Thursday, August 18, 2011

Jhaaler Jhol or Rasa ? -- take your pick


Nazrul or Rabindrasangeet ?

Ghoti or Bangal ?

Suman or Nachiketa ?

Threading or Brazilian wax ?

Ilish or Chingri ?

Bedouin or HotKathi ?

Goldspot or Limca ?

Soumitro or Uttam ?

Jhaaler jhol or Rasa ?

To each his own, I say.

Jhaaler Jhol is a light dish with lots of vegetables that my friend N makes. When I made it last weekend D said his mother made something similar but with tender stalks and leaves of the pumpkin plant and called it Rasa. Happens. I have nothing of my own to contribute in this discussion though. My Mother never made anything like this, she made a similar dish with Fish but did not call it anything particular.


Undoubtedly the stalks and leaves of pumpkin plant are the best greens for this light dish which totally relies on the freshness and taste of the vegetables for its deliciousness. I did not have any and instead used spinach greens and some swiss chard.


Also I did not have vadi or bori, the tiny dried lentil fritters which fried and crumbled is what this dish needs. So instead I made my Daaler Bora, lentil fritters. This time I baked them instead of frying. I added them to the dish along with a tsp of mustard paste and let it simmer in the light broth almost like in a borar jhaal. The result was delicious. It is not a presumptuous, look-at-me kind of a dish. But on days when you would rather eat lettuce greens I would suggest a Jhaaler Jhol instead.

Jhaaler Jhol or Rasa


The Vegetables

Fulkopi/Cauliflower -- half of a medium sized one, chopped in large florets
Pumpkin -- 3 cups chopped in largish cubes
Radish ~ 1 cup of  red radish, chopped in half
Eggplant ~ 1 cup. I did not have any.
Spinach or any other green ~ 3 cups, roughly chopped
Greens like pumpkin leaves with stalks are best.

The Daler Bora

Make Bora like I have done before. You can fry the fritters or bake/broil them like I did this time. Grease the tray and put dollops of the paste on it. Bake at 400F for 20-25 mins and then broil for 10 mins. This is my Toaster Oven settings.

The Process

Heat 2 tsp of Mustard Oil


When mustard oil is smoking, temper with 1/2 tsp of Kalo Jeera and 3 dry red chili


Next add all the vegetables except the greens.

Saute for a minute.
Add salt and cover with a lid. If you see the vegetables are sticking to the bottom of the kadhai, add a splash of water.Cook till the vegetables have softened a little but are still crunchy.


Now add the greens and cook for a few more minutes till they wilt.

Once the vegetables are cooked but not mushy, you can finish off at this point like my friend does. She adds some fried vadis and serves it with Rice.

I however went ahead. I added 1tsp of Mustard paste and about 3/4 cup of water. Then I added about 5-6 of lentil fritters. Opened the cover and let it simmer for a few minutes till the vegetables are cooked.

Adjust for salt.


Serve with steaming white rice.


  1. mmm...i love all the ingredients that is going into this.

  2. This is such a delicious looking dish Sandeepa.Got to hunt for the boris now.

  3. Eta notun rokomer torkari ... shorshe bata ar bora ek shonge nischoi darun lagbe. Dekhte khub refreshing lagche. Tumi ekbar amar oven baked bori try kore dekho ... ami olpo olpo kore rakhi ... besh hoye. :-)

  4. In North India, jhol is usually boiled potatoes in watery gravy made with a few spices, generally dhana-jeera powder, red chili powder and crushed fennel. Rasa or rassa is what my mom called any liquid gravy that was spicy because of garam masala added to it. I love this simple version with loads of veggies. It would classify as jhol in my world. Will go look up the recipe for boris now.

  5. Hi sandeepa,

    This kind is my comfort food. but i must say crispy fried bori has no alternative, though i highly appreciate ur efforts of baking boras instead of frying. i wud share that giving bori at home is quite easy, only thing u need is a sunny summer, dry 10-20 C. if u have less time to dry it, give 'goyna bori' instead of normal one. soak kolai dal overnight, then paste smooth and really light in a mixer with hing and dry chilli powder. put one drop in water and see it is floating. then put the contents in a piping bag (like cake decoration). lay posto on a flat surface like a baking tray and use a medium nozzle to make 'goyna' designs. they r thin and dry quite easyly. u can store, fry and munch. add salt before eating.

  6. Have to try. Wanted to confirm - No holud (turmeric)at all. I like your idea of mustard paste.

  7. Sandeepa, bhaat boshiye dao..ashchi!


  8. amar kacheo akdom notun eta...barar jhal kheyechi kintu sab sobji diye khaini kakhano. tabe Lila Mojumdar er boite ache kintu Rasa'r katha. dekhte darun.

  9. Manju
    yes, a lot depends on the ingredients

    Indeed it is

    Bengali boris are hard to find, make do with the lentil fritters like me


    Yes, onek din dhore bhabchi. Korbo shiggiri


    Even in the eastern part of India jhol=light,soupy gravies. Do you make a rasedar aloo ?


    Kono din korini, dekhi shomoy pele korbo.

    Shreya's Mom

    No turmeric and fresh good vegetables


    esho, esho :) wait kore achi


    Thank You


    Eta borar jhaal er cheye onek halka, khub refreshing shob sobji diye, tobe kumro danta hole kotha nei

  10. Threading, chingri, Goldspot - don't have opinions about the others!

    I have those radishes, they're a week old. Maybe I'll get the others when I go shopping Sunday, but summer cauliflower is even more full of worms than in-season cauliflower ...

  11. Wonderful dish, a prefect pair for rotis..

  12. Aami Ma'ar hathe eirokom ekta chorchori kheyechhi ..... shorshe, bori aar fresh vegetables. I really like the pan you are using to cook this dish. Most of the steel pans that I have used get burnt easily on medium high heat. If you dont mind asking, what brand of cookware are you using? Is it a chef's pan or a skillet?

  13. Sandeepa, I haven't made rasedar aloo in a long time, just cause potatoes have been very low on our grocery list. If I use them, it is usually with other veggies which are significantly more in quantity. I may make rasedar aloo with sweet potatoes and peas instead.

  14. simple and delicious . Amaar ma jodi o kono din banaye ni - kintu khetey daarun hobey

  15. Sra

    Me too, Goldspot. Nope, good cauliflower else use something else.


    Yup. but better with rice


    This one is a all-clad stainless saucier pan. Very, very happy with it.


    That would be interesting

    Mallika Di
    Yes, very fresh ar halka

  16. Can eat it as is.This is the comfort food at its best..Looks very delicious.Enjoyed reading your post

  17. Hi,
    I've been following ur recipes since I got married in Jan. I just wanted to say THANK YOU so much for the (virtual)handholding. :) We actually enjoy eating-in vs eating-out now.. quite a remarkable feat (you would agree if u sampled my cooking last year!) Anyway, Thanks again and I look forward to learning some more.

  18. eta shobji diye bora r jhol ar jhaal er majha majhi. but sounds really really good. kaal kei ami shob shobji ar bori diye chorchori korlam, but not too dry, eta r moton. makha makha pujor kichuri diye khete ichey korchey eta amar!

    1. Soma, eita charchari'r moton hoyna khete, khub halka, almost no charring or bhaja and ektu jhol jhol. Khichuri diye cholbe na.

  19. ami ei bhabe kono din banai ni, but porar por mone hoyche khoob shigiri banate hobe..looks delicious

  20. sandeepa, one small quibble.... there is no 'f' like fool sound in bengali, it is 'ph' like phonetic...... so, plz. plz. spell it "phoolkopi" . :-) a long time back, when there was only black and white doordarshan in calcutta, there was a 'bangla gaan' program taught by Suchitra Mitra, and on one program, she spent a good 5-10 mins. on the pronunciation of "phool" and ever since then, this distinction has stuck in my head.
    I know i sound pedantic, but it's one of my pet peeves.

  21. amar ma banai ei tarkari r bori diye jhol , kintu ote lau-er danta, aloo, kumro, lau r bori diye jhol ta hai, sab summer er light vegetables, bhisan comforting ei tarkari ta summer e, oh ha ar ote bhaja masala o deya hai..tomar tao darun lagche, khub bhalo lage ei rakam light tarkari garam bhat diye

  22. shudu ekta proshnor uutor jani .. 'IIlish' always 'Illish' :) Eta darun lagche dekhte .. amar gorom kale patla shobji khub bhalo lage khete :)


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