Rosh Bora – A unique dish that will titillate your taste buds

Rosh Bora – A unique dish that will titillate your taste buds

When we think of Bengali cuisines, our mouths always water at the thought of sugar syrup filled rosogollas, cham chams and nolen gurer (a type of jaggery) Sandesh and many more sweets. Every sweet shop in Bengal will have racks full of such variety of sweets which we cannot find in any other state in India.

So on one hand the popular Bengali sweets have the ability to deport you to heaven, on the other hand there are some lesser known delicacies which are equally interesting and tasty to the buds.

One of my favourite dishes, Rosh Bora was what my mom used to make during the festival of Makar Sankranti in India. Makar Sankranti would fall on January 14th/15th each year and I would be dying for the festival to arrive only to eat Rosh Bora.

How to make this authentic mouth-watering dish

Rosh Bora is an authentic Bengali sweet and many people who have not lived in Bengal do not know about it. They are simple to make and the ingredients which are used are readily available. The cost of preparation is not much and hence even poor people can afford to make these sweets during Makara Sankranti or during any other celebrations time.

Llentil (urad daal is used to make the vada) dumplings are fried and then soaked in sugar syrup. They can be served hot or cold.

The ingredients to be used & preparation

The ingredients for this recipe are very few and are readily available in any grocery shop.

  • Buy urad dal which is also known as kolai daal (Black lentil), fennel seeds, sugar and white vegetable oil or ghee.
  • Soak ½ cup of urad dal for 4 hours. Grind it with a little water and check for lumps.
  • You may add a little bit of baking powder to make the vadas fluffy.
  • Add ½ tea spoonful of fennel seeds to the batter and keep aside. You may even pound the fennel seeds and add to the batter. Add a pinch of salt to the batter. Ensure that the batter is blended for 7-10 minutes to make it fluffy.
  • Fry the ghee or oil in a pan and make round balls of the batter and deep fry them. Keep the fried vadas aside and drain any extra oil using tissue paper.

The final preparation and garnishing

Now since your main item is prepared, you need to make the sugar syrup. Take 2 cups of sugar and add 2 cups of water to it and let it come to boil. Simmer the gas stove and let the sugar syrup thicken up. Once the sugar syrup cools down a bit, add the fried vadas and let it cool.

Serving tips

You may choose to garnish the bowl with saffron or silver foil. Serve 2-4 vadas in a small bowl and your kids will love it. It is a good snack to be eaten in the evenings when the kids feel very hungry. The sugar will give them instant energy and they would not complain about hunger for the next couple of hours till the dinner is served.

Instead of using sugar to make the syrup, you may also try to change the taste by making the syrup using nolen gur or khejur gur (jaggery made from the sap of palm trees) and it will be a healthier option compared to the factory manufactured sugar. The preparation technique will remain the same. At the end instead of soaking the fried dumplings in sugar syrup, you have to soak it in jaggery syrup.


The jiggery syrup – Preparation

Recipe for making jaggery syrup is similar.

  • Add ¾ cup of nolen gur to the same amount of water.
  • Let the syrup come to a boil and then simmer it for a while. Keep checking for consistency and keep moving the ladle in the pan so that it does not stick. Once it is ready strain it to remove any impurities.

Since the jaggery is often made by the locals, they do not have the standard procedures to clean the impurities. Nolen gur comes in the form of cakes or a semi-liquid one. The latter is better for making the syrup.

You may make these vadas and keep them in the refrigerator and they stay fresh for 3-4 days. That way you will save time in the evenings for making new snacks. The preparation cost of these sweets is very minimal. So during festivals, instead of wasting money for buying sweets from the shops, you can make simple home-made sweets which are healthy and tasty. There are many such authentic recipes which every family has and if you talk to the elderly ladies of any household, you will get to know about them.

In Odisha these Rosh boras are made during Krishna Janmashtami in July which is considered the birthday of Lord Krishna and during Rakshabandhan which is celebrated around the same time. The preparation style is quite similar, however every kitchen has its own style and people customise dishes as per their likings and tastes. So what are you waiting for? Just enter your kitchen and give a sweet surprise to your family this festive season.

Featured Photo – Haldirams by shankar s. under CC BY 2.0

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