Boror Tenga — An authentic Assamese food

Boror Tenga is a traditional red lentil curry from Assam. In Assamese Bor means pakoda or fritters and Tenga means sour. In Boror Tenga, soft red lentil fritters are cooked in a spicy and sour curry made of tomatoes, onions, potatoes, and bottle gourd. It is medley of beautiful flavours and textures.


(1cup = 240ml; 1tbsp = 15ml; 1tsp = 5ml) for the red lentil fritter ½ cup red lentils , washed and soaked in water for at least 1 hour

1 pinch asafoetida

1 green chilli

1 inch ginger , peeled and chopped

Salt , to taste

Vegetable oil , for deep frying for the curry

2 tbsp mustard oil

2 tsp panch phoran spice , see notes for substitute

2 bay leaves

1 dried red chilli

2 cloves garlic , finely chopped

1 onion , chopped

2 tomatoes , puréed

½ bottle gourd , chopped

½ cup boiled potato , grated or mashed

2 tsp coriander powder

1 tsp red chilli powder

1 tsp turmeric powder

Salt , to taste

5-6 stalks Fresh coriander leaves , for garnish

Instructions to make red lentil fritters

Drain the soaked red lentils. In a small kadhi/wok, heat the vegetable oil for frying.

In a blender jar, combine the soaked red lentils with green chilli, ginger, and asafoetida. Add a little water and blend to a smooth paste.

Remove in a bowl and whisk it with your hands till the batter is light and fluffy. This will ensure that the lentil fritters are very soft. Add salt and mix one more time.

When the oil is hot, carefully drop spoonfuls of batter into the hot oil. Do it in batches so that the oil is not crowded.

Fry till the fritters are golden brown. Remove from oil onto an absorbent kitchen paper. The good thing about lentil fritters as that they don’t absorb a lot of oil.

To make the curry

Heat mustard oil in a pan till it just begins to smoke.

Reduce flame to low and add the panch phoran spice, bay leaves, and dried red chilli.

One the seeds start to sputter, add onions and garlic. Mix well and cook for a couple of minutes till the onions start to soften.

Add tomato puree. Mix well and cook covered for 2-3 minutes.

Now add all the powdered spices, bottle gourd, and 2 cups of water. Mix it all well and cook covered for 5-6 minutes till the bottle gourd is cooked.

Mix in the grated boiled potato. Adjust seasoning and let the gravy simmer for 2 minutes.

Just before serving, add the fried lentil fritters to the curry and reheat if required. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve hot.

(Recipe compiled from the internet)