It is during this festive period, we prepare a series of sweets, just as we have a series of festivals....Navratri, Durga Puja, Dussera, Diwali or kali puja, bhai duj, till Poush Sankranti. This period is very auspicious for us, celebrating with lights all over and food, food, food....delectable, exotic, specially made, from starters to desserts.
With so many regions all over the country and our neighbours, we are never in dearth of supply of recipes. You are saved from the boredom of repeating same recipes year after years. With guests visiting, starting from Dussera till Diwali.... we concentrate more on preparing variety of sweets.... with simple easily available ingredients like Cottage Cheese, Lentils, Flour, Semolina, Besan, sugar, jaggery, milk and coconut. These few things can make mouthwatering sweets and desserts. Trust me our friends, other than from our subcontinent have enjoyed a number of them. So I can take the liberty to say, go ahead and start with whatever catches your eyes.
I love this sweet because a favourite comic character of my childhood loved this... His name was 'Batul... The Great.... of Nonte Fonte fame. Bengalis of 70s and 80's can easily identify with these characters. We had grown up reading Batul, Teni da, Ghana da. They were written specially for the kids.....
For this particular sweet called Roshbora, you need very little ingredients like skinless Urad Dal[black gram dal], sugar, water and fennel seeds. Cannot believe right? Then would request you to explore through the recipe.
Urad Dal[skinless black gram dal] : 250 gm
Sugar : 150 gm
Fennel Seeds : 1 tsp
Green Cardamom : 3
Oil : 200 ml[for deep frying, extra can be used later]
Water : 2 coffee mugs
Wash and soak the dal overnight or in hot water for 2 hours. Put into a blender and make a smooth paste with very little water. Be very careful about using water for the paste because if you use bit more water, it will get very difficult to shape into balls.
After the paste is made, put in the fennel seeds. Mix well and keep stirring with hand for about 10 minutes. Shape into round balls. Heat oil in a pan, fry the balls in batches till golden brown.
Simultaneously, in a heavy bottomed vessel, you will boil the sugar, water and green cardamoms.
Once the balls are fried , soak them in water for 15 minutes and then take out, squeeze and pour them into the boiling sugar and let them boil for the next 5-7 minutes. Switch off, pour in a glass bowl.
Allow the Roshboras to soak for at least 5 to 6 hours. Yes, it takes longer period for the sugar syrup to soak in.
Enjoy hot or chilled.