Every bonedi barir Durga Pujo has a story to tell, the Durga Pujo in Shibpur RoyChowdhury family, considered to be one of the oldest Pujos in Howrah, is no different.
The Goddess appeared in Raja Rambramha RoyChowdhury’s dream and instructed the pious god-fearing zamindar to start Durga Pujo in his premises. And thus in 1685 started the Shibpur RoyChowdhury family’s Durga Pujo, a tradition that continues with pomp and splendour to this very day.
To know more about the Shibpur RoyChowdhurys and thier Durga Pujo, read this inspiring post by Subhadip.
The Shibpur RoyChowdhurys offer the Goddess an array of vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian delicacies everyday, animal sacrifice is still practiced.
An interesting folklore suggests, unlike the Rajas and Zamindars who were subservient to the British, the Shibpur RoyChowdhurys had a scornful antipathy towards the colonial rulers. And their insistence that a white goat be sacrificed at the altar of the deity is steeped in symbolism.
Another highlight of the bhog is the offering of humble panta bhaat on Doshami, accompanied with a smorgasbord of bhaja.
The daughter shall be leaving for her husbands abode in far-flung Kailash, what other than soulful panta bhaat to be her last meal at home ?
In this post, I attempt to recreate Kolar Borar Payesh, an heirloom recipe of the Shibpur RoyChowdhurys, offered to the deity everyday during the Pujos, following the exact steps as shared by one of the members of the family.
Kolar borar Payesh. Banana and grated coconut fritters. Fried to a sinful golden and dipped in a delectable chaler payesh. Perfumed with green cardamom and bay leaves. Food heaven !!!
Heirloom recipe of the RoyChowdhurys of Shibpur.
And I am grateful to them for allowing me to share this with my readers.
PS – Please do not reproduce the content without appropriate permission.
Shibpur RoyChowdhury Barir Kolar Borar Payesh
For Kolar bora
- 2 ripe bananas preferably kathali kola, mashed
- 1 cup coconut freshly grated
- 1/2 cup jaggery grated
- 1/2 cup plain flour
- oil for frying
For the Payesh
- 1.5 lit whole milk
- 1/6 cup gobindobhog rice
- 3 tbsp cashew nuts
- 2 tbsp raisins
- 1/4 cup jaggery grated
- 2 green cardamom crushed
- 2 bay leaves
For Kolar Bora
- Take the grated coconut and jaggery in a heavy bottomed pan. Cook for 7-8 minutes, allow to cool to room temperature.
- Take the mashed bananas in a bowl, add the coconut-jaggery mixture and flour. Give it all a hearty mix. Splash a little water to get a thick batter like consistency.
- Heat oil for deep frying. Carefully add a ladleful of batter to the hot oil, fry till golden brown. Keep aside on a kitchen absorbent towel.
- Repeat for the remaining batter.
For Kolar Barar Payesh
- Soak the raisins in water, keep aside.
- Soak the rice in water for 15 odd minutes, drain the water and pat dry.
- Pour the milk in a heavy bottomed pan, throw in the bay leaves and green cardamom, cook over a medium flame for 15-20 minutes. Stir occasionally to avoid the milk from spilling.
- Add the rice to the milk, cook over a medium flame, stirring frequently. Let the milk simmer till the rice is cooked to perfection.
- Time to throw in the cashews and raisins and give the milk a hearty stir. Continue to cook for 8-10 minutes till it thickens.
- Now add the kolar bora, cover and cook for another 2 odd minutes.
- Switch off the heat, add the grated jaggery, while stirring continuously until the jaggery is completely incorporated into the milk. Allowed it to cool.