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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Poee Chenccheda

'Poee Chenchedda' or Malabar spinach cooked with assorted vegetables and fish head is quite a delicacy. This Odia dish is low on spices and depends on the medley of the starkly different ingredients for a unique taste experience. Interestingly, for people who do not consume non-veg, malabar spinach is considered as 'amisha' or 'non-veg'. While I am not sure about the reason behind this classification, I do love this curry even without the addition of the fish head.

Cooking Time Required : 40 mins


  • 1/2 cup Pumpkin cubes
  • 2-3 parval/potola/pointed gourd 
  • 1/4 cup brinjal cubes 
  • 100 gm Malabar spinach/poee
  • 1 medium sized potato
  • 1/2 cup ridge gourd cubes
  • 1 medium sized tomato
  • 1/2 inch ginger
  • 8-9 pods garlic
  • 1 medium onion 
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 2 green cardamom
  • 1-2 cloves
  • cumin seeds ( 1/3 tsp), 
  • red chilli ( 2-3 nos)
  • turmeric (1/5 tsp)
  • 1 large fish head (Bhakura maccha munda)
  • 4-5 tsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • salt to taste

Preparation: Wash the vegetable and cut into large sized pieces. Keep aside

Marinate the fish with salt and turmeric for about 5 minutes.

Grind the onion, garlic, ginger, 1-2 red chilis, cardamon, cloves and cinnamon into a thick paste.

Cut the tomato into small pieces . Remove the tomato seeds.

Cooking: Heat oil in a large wok. Add the fish and fry till it turns reddish. Remove from wok and keep aside.

Add the red chillis and cumin seeds. Allow to splutter and then add masala the paste and cook till the raw smell goes away. Add the tomatoes and cook for 5 mins.

Add all the vegetables except the poee leaves. Allow the vegetables to be half-cooked and then add the poee leaves. Cook for another 5 minutes and then add the crushed fish head. Cover with a lid and cook for 5-6 minutes till the fish mixes thoroughly with the vegetables and the water disappears.

For folks who like the crispiness of the fish head, add the crushed pieces just before switching off the flame.

Serve hot with steamed rice.

The 'without fish head' version for vegetarian folks -

Note: Do not add any extra water. The vegetables need to be cooked in their own juices.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Suji Manda

Cooking Time Required: 30-40 mins
Cost of preparation: 50-60 rupees

Ingredients: Suji ( 500 gm ), coconut ( grated, 2 cups ), sugar ( 3-4 tsp ), cardamon ( 1-2 nos ), salt.

Preparation: Boil water in a wok ( Use water twice the volume of suji ). Add the suji and salt to the boiling water and keep stirring continously to avoid formation of lumps. Remove from fire once the water is completely absorbed and the suji forms a solid lump.

Allow to cool down a bit. Knead the suji into a smooth dough. The kneading should be done when the suji is still hot ( should have a tolearble temperature ).

Add sugar and cardamon powder to the grated coconut.Mix well.

Break the dough into small balls. Flatten the balls into small rotis. Stuff with the coconut mixture. Shape into small balls.

Boil water in a deep vessel. Place the suji balls on an idli stand. Put inside the vessel and cover tightly with a lid. Allow to steam for 10-12 mins.

Remove from the vessel and serve hot.

It can also be served as low calorie snack as it does not use any oil.

Poee Posto

Cooking Time Required: 15-2o mins
Cost of preparation: 30-40 rupees

Ingredients: Poee ( 1 bunch ), Potato (1 medium), onion ( 1 small ), green chilli (1 nos), posto(khus-khus) ( 2 tbs), garlic (2-3 pods), red chilli (1 no.), mustard-cumin seed (1/4 tsp), turmeric powder (1/4 tsp), chilli-cumin powder ( 1/3 tsp), red chillis ( 2 nos ), salt to taste.

Cooking: Wash and clean the poee leaves. Cut into small pieces. Keep aside.
Cut the potato and onion into fine pieces. Heat a tawa, add 2 tsp oil and the mustard-cumin seeds along with the red chillis. Add the onion and fry till golden. Add the potato and poee. Fry till it is almost cooked and keep aside.

Grind the posto, garlic pods and green chilli into a coarse paste.

