden brown.
- Once the bora turns light golden brown drain the oil and take them out of the pan, and drop directly into the syrup container (while still hot!!) Let the bora cool down fully in the syrup, before you taste it or serve
In many parts of Bengal, the Rosh Bora is served in a bowl, with 2-3TBSP of unsweetened milk. This practice is to reduce the intensity of the sugary sweetness, while also making the bora taste better.
So the next time when you are expecting some guests over for meals, serve the Rosh Bora. You can expect them to immerse themselves deeply into its satisfying juices and ask for more!
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