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Cathy Katin-Grazzini

Cathy’s Kitchen Prescription LLC


Bori, Dry Fermented Bengali Lentil Dumplings


Another wonderful culinary contribution from West Bengal and Bangladesh are biuli daler bori, little fermented lentil dumplings. Classically made with creamy, white urad dal (skinned matpe beans, aka black gram), you can also use masoor, moong, and matar dals. Some Bori are simply made without any seasonings; others include them.  I add seasonings here as options.


These tasty, tangy, crispy dumplings are phenomenally healthy. Nutrient-dense, low in fat, and a good source of protein, and because Bori are fermented and dried under India’s hot sun (or at very low heat), making Bori both probiotic and prebiotic. Serve Bori with classic Bengali stews like Chorchori and Shukto, and as croûtons on any salads or soups.


Prep Overnight to soak urad dal, plus 30 minutes to grind, plus 5 to 6 hours to ferment

Bake 4 days to sundry or dry in a 100°F oven or dehydrator

Makes about 100 1-inch bori


1 cup white urad dal, rinsed

¼ teaspoon asafoetida (hing), freshly ground (optional)

1 to 2 tablespoons water only to facilitate blending/grinding

1 teaspoon shiro (mild, white) miso paste, or to taste (optional)

3/4 teaspoon Panch Phoron spice blend (see page     ) (optional)



Urad dal paste is best made using a wet grinder, a common appliance in India but less so in the West. If you don’t have one, use a high-speed blender, followed by a hand-held or stand mixer to aerate the mixture, as detailed in the recipe below.


  • Wash the urad dal well and soak in plenty of water overnight or for 8 to 10 hours. Drain and reserve the soaking water.
  • Add the soaked dal to a high-speed blender. Run on high, adding only as much of the dal soaking liquid as required to create a smooth but somewhat dense dal paste.
  • Transfer the puréed dal to a bowl and use a hand mixer or immersion blender to aerate the dal paste for 15 to 20 minutes. The Bori paste should be very smooth and dense enough to hold a soft peak.  The dense bori batter will be sufficiently aerated when a spoonful of the paste can float in a bowl of water.
  • If you choose to season Bori, stir in the asafoetida,, miso paste, and Panch Phoron spices now.
  • Cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap. Set it in a warm corner, a proofing box, or in an oven with a low proofing temperature that doesn’t exceed 100°F. Allow the batter to ferment and rise over 5 to 6 hours. The amount of rise you will see will depend on how smooth and aerated your batter is, which assists fermentation. The batter is ready when it has risen, is airier, and lightly tangy in taste.
  • Transfer the Bori batter to a pastry piping bag with a large round tip. Use silicon sheets for a dehydrator or line rimless baking sheets with wax or parchment paper for oven drying.
  • Pipe 1 to 1½ inch wide round dumplings onto your sheets or paper, spacing them an inch apart.
  • Dry them in a dehydrator or a proofing box or low oven at 100°F for 4 to 5 days, depending on the ambient humidity.  Begin checking them at 3 days. When they are almost ready, turn them over to dry their bottoms and interiors completely.
  • The Bori are ready when they have thoroughly dried, inside and out, and break with a snap into crispy halves. Store Bori in an airtight container, protected from humidity. Stored properly they can keep up to a year.



Bori, Fermented Bengali Lentil Dumplings

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