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Recipe: Bethica Das' Rosh Bora

September 20, 2022 17:40 IST
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Fritters dunked in a sweet syrup?

Before you curl your lip or wrinkle your nose, here's a bit of info: It's actually a popular dessert.

We're talking about the Rosh Bora, deep-fried pakoras made using split urad dal (black gram) and dunked in a saffron-infused sugar syrup.

Rosh, in Bengali, means syrup and bora means fritters.

'While this dessert may not be as popular as the other Bengali sweets,' says Bethica Das, 'it's very yummy.'

You can add a few raisins to the pakoras before frying them to amp up the sweetness.

Top it off with chopped nuts and enjoy it chilled or at room temperature.

While Bethica loves to make simple, traditional recipes, she can't resist lending them a touch of fusion. Even her most authentic recipes feature a modern twist.

Have a look at Bethica Das' recipes here.

Photograph: Kind courtesy Bethica Das

Rosh Bora Or Lentil Dumplings In Sugar Syrup

Serves: 3-4


For the sugar syrup

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 cups water
  • 2-3 green elaichis or cardamoms
  • A few strands of kesar or saffron

For the pakoras

  • ¼ cup urad dal or split black gram, soaked overnight
  • ½ tsp saunf or fennel seeds
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp green elaichi or cardamom powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • Water
  • Oil to deep fry
  • Chopped dry fruits, to garnish


For the syrup

  • Heat the water in a saucepan.
    Add the cardamom and sugar. Mix well.
    Bring it to a boil.
    Let it simmer for 8-10 minutes.
    Keep stirring so that the liquid doesn't stick to the pan.
    Add the saffron strands.
    Remove from heat and keep it aside.
    The syrup should ideally be made minutes before frying the pakoras, as it may harden as it cools.

For the pakoras

  • In a mixer, using very little water, grind the urad dal to a smooth paste.
    Transfer into a bowl.
    Add the fennel seeds, salt, cardamom powder and baking soda.
    If you want it sweeter, you can some raisins as well.
    Mix well and whisk for a few minutes to make it a fluffy batter.
  • Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed kadhai or pan.
    Make small round balls out of the dal mix and deep fry them in batches till they are golden brown in colour.
    Remove from heat, drain and add the fried pakoras into the sugar syrup.
    Let them soak for a couple of hours.
    Garnish with chopped nuts and serve at room temperature or chilled.

Editor's note: If you don't like your desserts on the sweeter end, you can reduce the amount of sugar in the syrup.



Bethica Das is a Sharjah-based food blogger.

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