Oven Baked Urad Dal Bori

The art of making bori dates back hundreds of years. It probably started from the villages of Midnapore district in West Bengal. Generally bori is made with urad dal and winter melon. The consistency of the dal makes it perfect for making these sun dried dumplings.
Boris are sun dried for 3 to 5 days, depending upon the heat of the sun. If you look for boris in the market, you’ll mostly find the small circular ones, made with different types of dal/lentils or rice. But, bori became more popular in recipes across Bengal when Abanindranath Tagore and Rabindranath Tagore took interest in them. The gayna bori, a special kind of bori dried in the shapes of paisley look amazing, and Tagore even commissioned such boris to be displayed in the art department at Biswa Bharati University. In 2016 IIT kharagpur even applied for a geographical indication for “goyna bori”.

While making goyna bori is an art, I resorted to just the simple circular ones, and since it had been raining for the last week, there was no chance for me to sun dry them. So, resorted to the oven.
Bori tastes amazing as a snack, just fried. You can also add it to shukto or macher jhol or any Bengali curry of your choice. Comment below and show me your bori.

Making the bori is a slow yet fun process. With everyone stuck in the house for COVID-19 scare, it was a fun project for us. My five year old helped me squeeze out the dal paste on the tray.
Traditionally bori is squeezed out on a bed of poppy seeds, since we dried them in a oven I opted for a cooking spray, although having the best retro microwave ovens can be also helpful for cooking as well. For me it took about 5 hours for the bori to be ready at 150F, depending on your oven the time may vary.

1 cup hulled whole urad dal
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Wash and soak the dal overnight. Drain out all excess water from the dal, and add the baking powder and salt
Grind to a fine paste in a blender. Take a bowl of water and drop a dollop of the paste, if it floats your bori paste is ready.
Transfer the paste in a icing bag, lightly spray a baking sheet with cooking spray, alternatively you can sprinkle a layer of poppy seeds on the tray. Gently squeeze out the paste into one inch size circles. Leave a small gap between each bori
Heat the oven to its lowest setting, for me its 150F (66C). Bake for about 5 hours till the bori comes of easily from the tray, and when gently squeezed it feels hard.
Store in an air tight container, and use whenever necessary. You can store them for almost a year.

Notes: You can blend 1/4 cup of boiled winter melon along with the urad dal.

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