Gohona/Goyna Bori

Goyna bori or gohona bori, first ever I came across this name when I was watching Satyajit Ray’s “Aguntuk” where Momota Shankar says “Midnapore r bou jhi e ra banay” What?? This is is an art form of Midnapore and my mamabari(maternal uncle’s house) being in Midnapore I do not know about it. Immediately, I pause the movie and call my mother.

Achha maa tumi goyna borir byapar e jano?

Hmm o to amar maa pray i banato.. says my mother

I was taken aback. Earlier, that too in villages where woman had a lot of household work apart from animal farming and growing vegetables in barir uthon, (space outside the door of the house) my dida still found time to prepare goyna bori, often, for a family of 10 members. I made up mind. Right from my childhood, I have been involved in different art projects and honestly I do it well. With that confidence, I prepared the batter and decided to go ahead. Gohona bori is traditionally prepared on layer of posto or poppy seeds but poppy seeds being expensive they can be prepared on roasted til (sesame seeds). Here, as in the photographs, I tried making gohona boris on both posto and til.

I have prepared bori number of times earlier but this was something else. The first time I was trying to prepare goyna bori, the batter had become slightly thinner and I had to abandon the idea.(No! I did not throw away the batter. I prepared regular boris from them and it was ok. P.S. My batter was not runny)

In my next attempt, I had cut a bigger hole in the packet to make a nozzle for the design. The designs were rather becoming thicker and gradually as they dried, any design was hardly distinct because they were thick enough.

In my third attempt, I seemed to have got everything right. However, I still believe there are places for improvement. Goyna bori is often served along with daal.

Gohona Bori

Cuisine: Bengali (Indian)

Preparation time: 5 minutes +soaking time        

Drying time: 2 days in direct sunlight

Servings: according to design

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Kolai/ Urad daal
  • Salt to taste
  • posto(poppy seeds)/ til(sesame seeds)
  • oil for frying the boris

Directions

  1. Soak kolai daal for at least 5-6 hours or overnight.
  2. Grind the daal to a fine paste with a minimum amount of water possible. (I used 3 tablespoons of the water in which the daal was soaked)
  3. Add salt to the paste of kolai daal.
  4. Whip the mixture with whisk, hand or electric beater to incorporate air into the mixture.
  5. The mixture will almost double in size.
  6. Drop one dollop of the batter in a bowl of water. If the batter floats it is ready else continue whipping.
  7. Dry roast the til(sesame seeds) if you are using til.
  8. Spread the roasted til or posto evenly on plates or trays that will be used to make the goyna boris. There should not be any gap in the layer, else the bori will stick to the plate and will not come out of the plate.
  9. Now put the batter in a piping bag with a nozzle about the size of a cream or ointment tube.
  10. Make designs of whatever you like.
  11. Dry them in sun for few days till they dry properly.
  12. Store them in an air-tight container. You can also let them soak the sun rays at intervals if you plan to use them for a longer time.
  13. Shallow fry them in hot oil whenever you want to please yourself and your family with this piece of art.

Notes

  1. Make sure you have sunny weather before you start preparing boris.
  2. Alternately, you can dry them in the oven at 80 degrees for 5-6 hours.
  3. Make a fine paste while grinding the daal. Presence of bigger partcles might block the nozzle of the tube while designing them.
  4. Do not add a lot of water while making the batter else the boris will flatten while making designs.
  5. The consistency of the batter should be similar to toothpaste coming out of the tube.
  6. If you do not have a piping bag, you can use a milk packet to put the bori. Traditionally, in Midnapore, women use thick cotton cloth with a metallic nozzle to make gohona bori.
  7. Traditionally, gohona boris are designed on layer of posto(poppy seeds). But poppy seeds being expensive you can also design them on roasted til seeds. But I would not suggest using a baking paper. The paper gets wet in the process and therefore the boris become crooked and breaks easily. (I have tried it!!!) However, you can also try on silicone pastry mat. However, the posto or the til not only helps the bori to come out of the plate but also adds to the taste.

Thank you for stopping by. If you like the recipe do not forget to hit like. If you prepare this dish and publish your photos on Facebook and Instagram do tag #theepicureanfeast. Also for queries, you can mail me epicureanfeast2019@gmail.com



3 thoughts on “Gohona/Goyna Bori”

    • Great!! But I am sure after you prepare them you will not feel like eating them. In words of Kabiguru ” they are an exquisite piece of art for preservation and not for consumption”. However, I did the sin of eating them.

      • Oh 😯😯 Yeah also it looks so pretty naturally don’t feel like eating them. 😄 But thank you again for telling me this

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