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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Pudina Rice with Soya Granules

Cooking Time Required: 10-15 mins
Cost of Preparation: 12-15 rupees

Ingredients: Rice (1 cup), Nutrela soya granules ( 1/3 cup ), onion ( 1/2 , small ), green
chilli ( 1 no ), cut mint leaves ( 2 tbs ), cut coriander leaves ( 1 tbs ), cumin seeds ( 1/6 tsp), fennel seeds ( 1/6 tsp), mustard seeds ( a pinch ), salt, oil ( 1 tsp ).

Preparation: Grind the onion along with the green chilli, coriander leaves and mint
leaves and keep aside for 15-20 mins( this will neutralize the raw onion smell).

Cooking: Cook the rice with salt and 2 cups water in a pressure cooker for 1 whistle. One can also cook rice in a open vessel if one is not pressed for time.

Keep aside and allow to cool down completely.

At the same time boil the soya granules with a little bit of salt for 5 mins. Drain and allow to cool down. Squeeze out any remaining water.

Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan. Add the cumin, fennel & mustard seeds and allow it to splutter.

Add the boiled soya and fry for 2-3 mins.

Add the paste and stir for 30-40 secs. Add the cooked rice. Sprinkle salt and stir for 3-4 mins. Add a few mint leaves and remove from fire.

Serve with curd and fried chicken/stir fried veggies.

Note: The low spice content & presence of mint ( pudina) makes it an ideal lunch-box
option during the hot indian summers.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Ghuguni / Mixed Choley( Without Onion & Garlic )

Cooking Time Required: 15-20 mins
Cost of Preparation: 20-25 Rupees

Ingredients: Chickpeas ( 1 cup ), yellow peas ( 1 cup ), potato ( 1 no, medium ), tomato ( 1 no, large ), coriander seeds ( 1 tsp ), red chillis ( 2 nos ), grated ginger ( 2/3 tsp ), coriander leaves ( 1 small bunch ), cumin seeds ( 1 tsp), garam masala (1 pinch), turmeric, oil ( 2 tsp ), salt.

Preparation: Soak the yellow peas & chickpeas overnight.

Cooking: Boil the chickpeas, yellow peas & the potato in a pressure cooker with a little salt & turmeric. Cook for 1 whistle on low flame.

Remove from fire and check if the peas are cooked. It should be firm and not mashy. If required cook for another 1-2 whistles on a high flame.

Boil the tomato separately for 5 mins.

Dry roast the red chilli & coriander seeds.

Transfer the boiled tomato to a grinder. Add the roasted chilli & coriander seeds. Cut off the coriander stems from the bunch. Grind the stems with the other ingredients into a smooth paste.

Heat the oil in a wok. Peel the potato and dice it. Add to the wok and stir fry for 3-4 mins. Remove from wok and keep aside.

Add the cumin seeds. When the seeds start spluttering, add the grated ginger and stir for 30 secs.

Add the tomato paste and cook for 5 mins. Add the potatoes and boiled peas along with 1 cup of water.

Allow for boil for 4-5 mins. Add the garam masala & coriander leaves. Remove from fire and serve hot with puris/paratha/rice.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Amba Sorisha Khatta ( A sweet sour Mango relish from Odisha )

Cooking time required: 20-25 mins


  • 1 Large green mango (kancha amba)
  • 2 sprigs of curry leaves
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/5 tsp turmeric powder 
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds 
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds ( use half the quantity if you are not used to the pungency 
  • 2 tsp oil ( 2 tsp)
  • jaggery / sugar as per taste ( also depends on the sourness of the mango )
  • 1/2 tsp pancha-phutana
  • 1/4 tsp roasted cumin-chilli powder (jeera-lanka gunda)
  • salt to taste

Preparation: Grind the mustard and cumin seeds into a fine paste.

Peel and cut the mango into long pieces.

Cooking: Heat 2 tsp of oil in a pan, add the pancha-phutana and curry leaves. Stir for about 30 secs. Add the mango pieces and stir fry till soft.

Add the mustard-cumin paste along with 3-4 cups water. Add chilli powder, turmeric and salt. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer.

When the water reduces to 2/3rd add sugar and boil for 3-4 mins. Sprinkle jeera-lanka powder and remove from fire.

Serve with non-veg curry or dalma rice.

Note: I usually prepare it with Mansa jholo/Maccha jholo.But it tastes equally good when had with arwa chawal & dalma.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Mutton Biryani

Cooking Time Required: 1 hour
Cost of Preparation: 250-300 rupees
Serves: 4-5 nos.

For the marinade: Mutton (1/2 kg), ginger garlic paste ( 1 tbs ), mustard oil ( 1 tsp), sour yogurt ( 1 tbs ), dry red chillis ( 3-4 nos), salt, turmeric.

For the gravy: Onion ( 1 medium ), red chilli ( 2 nos), coriander seeds ( 1 1/2 tsp ), cumin seeds ( 1 tsp ), cardamon ( 3 nos ), cinnamon ( 1 inch long ), cloves ( 3-4 nos), tomatao ( 2 nos, medium ).

For the biryani rice: Basmati rice (1/2 kg), ghee ( 1 tbs ), bay leaf ( 1 no), star
anise ( 2-3 nos), javitri ( 1 flower), onion ( 1 medium), red chilli (2-3 nos), salt to taste.

For cooking: 5-6 tsp oil ( mix of oil and ghee is also good ), ginger garlic paste ( 1 tsp ).

Preparation: Mix all the ingredients for marination and keep aside for 2 hours.

Grind all the gravy ingredients into a fine paste.

Cut the onion into rings and keep aside.

Cooking: Heat the oil in a wok. Add the ground paste along with a bit of salt. Allow to cook for 3-4 mins. Add ginger-garlic paste and cook till the oil separates from the masala.

Add the marinated mutton and cook for 10 mins in the open vessel. Transfer to a
pressure-cooker and add 1-2 cups water along with salt. Close lid and cook for
2-3 whistles or till it is soft.

Remove from fire and keep aside.

Wash the basmati rice, drain and keep aside.

Heat another pressure cooker ( large one, 5ltr preferably). Add the ghee followed by the whole masalas and red chillis, and fry for 30 secs. Add the cooked mutton and the washed rice. Mix well.

Add 1 1/5 cups of water for every cup of rice. Sprinkle salt and the onion rings. Close lid and allow to cook for 2 whistles.

Remove from fire and allow to stand for 10 mins. Serve with ajwain raita.

Note: Tastes best when the mutton has a bit of fat in it.

Mutton Biryani

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Ajwain Pudina raita

Cooking Time Required: 10 mins
Cost of preparation: 15-20 rupees

Ingredients: Yogurt ( 1 1/2 cup ), onion ( 1 small), green chillis ( 2-3 nos),
pudina/mint leaves ( 2 tbs ), dhaniya/coriander leaves ( tbs ), jeera-lanka (
cumin-chilli ) powder ( 1/3 tsp ), roasted ajwain powder ( 1/5 tsp), salt.

Preparation: Cut the onion and green chillis into fine pieces.

Take the yogurt in a mixing bowl. Add jeera-lanka powder, ajwain powder and salt with 3-4 tbs water. Beat well.

Add the green chilli, onion, coriander leaves and mint leaves along with 1/2 to 1 cup water and mix well.

Serve as a side-dish with any non-vegetarian/vegetarian meal.

Note : I served this raita with Mutton biryani( recipe coming soon.....).

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Paneer Pakoda ( Cottage cheese fritters )

Cooking Time Required: 10-15 mins
Cost of preparation: 55-60 rupees

Ingredients: Paneer ( 250 gm ), onion ( 1 small ), red chilli powder ( 1/3 tsp ), finely cut coriander leaves( 2 tsp ), finely cut mint leaves ( 2 tsp), salt, oil for deep frying.

