Badi Jholo ( A Frugal delight from Odisha )

In a country of 631 million women, how is it possible to have just one ideal of beauty ? The Dove advertisement rightly challenges the concept of the fair skinned and dove eyed beauty that has been ingrained into our psyche for generation. In the face of such diversity, it makes much more sense to celebrate our uniqueness instead of looking for stereotypes.

The same applies to our cuisine as well. Somewhere in between the opulent excess of the North Indian cuisine (again a misnomer) and the fearsome spices of the Southern states, there are many unacknowledged cuisines that need to be explored. And one of them is the cuisine of Odisha. Odia cuisine revels in it's frugality and simplicity. And this curry is yet another example of both traits.

Badi Jholo is a rather simple dish which consists of Urad dal vadis cooked in a thin gravy of mustard and garlic. The right amount of chilis and just a hint of acidity is what makes this dish click. And for that reason it was usually prepared when one was convalescing from a fever or cold. Along with the 'Kanji', it is considered to be a sure-shot remedy for bitter taste buds. My grandmother used to call it 'Badi Phulaa' because once we put the fried Badi in the gravy, it tends to soak up the water and doubles up in volume. 'Phulaa' literally means 'to swell up'. Quite an interesting name for a recipe, isn't it ?

While it tastes best when prepared with the 'Kakharu Badi' or urad dal badis made with ash gourd extract, the regular badis will also do. Read on for the recipe -

















Cooking time: 15 mins

Ingredients:

  • 10-12 Urad dal Vadi/Badi (the pumpkin(pani kakharu) variety)
  • 3-4 nos green chillies
  • 1 dry red chili
  • 4 tsp mustard seeds
  • 7-8 garlic cloves
  • 4 tsp mustard oil
  • pinch of turmeric
  • salt to taste
  • 1 piece of ambula (dried green mango)

Pre-cooking: Keep aside 2 garlic pods and 1/4 tsp mustard seeds. Grind the rest into a fine paste along with the dry red chili.

Pure Nostalgia - Coconut shell bowl to keep the ground spices

















Slightly crush the garlic pods and the green chillies.

Preparation: Heat 2 tsp oil in a pan. Fry the Badi till it becomes slightly golden and keep aside.

Add 2 tsp oil to a kadai (deep vessel). When it starts smoking, reduce the flame. add the mustard seeds, pounded garlic pods and green chillies.

Once the seeds start spluttering, add 1/2 cup water to the kadai. This cools down the temp and prevents the mustard paste from curdling.

Now add the mustard paste and another 2 cups water. Boil for about 6-7 mins.

Add the fried Badi and the ambula. Simmer for another 2 mins.

Take off the fire and let it stand for a while. Serve at room temperature.


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