There is something, apart from taste, about bori that endears it to me -- bori's grandmotherly or motherly connection. I remember my mother making boris with various kinds of lentils -- red, orange, and yellow -- each having its own texture and flavor. I also remember grandmothers in my extended family lovingly making boris, which are shaped like Hershey's Kisses. The store-bought ones, however, have other shapes, less attractive and authentic. The red lentil, or masoor, bori is good for frying and dropping in a tok, or tamarind-based sauce. Ah, the pleasures of bori, and the hazy memories of a boyhood spent on the red soil of small-town India!
I remember also the boris sold outside, but not in a store. Those boris, along with pickles, rode a cart, a covered kiosk, with glass walls, pushed by a man whom I can't recall anymore. His cart had a bell underneath that he would ring, pulling a rope, to entice the women of the neighborhoods he would pass through. I remember how his cart would come trundling into ours, and I would run out to greet the mobile grocery store. Women would follow soon and gather around the cart.
Boris have a rustic charm and flavor. Lau-bori, or bori with bottle gourd, is a classic. Savor it if you get a chance. It is amazing how simple food can transport you to a time long past, when the world was colored with innocence.