Dal er borar jhal/Lentil dumplings in a spicy sauce

Most know Bengalis as fish and meat lovers, but, have no idea about our collection of vegetarian dishes. This recipe is a homage to our love for vegetarian dishes. Dal er bora is a lentil fritter, which is a popular Bengali dish. We love tele bhaja, which is basically the Bengali name for pakodas. Dal er borar jhal is nothing else, but an elevated dish, where the boras are added to a rich and delicious gravy. Do not confuse these with bori, the sun-dried lentil pan cakes. It is a perfect accompaniment to plain steamed rice. You could also serve it with roti or Indian phulkas.



  • Dried peas/Bengal gram dal
  • Ginger paste
  • Green chillies
  • Hing/asafoetida
  • Kalo jire/nigella seeds
  • Onions (chopped)
  • Mustard paste
  • Salt
  • Turmeric powder
  • Chilli powder
  • Oil


  • Soak the dal overnight
  • On the next day, drain the dal, add salt, turmeric, ginger paste and green chillies and make a smooth paste in the mixie (the paste should not be too hard, neither too runny)
  • Now beat the paste well again with hing and kalo jire
  • Heat oil in a wok and add the paste in dollops so that they get deep-fried in the shape of 1 1/2” size balls
  • Drain and keep aside
  • Add the chopped onion in the same oil and fry till they turn golden brown
  • Now add salt, turmeric and chilli powder and fry till masala gets cooked
  • Next add mustard paste and stir fry
  • Now add water (the dumplings will soak a lot of water so measure the water accordingly)
  • Add the dumplings when the liquid starts to boil
  • When the liquid starts boiling again, take it off the flame immediately
  • Serve

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *