2019 marks the 160th anniversary of the Durga Pujo in the Daw family of Jorasanko. Narasingha Chandra Daw, a prosperous merchant and leading gunmaker started this Pujo at his premises in 1859, a practice that continues to this day with the same pomp and splendour.
A unique ritual of this Durga Pujo is the cannon salute to the deity during sondhipujo (and its the same cannon that has been used since 1859) and a gun salute to her on Doshomi before immersion.
The Daws of Jorasanko adhere to Vaishnava rituals for the Pujo. There’s no animal sacrifice practiced and there is no annobhog offered to the deity. Bhog thus is a delectable array of sweets, khaja, goja, pantua, lyangcha, balushahi to name but a few. Makha Sandesh is must for the Oshtomi bhog.
Today in the ninth post of my Mahabhog series, I recreate Balushahi, following the detailed steps shared with me by Mrs Sulagna daw, a daughter-in-law of the Daw family.
I am immensely grateful to Mr Abir Daw and Mrs Sulagna Daw for allowing me to share this recipe.
Balushahi. Ghee-laden flour dough balls. Fried patiently to a gorgeous golden. Perfumed with saffron. Dipped into a sugar syrup. Decadent !!
If you are keen to learn what is served to the deity in the various bonedi barir Pujo as part of their bhog, do stay tuned for more !!
And if you haven’t already, here’s my posts on what’s in the bhog offered to Maa Durga.
1. Shibpur RoyChowdhury Barir Kolar Borar Payesh
2. Sabarna Roy Choudhury Barir Pui Chingri
3. Chorbagan Chatterjee Barir Niramish Bhetki Maacher Ghonto
4. Bhawanipur Nandan Barir Chandrapuli
5. Girish Bhawan er Chhanar Kalia
6. Rani Rashmoni Barir Perakir Payesh
7. Shovabazar Rajbarir Pokanno
8. Sheorafuli Rajbarir Rajeshwari
PS – Please do not reproduce the content without appropriate permission.
Jorasanko Daw Barir Balushahi
- 1.5 cup plain flour
- 1/3 cup yoghurt whipped
- 1/4 cup ghee
- 5-6 strands of saffron
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 3 tbsp ghee for frying
- oil for frying
For Sugar Syrup
- 1.5 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup water
- a pinch of green cardamom powder
- 4-5 strands of saffron
For the sugar syrup
- Take the sugar and water in pan. Heat over a medium flame till the sugar dissolves completely. Stir occasionally till the syrup is of a 2-thread consistency.
- Take the flour and baking soda in a bowl, mix well. Add 1/4 cup ghee, rub with finger tips. This should have the texture of bread crumbs.
- Add the whipped curd to the flour, mix well, splash ice-cold water, a little at a time, and knead till the dough is semi-stiff but pliable. Take care to not over-knead the dough, that may make the balushahi hard.
- Cover the dough, keep aside for 45min – 1 hour.
- Tear small dough balls off the dough, using your palms, form small size balls. Do not overwork. Tap gently in the center to form a small depression.
- Heat the oil and 3 tbsp ghee in a pan over a low flame till just warm. (Take care to not over-heat the oil. If the oil is very hot, the outside of the balushahi shall brown very quickly while the inside shall remain uncooked.)
- Fry the dough balls gently over a low flame till they fluff up and gradually rise to the surface. Continue frying till golden brown on all sides. It takes 20-25 odd minutes to fry a batch. Keep aside the balushahi over a kitchen towel.
- Allow the oil to cool before proceeding to fry the next batch.
- Warm the sugar syrup. Add the fried balushahi to the sugar syrup, allow to soak for 5 odd minutes.
- Remove the balushahi from the syrup, allow them cool to to room temperature. Serve.