Welcome, reader, and thanks for stopping by! I have recently started my vegan journey and resumed writing about my food experiences after a real long lapse! The shift in my lifestyle and attitude will surely be reflected in my blog. I am glad that my pleasure won't cause pain to another sentient being, a non-human person. I regret that I did not understand speciesism earlier. Better late than never! By the way, I usually don't follow a recipe!
Taler Bora -- Sweet Fritter from Ripe Sugar Palm Fruit
Palmyra palm orsugar
palm (Borassus flabellifer), isvery
common in our region and we make a delicious fragrant sweet dish from the
ripened sugar palm fruit. We can call it sugar palm sweet fritter. My mother
makes it every season and we help her.
We remove the outer
black husk and get this. These are the fibrous kernels of the ripe fruit.
We rub this on a grater and this fragrant yellowish pulpy substance
We add sugar
or jaggery (non-centrifugal cane sugar from sugar cane or palm sap) and ripe and
soft banana into it. Adding banana is optional and it has to be much less in
quantity compared to “tal”. (You can also add grated coconut.) Then everything
is mixed very well. Now this mixture is too soft to give it a shape. So, rice powder
is slowly added and mixed until we get the required thickness. It is also quite
common to add refined wheat flour (Maida) but my mother and grand-mother prefer
rice powder to it.
Then we make flat and round shapes by hand and deep fry. You can also shape it like round balls. To fry, we usually use sun flower oil.
Atap rice used to be soaked and then ground using “shil-norha” at home. "Shil - norha" are basically a set of grinding stones very similar to mortar and pestle. "Shil" is bigger, flat and not moved. The spices, or rice in this case, are placed on it and ground moving the "norha" on it, sprinkling water every now and then. The result is a thick paste. “Atap”
is a Sanskrit word that means “sun (sunrays/sunlight)” or “heat”. We get “atap” rice by husking
sun-dried paddy. Nowadays we buy ready made
rice powder from local shops. We eat less rice/ rice items nowadays and we no longer
stock Atap rice at home. We still have shil-norha but it is rarely used. Mixer-grinder
is the more efficient replacement for our generation.
Taler bora is
a must-have for the Hindu religious festival of “Janmashtami”, the birthday of
God Krishna, celebrated in the month of Bhadra ( pronounced “bhaadro) of