For the batter: corn flour ( 4 tsp ), besan/gram flour (2 tsp), ginger-garlic paste ( 1/2 tsp), cumin-chilli powder ( 1/4 tsp ), red chilli powder ( 1/4 tsp ), salt, baking powder ( a pinch ).

Preparation: Mix all the ingredients for batter in a mixing bowl with a little water. Make into a thick paste.

Cut the panner into 1 X 2 inch pieces. Grind the onion, red chilli powder, coriander
leaves and mint leaves into a thick paste.

Cooking: Heat 1 tsp of oil in a pan. Add the paneer pieces and fry for 1-2 mins.

Boil water in a saucepan along with sufficient salt. Add the paneer pieces and boil for 4-5 mins.

Drain the water and make an cut along the length of the panner pieces measuring about 3/4th of its length. Apply a thin layer of the paste in between the two halves. Keep aside for 30 mins for marination.

Heat oil in a wok. Dip the paneer pieces in the batter and add to the oil. Cook the
panner pieces till golden. Remove from wok and keep on a blotting paper/newspaper to
absorb excess oil.

Serve as a snack with tomato sauce / mint-coriander chutney.

Note: Do not over-fry the panner pakodas as they lose their juices and turn hard.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Adraki Aloo

Cooking Time Required: 10-15 mins
Cost of preparation: 15-20 rupees

Ingredients: Boiled & peeled potato ( 1 no., large ), yogurt ( 4-5 tbs ), ginger ( 1
inch long ), cumin ( 1/2 tsp ), green chilli ( 2 nos ), salt, oil ( 3 tsp ).

Cooking: Cut the potato into medium sized cubes. Heat 1 tsp oil in a wok. Add the
potatoes and stir fry for 3-4 mins. Remove and keep aside.

Add the remaining oil into the wok. Add the cumin seeds and the crushed ginger & green chillis. Fry for 1 minute. Add 1/4 cup water to cool down the wok temperature.

Beat the yogurt with 1/2 tsp corn flour and 2-3 tsp water. Add to the wok along with
salt. Bring to a boil while stirring continuously. Add the stir fried potatoes.

Boil for 7-8 mins or till most of the water evaporates and the yogurt forms a thick
layer around the potatoes.

Serve with puris.

Note: This is a no onion-garlic recipe which can be served on fasting days. Tastes best with lightly sour yogurt .

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Baked Soya Tikkis

Cooking Time Required: 15-20 mins
Cost of preparation: 20-25 Rupees

Ingredients: Nutrela Soya granules ( 1 cup ), potato ( 1 small ), onion ( 1 small ), green chilli ( 2 nos ), coriander powder ( 1/3 tsp ), cumin powder ( 1/3 tsp ), garam masala ( a pinch ), kasuri methi ( 1 tsp ), salt, tomato puree ( 1 tbs ), oil ( 1 tsp), pancha phutana ( 1 /4 tsp ).

Preparation: Cut the onion and green chilli into small pieces. Boil the potato, peel and keep aside.

Boil the soya granules for 5 mins. Drain out the water.

Cooking: Heat a wok. Add oil followed by the pancha-phutana. When the seeds start spluttering, add the onion and green chillis. Fry till onion turns translucent.

Add the soya granules and fry for 2 mins. Add the mashed potatoes, coriander powder, cumin powder, kasuri methi, garam masala, tomato puree and salt. Add 2-3 tbs water and cook for 3-4 mins till it forms a sticky mass.

Remove from fire and keep aside to cool slightly. Shape into tikkis. Brush the tikkis with a few drops of oil.

Keep on a baking tray. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees. Put the tray inside and reduce heat to 160 degrees. Bake for 5 mins.

Serve hot with ketchup/chutney.

Note: One can give the onion a miss on fasting days. Add fresh coriander leaves instead.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Minty Lemon Freeze

Preparation Time: 5-6 mins
Cost of preparation: 10-15 Rupees

Ingredients: Lemon ( 1 no, large ), mint leaves ( a fistful ), sugar ( 4 tsp ), ice-cubes , water ( 1 1/2 glasses ), salt ( 1 pinch ).

