Sunday, September 23, 2012

Soma Chowdhury's Jhinge Motor Daaler Borar Jhol --- Guest post

This post is a first in many respects.

First, it is a dish which I have never tasted before. I love Motor Daaler Bora and I have done Borar Jhaal but never have I had a Jhinge Motor Daaler Borar Jhol.

Second, this is the first time I have a guest post by a reader on my blog. Usually when a reader sends me a recipe, I try to cook the dish and only then do I post it. Other than that it is only my Mother's and my close friend's recipe(Aditi's Biryani, K's Dal Gosht, T's Tiramisu)  which have been posted as is without any intervention from me. So when Soma sent me this recipe last week I was not sure what I should do.

I definitely wanted to cook it but with my current schedule, I was sure that a "Jhinge" or "Daaler Bora" wasn't going to happen to me soon. The pictures of the jhol attached to the mail were also fabulous and a whisper in my heart or maybe my ears or somewhere said that many a Bangali Poribar, aka Bong Phamily would benefit much with a recipe like this. So I asked Soma if she could write down the recipe post ready for me and sure she send me a doc with a perfect writeup.

So handing over this post to Soma Chowdhury, a reader of this blog,  for her and her only Jhinge Motor Daaler Borar Jhol. She sent me this recipe last week and I have posted it in her exact words.. Do welcome her and remember that all the delicious pictures here are Soma's and copyrighted.


Last week it was my husband’s birthday and he asked me to make some of his favorites. Jhinge (aka ridge gourd), which was on the list, is unfortunately not one of my most beloved vegetables (although I love most others except this one and kakrol (teasle gourd)). I have tried many times to acquire a taste for these but have failed. As it was, the jhinge-motor daaler borar jhol was on his list and as it was his birthday, I couldn’t refuse.

The jhol (gravy with watery consistency) is very light and delicate and mostly eaten at my in-law’s place during summer months to alleviate the scorching Calcutta heat. The jhinge/ridge gourd supposedly has cooling properties and is easily digestible. It is hard to tolerate spicy and rich food during summer, so people come up with lighter recipes with fewer spices which are easier on the stomach. When I was in India I never thought that I would grow to love cooking, but I do. As I live far away from home, I miss the comfort food cooked by my mom and my mom-in-law. I try to learn the recipes which are very special to both the families. Whenever we eat something which they used to cook, my husband and I share the memories at our dinner table. Day before yesterday when I served the jhinger jhol, he became nostalgic and said “if I close my eyes now, I can feel the dinner table, the summer heat and all of us eating together”. To me that’s a big achievement.

I never thought of sharing this recipe because I do not write a blog. But when I made it, I felt like I should share it with Sandeepa. Being a Bong myself, I like her blog and how she writes about the food, the history behind it, the simple, clean recipes and her sweet sense of humour. I thought she would appreciate such subtle delicacies, and I was right. The moment I emailed her, I got a positive reply. To my surprise, she asked me to write down the recipe with a little story behind it to post it on her blog. I was overjoyed.

As I do not follow exact measurement while cooking, I had to think hard to write down the tea spoon and table spoon measurements. I took the picture in a hurry this morning before coming to work.

So here is the recipe and hope you all will like it.

Jhinge ar motor daaler jhol: ( Ridge gourd with lentil fritters)


    Split pea lentils/motor daal -- 1& 1/2 cup
    Cornstarch 1tbsp.
    Three medium sized ridge gourd. Peel and cut into 1/12” pieces (cylinder).
    Potato two medium sized (optional), cubed.
    Kalojeere/black cumin seed/kalonji ¼  tsp.
    Green chili 5-7 nos.
    Turmeric ¼ tsp
    Salt to taste
    Mustard oil 1&1/2 tbsp.
    Vegetable oil for deep frying the fritters.

Cooking procedure: 
Soak the washed lentils overnight or minimum 4-6 hours. Grind it to a coarse paste.
Add cornstarch, salt to taste and chopped green chilis. Mix well.

Heat up the vegetable oil, make small balls (a little smaller than a regular lime) with the lentils and deep fry them. Remove the fried balls or bora and soak the excess oil in a paper towel or any absorbent paper.

Heat up the mustard oil. It should be smoking hot. Lower the temperature and then add the kalonji (if the oil is too hot, the kalonji will burn and give a bitter taste). Sauté for few seconds and then add two slit green chilis. Sauté until you can smell the nice aroma of the kalonji and green chilis.

Add the potatoes (if you are using them), sauté for few minutes (don’t fry them) and then add the gourd pieces. Add turmeric, sauté for 2-3 mns. more and then add water.

