Janmashtami with Bengal's favorite Tal-er Bora/Asian Palm sweet Fritters

Sunday, August 17, 2014


       Today marks another important festival in Indian calender, i.e., Janmashtami, is an annual celebration of the birth of the Hindu deity Lord Krishna. Thisfestival is celebrated throughout India in various manners. Janmaashtami or Gokulashtami, popularly known in Mumbai and Pune as Dahi Handi, is an event which involves making a human pyramid and breaking an earthen pot (handi) filled with buttermilk (dahi), which is tied at a convenient height. The topmost person of teh human pyramid tries to break the handi by hitting it with a heavy object. When the handi breaks, the buttermilk is spilled over the entire group. This event is based on the legend of the child-god Krishna stealing butter. A participant in this festival is called a govinda or govinda pathak. in my state, West Bengal and other states, devotees celebrate Janmashtami by fasting and staying up until midnight, the time when Krishna is believed to have been born. Images of Krishna's infancy are placed in swings and cradles in temples and homes. The next day is called "Nanda Utsav" or the joyous celebration of Krishna's foster parents Nanda and Yashoda. On this day, people break their fast and offer various cooked sweets to Lord Krishna during the early hours, as he was very fond of sweets.

 
      The most important sweet without which Janmashtami is not complete in Bengal is "Tal-er bora", where tal is Asian Palm and Bora menas fritters. This Asian Palm fritters are made from fresh ripe and juicy palm fruit, which are abundant and best in taste during this month of August and September. It is believed to be said that this fritters were very favorite to Lord Krishna. That's why this fritters are amde and offered to Lord Krishna first in every home of Bengal on this auspicious day and then devoured by everyone.


    The process of making this fritters are not very easy. It is quite time consuming but the end products are something, that you cannot have enough of it once you tasted. I can guarantee that. Sugar Palm is very fibrous fruit. the process of collecting the pulp is quite tricky.

You need :
Asian Palm fruit/Tal : 1(makes about 2 cups of pulp)
Grated coconut(fresh) : 1 cup
Flour or whole wheat flour : 1 cup(approx.)
Suji/Semolina : 1/2 cup
Sugar : 3/4 cup
Vegetable oil/any white oil for deep frying the fritters


How To :
Process of taking out the pulp ::
At first, you take out the outer skin, then you can see two to three fibrous palm kernels inside it. On a hand grater, rub the kernels until all the pulp has come out. Collect it in a bowl. Follow the pics to better understand the process.


The remaining process :
  • When the pulp is collected, mixed all the other ingredients except flour, i.e., suji, coconut and sugar and mix well. Lastly, add flour as much as needed to thicken the batter. the batter should be neither too thick nor runny. See the pic for the batter consistency
 
  • Heat enough oil in a pan, take 1 tblsp. batter and drop slowly into the oil. Do not over crowd the oil. once you drop the batter, lower the flame and fry the fritters in medium heat, so that fritters are cooked from inside. This way, fritters will be cooked from inside and crispy from the outside.
  • When fritters are golden brown in colour, remove them on a kitchen tissue. Then serve them in room temperature. You can store them in air-tight container and keep them for few days.





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2 comments

  1. Dangerously addictive fritters, happy Janmashtami.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Excellent and lovely looking bengali recipes for Janmsatami.
    Deepa

    ReplyDelete

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