Bori are a very popular and a favourite Bengali food item often used in vegetarian cooking but also added to fish dishes too.
They are essentially soaked lentils ground to a paste, seasoned and then dried slowly in the open air until they form into little hard golden nuggets.
They usually require to be gently fried before adding to curries. When cooked in a sauce it absorbs the liquid and changes in texture becoming a little soft spongy dumpling of nuttiness with a hint of aromatic hing and sometimes the whole spices.
This dish uses Moong Bori meaning that Moong lentils were used to make them. They can be also made with Urad Dal too amongst others.
I used to love moong bori so much that I would make them myself and dry them out in my oven. They were so much better and tastier than the shop bought ones. You could add additional spices or whole spices. I would make a huge batch when my mum would come up and entertain the kids! She would then take half of it down to enjoy until her next visit up. Life becomes hectic and busy and I have not made them since my mum passed away 11 yrs ago.
Guord is readily available in almost all asian shops and comes in all shapes and sizes. I use it alot. It can be cooked into so many amazing dishes too but thats another blog! I’ve used the bottle guord today.
This curry recipe is a particularly easy and simple dish because it has no spices and just requires a little prep which in itself is limited to a bit of chopping and blitzing.
Usually I would prepare this dish when I do my Puja offerings (Prasad presented at temple/shrine at home) as it has no onion or garlic and is therefore a pure vegetarian curry using bori made from moong dal.
The essential ingredients in this is the white poppyseed which when made into a paste adds a beautiful nutty creaminess to the dish. The heat comes from the use of green chilies and I have quite a bit of this partly because of the fantastic aroma that imparts from the blended chilies and partly because of my love of hot food! The other key ingredient being the faithful ginger in any pure vegetarian dish. That, the green chilies and the poppyseed paste, combined is a beautiful explosion of fragrance and flavour which elevates the very simple bottle guord used as the key vegetable element.
The final bit of loveliness comes from the drizzle of pure homemade butter ghee to enhance an already unique tasting dish. Its simplicity is its defining beauty.
1 bottle board, keeled, sliced into rounds and then into fine strips
1 cup of moong bori
6 tablespoons of white poppy seeds
2 dried red chillies torn
half a cup of oil or a mixture of ghee and oil.
2 inches of ginger
Approx 5 chilies or as much as you prefer based on their heat.
2 teaspoons of salt
teaspoon of sugar
pure Desi ghee to drizzle as a garnish
Firstly take a food processor and blend into a paste with a little bit of water your poppy seeds, ginger and fresh green chilies.
I use a magic bullet and tend to grind the poppy seeds first then change the attachment, add the water ginger and chilies and blitz into a fine paste. Once done Set aside.
Heat your oil in a nonstick frying pan or karai.
Add the moong Bori and gently fry them until they change to a slightly darker shade of caramel, remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Now to the remaining oil/ghee add the bay leaf and your dried chillies. Fry until they change to a slightly darker shade.
Add your chopped bottle gourd. Add your salt and sugar and cook this for 4 to 5 minutes on med heat covered.
When the bottle gourd has a slightly nutty aroma, becomes translucent and you have pockets of oil. At this stage add the poppyseed, ginger and green chilli paste to the bottle gourd and continue to cook for a few minutes until the raw ginger smell changes somewhat and becomes mellow.
Now add the moong bori, continue to cook for a further couple of minutes to allow the moong bori to absorb the flavours.
Next add a cup of water, give your content a good stir, reduce your heat to low and cook covered until the liquid is almost all absorbed, your moong bori are tender and break with the slight pressure.
Ensure you have a little sauce as the moong bori will continue to absorb the sauce further once you are finished cooking from the residual heat. So leave it a little saucy to allow for that. You should have plating up a thick creamy sauce.
Finish with a drizzle of pure butter ghee.
You have a very authentic Bengali niramish dish fit for the gods literally.
Serve with rice or puri.
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