Heat oil in a wok. When it starts smoking, add the posto-chili-garlic paste along with a cup of water. Bring to a boil. Then add the fried potato and poee. Cook for 5 mins. Remove from fire and serve with either rice .

Friday, September 10, 2010

Kancha Illisi Tarkari

Its a rocking weekend. My mom-in-law is here and i am savouring every moment of it. It always nice to have a extra pair of hands helping me out in the kitchen. And it is even better if they happen to be much more experienced.

My mom-in-law happens to be a great cook and these days i am enjoying her preparations. The 'kancha maccha tarkari' happens to be her forte. So, here i am sharing this wonderful preparation with all -

Cooking Time Required: 1 hour
Cost of Preraration: 250-300 Rupees

Ingredients: Illishi/King Fish ( 600 gm ), Tomato ( 2 medium ), garlic ( 6-7 pods),onion ( 1 large ), green chilli ( 3-4 no), cumin seeds ( 1 tsp), mustard seeds ( 3 tsp ), finely cut coriander leaves ( 3-4 tbs), oil, curd ( 2 tsp ), turmeric powder ( 1 tsp), mustard oil ( 3 tsp ), salt.

Preparation: Grind the dry mustard and cumin seeds into a coarse powder. Add a little water, 2 green chillis and garlic pods. Grind into a fine paste. Keep aside.

Cut the onion and tomato into small pieces. Mince the coriander leaves into fine pieces.

Wash and clean the fish. Add the mustard-cumin-garlic paste, onion pieces, tomato pieces, corinder leaves, mustard oil, curd, turmeric and salt. Mix well and allow to marinate for 30 mins.

Cooking: Transfer the marinated contents into a pressure cooker. Add 1 cup of water. Allow for two whistles.

Remove from the fire and serve with rice.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Lau Chana

Cooking Time Required: 30 mins
Cost of Preraration: 25-30 Rupees

Ingredients: Lau (bottle gourd, lauki)( 200 gm ), chana dal ( 100 gm ), red chilli ( 2-3 nos), pancha phutana ( 1/2 tsp ), ginger ( 1/2 inch,optional ), onion(1 small ), ginger garlic paste ( 1 tsp ), cumin-chilli powder ( 1/5 tsp ) , bay leaf ( 1 no ), garam masala (1/4 tsp optional) oil , salt.

Preparation: Soak the chana dal for 4-5 hours. Put in a pressure cooker. Allow for 3 whistles. Keep aside.

Peel the bottle gourd and cut into small pieces. Put in a pressure cooker and allow for a single whistle. Keep aside.

Cooking: Heat a wok. Add 2 tsp oil and allow it to smoke. Add the bay leaf, red chillis and pancha phutana. Follow it with the onion ( finely cut into long strips). Fry till the onion turns golden. Add the ginger garlic paste and the crushed garlic. Fry for 4-5 minutes.

Add the boiled gourd. Cook for 5-10 minutes. Add the boiled chana dal and bring to a boil. Keep on the boil for 5-6 minutes. Add the garam masala and clode the lid. Remove from the fire.

Serve hot with rotis or rice.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Tomato Khajuri Khatta

Cooking Time Required: 30 mins
Cost of Preraration: 15-20 Rupees

Ingredients: Tomatoes ( 200 gm ), garlic ( 2-3 pods, optional), red chilli ( 2 nos),
coriander seeds ( 1/5 tsp ), mustard seeds ( 1/5 tsp), fennel seeds ( 1/5 tsp ),curry leaves ( 4-5 nos), dates ( 7-8 nos ), cumin-chilli powder ( 1/5 tsp ) , oil , sugar ( 2-3 tsp or according to taste ), salt.

Preparation: Heat a wok. Pour 1-2 tsp oil and allow it to start smoking. Add the coriander, fennel and mustard seeds. Add the garlic, red chilli and curry leaves to the spluttering seeds. Cut each tomato into four halves and add to the wok.

Cover the wok with a lid. Allow the tomatoes to soften. Then add 1.5 cups of water and salt. Bring to a boil and add the dates. Keep on low flame and allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Add the sugar and cumin-chilli powder. Take off from the fire after 5 minutes.

Serve with rice/rotis and even samosas.

Tip: One can avoid adding the dates and instead garnish the dish with fresh coriander leaves for a zingy flavour.

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