Is there any food that can be related to Bengali dol? Dol? The Bong brother of National Holi
In my opinion Kochi pathar jhol or mangshor jhol and sweets and that too not any special sweets. In our childhood we used to get Motth, which is tough crystallised sugar in different bright colours and used to come in different shapes and forms like animals, chariots etc. Eating them was big fun. Unlike rest of India, where there are a huge collection of recipes which are made specially for Holi, there aren’t many for Bengalis.
Madhushree made this Dahi Bhalla which is a very popular dish associated with Holi.
Dahi bhalla has takes on a variety of names and shapes and style in various parts of the country. While in North India it is called Dahi Bhalled, we Bengalis call is doi bora and in Southern India it is called Thayir Vadai or Dahi Vada. The North Indian Bhalla is dumpling and comes with sweet chutney as well as the green chutney. The South Indian version has the vada with a hole in the centre and does not come with a green chutney. Be it the sweets like Gujia, laddoos, imartis, jalebis or savourites like kachori, many variations of chats or the drinks like thandais, lassis and others; it’s a plethora of choices. Speaking about thandais, there are innocent versions as well as the adulterated versions with Bhang. Bhang is associated with Holi and it’s in the last few years that I have tasted it and it’s a demon in disguise. It’s refreshing and initial sip will leave you wanting more but the after effect starts slowly and stays for a long time.
While in one of the Holi celebrations Madhushree had lost her voice and kept smiling for almost 7 hours (she feels that she was speaking but no one was listening to her) it was in 2012, we had tugga just a day after Holi. We have been decent good would be parents that year and didn’t have any doubtful element it was Tugga’s Mama (maternal uncle) who had gone overboard and the next day when he came to Hospital to meet his nephew, he was speechless and reactionless. In his own words later, ‘everyone thought that I was reactionless but I was clueless about the people around me and who the kid was.’ Shibuji Soda and Shikanji in Vardaan Market sells one of the most lethal thandais which you cannot miss at any cost. There are others also who make Bhang ke Kachoris or samosas at home. What’s a Holi where one cannot float and give in to the celebrations. Afterall, if there is one song which symbolizes Holi in modern era, it’s Rang Barse from Silsila. Leaving aside the underlying theme, it’s one of the most fun daring songs possible.
Try out this recipe of Dahi Bhalla and let us know how it worked. Did you make anything special? Do let us know? In case you have any hilarious incident with Holi, please let us know too. Wishing you all a great colourful Holi. Love and Peace
Dahi Bhalla Recipe
For the Dumplings
- 1 1/3 cup urad dal
- 1/4 tsp fennel seeds
- 1/2 inch ginger finely chopped
- 1 pinch Baking soda
- 1 no green chili finely chopped and optional
- 1 1/2 tbsp coriander leaves finely chopped
- ` Salt To Taste
- any white oil for deep frying
For Green Chutney
- 1 handful coriander leaves
- 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
- 1/2 tsp Sugar
- salt as required
For Sweet Chutney
- 2 tbsp tamarind pulp
- 1/2 tsp Red Chili Powder
- 8 tbsp Sugar
- 1 1/2 cup Thick Yogurt
- 1 tsp Roasted Jeera Powder
- 1 tsp kashmiri red chili powder
- Soak the Urad Dal over night in Water. 6 hours is more than enough.
- After 6 hours, drain the water out and grind the urad dal in a fine paste with some salt and 1/3rd cup of water.
- Then add in chopped coriander leaves, chopped ginger, fennel seeds, baking soda and whisk vigorously to make the batter light a fluffy.
- In a frying pan or kadai, take oil and heat it.
- Wet your palm and take small portions of the batter and drop in the oil o deep fry till golden brown. It is important to keep the temperature at a medium or else the dumplings will brown from outside quickly without cooking in the inside.
- This step is important. When you have put in the kadai for heating the oil, instantly also put in a saucepan full of water for heating.
- As you fry the dumplings, drop them in the water. Do not boil it. Just trun off the heat for the water once it is hot.
- Keep the dumplings in the warm water for 5 to 6 minutes and then with a spatula take them out and place on a place.
- Now take the dahi and whisk the dahi propely. Add a little bit of water to thin it.
- If your dahi is too sour, add some powdered sugar to it.
- The sweet chutney and the green chutney needs to be made in advance and kept.
- For the sweet chutney, add the ingredients in a saucepan with a cup of water and boil it till the sugar dissolves and the consistency has become syrupy.
- For the green chutney, grind everything in a fine paste with a little bit of water.
- Now for assembling, take the dumpling on a plate. Add the yogurt (generous amount) and then drizzle the sweet chutney and green chutney. Finally, sprinkle jeera powder and red chili powder. We Bengalis use bhaja moshla instead of jeera powder. Salt is usually ot required since the green chutney has salt in it. However, if you feel the need, please sprinkle some rock salt.
- Serve it immeidately or chill it in the fridge for 1/2 hour and serve.
- For garnish, there can be several other options like sev, anar dana, chopped coriander leaves etc.
- While making the dumpling, one can also put in a raisin in the centre before dropping in the oil.