Cover the pot and let it boil. Cook it on medium flame for several minutes. Uncover and add three more slit green chilis and salt to taste. Let it boil on medium flame for few more minutes until the vegetables are completely cooked. Check the consistency of the jhol (gravy) and taste for salt. It should be a very thin watery consistency but the raw taste of water should be gone by now.

Add the bora/fritters and boil for two more minutes and then turn off the flame. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes and then serve with plain hot rice.


Similar Recipes:

Daal er Bora -- My recipe of Daaler Bora made with Motor + Masoor Dal. Also I have done the bora in an abelskeiver pan with no deep frying

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  1. Congrats to Soma! Bhaja bora gulo ekhuni khete iche korche! Aar jhol ta kintu awesome, akdom comfort food.

  2. Indeed a very soothing foodii for summers ... to some extent i can relate this with " jhinge diye macher jhol" with "lebu" a perfect summer lunch. This is the non veg one while the recipe sent by Soma di is a lovely veggie for hot summers....... :)

  3. I have already eaten this dish long long back (in early seventies) cooked by my mother. Also Jhinger torkari mixed with Papor bhaja is also a tasty dish.

  4. My mom makes it and I just love it! I tried making it myself but the motor daal bata in mixer-grinder doesn't taste and look like the silbata e bata daal....

  5. Lovely recipe, specially so for its light consistency and mimimal spice. Thanks for sharing it. Also when there are no veggies in the house. lol!

  6. @ When small, hated Jhinge like anything.
    Somehow things have changed (call it aging...I prefer "maturing", hihi) love jhinge in any form.
    Jhinge posto tops the list for me.
    Wonderful recipe.thanks Soma & Sandeepa.

  7. Very delectable dish for summer. Perfect..

  8. I can totally relate to the ridge gourd hatred thingy. I hated it when I was in India now that I don't regularly see it I like it and cook with it often.

    Thanks Soma for this totally new recipe (I mean for me), looks so good.

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  10. Simply awesome...I just love daaler borar recipes. I will try this one..

    I blog @ Manidipa's Kitchen

  11. Nice first post, Soma!! Great pics too! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  12. Soma, you shd start blogging too! Lovely pics and a nice recipe too.
    San, for some reason, I thought jhinge was shrimp! Don't aske me why :) Now i should re-look all the jhinge recipes I did not pay attention to

    1. Vani

      Jhinga == Prawns in Hindi

      Jhinge == Ridge Gourd in Bengali

      And yes Soma should start blogging, aren't her pictures fabulous ?

  13. Welcome Soma, lovely pict and delicious recipe Sandeepa.
    Very unusual ridge gourd recipe:)

  14. I too thought Jhinge means prawns....but scrolling down I came to know it's not....Really Soma it's time to start blog now...loved the idea of post from readers....recipe sounds yum...good pics Soma...

    1. Lubna

      See my reply to Vani

      Jhinga == Prawn in hindi

      Jhinge == Ridge Gourd in Bengali

  15. I am working on my blog. I was thinking about it from a long time but couldn't put together everything. I'll surely try my best to finish it as soon as possible. Thanks for your inspiration. It means a lot to me.

    @Vani and Lubna:You are right, as Sandeepa said, Jhinga is shrimp and Jhinge is ridge gourd. A long time ago, somebody was really offended to see a 'jhinge' recipe on the vegetarian column in the Sunday Telegraph magazine. She thought the same thing.

  16. Way to go Soma...Really very good recipe. I never had this preparation...Thanks for sharing it

  17. Is motor dal the same as chana (gram) dal or is it split peas? The picture seems to look like chana dal.
    I too thought shrimp for 'jhinge' till I read further and found it was another name for good old tori! I am always looking for new ways to cook tori. Not too long ago I came upon a recipe of tori with masoor dal in the Hyderabadi style; very good!

    1. Anita

      It is the yellow Split Peas, looks a lot like chana. You can make regular dal with it too like the one here, has an earthy kind of taste

  18. Hi Anita:

    It's split peas. They look similar though.

  19. Sounds great and tasty! Bora with jhol- Simple but absolutely delicious! Will try ASAP!! Can't wait!

  20. Tried out the recipe this past weekend. Love it!!! It's a keeper. Hubby was very happy with it too. I have never made anythign like this before...other than Dhokar dalna, maybe. Thank you for the great recipe, Soma!


  21. Looks so good. I will try this sometime.

  22. Lovely recipe....accha motor er bodol a masoor dal er bora diye kora jabe?


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