Preparation: Put the water in a mixer jar. Add sugar, ice cubes, mint leaves and salt. Cut the lemon into two and squeeze the juice into the mixer jar.

Mix on lowest speed for 2-3 mins till sugar dissolves.

Pour into glasses using a sieve to filter out mint leaves. Top up with more crushed ice if required.

A healthy and refreshing chiller is ready.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Chuna Maccha Tarkari ( Chuna maccha with besara )

Cooking Time Required: 10-15 mins
Cost of preparation: 30-35 rupees

Ingredients: Chuna Maccha ( 250 gm ), mustard seeds ( 2 tsp ), cumin seeds ( 1/2 tsp ), pancha phutana ( 1/4 tsp), curry leaves ( 1 sprig ), green chilli ( 2 nos ), garlic flakes ( 5-6 nos), ambula ( 1-2 nos ), salt, turmeric, mustard oil ( 2 tsp ).

Preparation: Clean the fish throughly. Add salt and turmeric and keep aside for 15 mins.
Grind the mustard seeds, cumin seeds and garlic flakes into a smooth paste.

Cooking: Heat a flat pan. Add 2 tsp mustard oil followed by the pancha phutana, slit
green chillis and curry leaves. Allow seeds to crackle.

Add the mustard-cumin-garlic paste and stir for 30 secs. Add 1 cup of water along with the salt and ambula pieces . Bring to a boil.

Add the fish and allow to boil for 5-6 mins while stirring carefully at intervals. Allow most of the water to evaporate till a thick mustard layer remains over the fish.

Remove from fire and keep aside for 10 mins.

Serve with rice and dal.

Note: One can substitute the ambula with lemon juice ( 1 tsp ).

Chuna maccha according to Oriya cusine can be any small fish upto 2-3 inches in length. It is more popularly called smelt fish or anchovies. It scores over the over larger varities in terms of health benefits and lower toxin accumulation levels as belongs to the lower strata of the food chain.


Friday, April 1, 2011

Bread pakoda

Cooking Time Required: 30 mins
Cost of Preparation: 45-55 rupees
Makes 8 bread pakodas.

For the stuffing:
Potato ( 2 nos, large ), finely chopped beetroot ( 4-5 tbs ), finely cut carrot ( 4-5 tbs ), green peas ( 1/2 cup ), cauliflower bits( 3-4 tbs ), onion ( 1 no, small ), green chilli ( 2 nos), coriander powder ( 1/3 tsp ), jeera-lanka (cumin-chilli) powder ( 1/3 tsp), turmeric, salt.

For the batter: 4 tbs besan ( gram flour), cornflour ( 2 tbs ), baking powder ( 1 pinch ), chilli powder ( 1/3 tsp), salt.

Sandwich bread - 8 slices ( with the sides cut off ) and oil for frying.

Preparation: Mix all the ingredients for the batter along with water into a paste of medium to thick consistency .Keep aside.
Cut the onion and green chilli into small pieces.

Cooking: Boil the potatoes. Peel and mash them.

Heat 2 tsp of oil in a pan. Add the onion and chilli.Fry till onion becomes translucent.Add the beetroot, carrot, cauliflower and green peas. Stir fry till they are cooked .( should not take longer than 4-5 mins ).

Add the turmeric powder, coriander powder, jeera-lanka and stir fry for 30 secs. Follow with mashed potatoes and salt. Mix all the potato and the other vegetables. Cook for 5 mins.

Remove from fire and allow to cool down to a tolerable temperature. Spread a thick layer of the stuffing between 2 bread slices and press hard. Cut into two triangles.

Heat sufficient oil in a wok. Dip the bread triangles in the batter and put into the oil. Fry on both sides till golden brown. Remove from wok and keep on a blotting paper.

Serve hot with ketchup/green chutney.

Note: Bread pakoda tastes as good even when it is prepared without onion. Just add a little bit of grated ginger as a substitute.

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