Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Bhaswati Kalita's Borar Tauk or Borar Tenga

It is 10:30 at night right now. I have just had a bowl of luscious vanilla ice cream with really sweet mangoes. That the ice cream and mangoes were served to me by Big Sis and Li'l Sis while I lounge on the sofa makes it extra sweet. And then I am watching "Liv&Maddie" or some such Disney series which is a privilege in itself as we usually have no access to Disney and such cable channels. We finally signed up for a month of Netflix on trial only because it is the summer holidays. I really love summer vacations. I get it that it is not exactly the working parent's dream come true but I still love it and I am going to sign petitions if anyone decides to make it any shorter.

Summer also means mangoes.Both the sweet and the sour ones. Though the sour raw mango is available almost all year round, having a mango chaatni or "aamer ombol" in summer is the real thing.

Now why am I jumping from summer to mangoes in one breath ? Well because in my brain they are kind of interconnected. If you say "summer", I say "mango". Quite a few months back one of my blog readers had asked for a "Bori Posto" recipe. I had no idea what a "Bori Posto" was. Still don't. The strange thing is over the summer that recipe morphed in my brain as a "Bora or Borir Tauk" and I went around looking for it. I was pretty sure that "Hasina Ahmad"di wanted to make a "Borir Tauk". So deeply influenced was I by this idea that I even asked on my FB page about a "Bori'r Tauk" recipe. Many of the readers shared a "Maacher Dim er Borar Tauk" which no doubt was brilliant but I was looking for just plain "Borir Tauk"!

I was on a mission to find this recipe which my blog reader had never in her life asked for. Clearly shows signs of my aging.

So anyway this "Mission Impossible" turned out to be possible because of two people.

One was my dear blogger friend Sharmila of KichuKhonn who shared her grandmother's recipe of "Daatar Tok"

The other was by blog reader Bhaswati Kalita. She said in Assamese cuisine they have something similar called borar tenga which is had mostly during summers....either mango, lime juice or something  called thekera which is somewhat similar to kokum, is used. This sounded so interesting that I asked her for the recipe and this is the recipe she shared with me:

"Here is how it goes...if you are using lime juice then make the juice of 1 lemon/lime(be careful not to squeeze it too much; belief has it if you do then the resulting juice is bitter; I know sounds ridiculous) Make the daler bora's with mostly chana dal fried in mustard oil...just add a little bit of salt and turmeric to the dal other seasoning required, then temper some mustard oil in the wok...add panch phoron, mix the lime juice with some water and a little sugar n salt...check seasoning...add this to the oil, you can add kafir lime leaves to add to the aroma once it starts to boil...then add the bora' thicken the gravy you can either add a little bit of rice flour or plain flour...and simmer till the desired consistency... we usually have this towards the end of the meal...really a relief to the tummy during hot and humid summers
Alternatively u can use raw mango slices, instead of lime juice fry the mango slice in oil with phoron and then add water and a mint leaves towards the end..."

So I adapted it for mangoes and this is what I did...

Make the Dal e Bora

Soak 1 cup of Chana Dal overnight or for 5-6 hours. Drain the water and put the chana dal in your mixie or blender jar. Add a tsp of chopped ginger and 1 green chilli. Grind the chana dal to a paste with splashes of water

The chana dal should be a thick paste, a little on the coarse side. Add salt and a little red chilli powder to the paste and then beat it well with a fork.

Now heat enough oil in a kadhai. Mustard oil is your best bet. When the oil is hot enough, you will know by putting in a pinch of the batter and checking if the batter sinks(not ready) or rises up with bubbles(ready), add scoops of the paste in the hot oil.Fry small boras or fritters from this paste. Remove the fried balls or bora and soak the excess oil in a paper towel or any absorbent paper.

In other news you can make the boras with way less oil in this ebelskeiver pan like I did.

Make the Tauk

We will use about 6 of those Boras to make the tauk and so I used only half of a green mango . Peel the mango and chop in medium pieces.

Now to make the tauk, heat mustard oil in a kadhai

Temper the mustard oil with a tsp of PaanchPhoron

Add chopped green mangoes and sprinkle a little turmeric powder

Saute the mangoes for a few minutes.

Add 2 Cups of water and salt to taste and let the raw mangoes soften and cook

Once the mangoes are cooked add about 3 tbsp of sugar and let the jhol simmer. You may need more or less sugar depending on how sour your mangoes are and your personal taste.

Add a tsp of mustard paste(optional)

Add the boras/fritters and let it simmer for 2-3 minutes until the bora soaks up the liquid. Squeeze a little lime juice and add a few mint leaves if you wish.

This tok or tauk is a very light soupy gravy and you can have this with rice

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