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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Kanika

Kanika is a fragrantly sweet pulao that is traditionally prepared in Orissa. It finds a place of pride among the 'chappan bhog' or 56 items that form part of Lord Jagannath's menu. Before the fried rice and biryani became popular in Orissa, it used to be served at all wedding feasts, picnics and family gatherings. It is stronger in flavor than a traditional pulao and also a little sweet. Usually prepared with arua chaula 'raw rice' ( one can find it outside Odisa by the names Ambebhog/GovindBhog ), one can replace it by any other aromatic rice ( Basmati for example ). Though these days it is usually prepared for offering as prasad, I have many a childhood memories of sampling it with some finger-licking mutton/chicken curry.



















Preparation Time - 20 mins

Ingredients - Basmati rice ( 1 cup ), ghee ( 1 1/2 tsp ), raisins ( 10-12 nos), cashews ( 10-12 nos), whole spices ( 1/2 black cardamon( bada aleicha), 1 green cardamon (chotta aliecha), 1/2 inch long cinnamon ( dalchini), 2-3 cloves ( labanga), 1/4 of a mace (jaitri), 1 big bay leaf ( tejapatra) ), 1/6 tsp nutmeg powder, sugar ( 2-4 tsp ), salt to taste, 1/5 tsp turmeric.

Preparation - wash and soak rice for 1 hour. Drain all water and spread on a plate.

Sprinkle the turmeric over the moist and mix it gently with rice. Allow to dry for 1-2 hours in natural air circulation ( can also put it in the balcony but not under direct sunlight )

Cooking - Heat the ghee is a deep and thick bottomed vessel. Add the raisins and cashews. Fry till cashews swell up but do not burn them. Remove with slotted spoon and keep aside.

Add the whole spices and stir for 20 seconds. Add the dried rice and fry it gently for 3 minutes. Still better if you can gently toss it instead of stirring as with the latter one might end up with broken rice grains.

Add enough boiling water ( a little more than two cups in my case ) to cover the rice. Add salt. Allow to cook on a low to medium flame.

Stir gently at an interval of 4-5 mins. Once rice is almost done, add the sugar, nutmeg powder, cashews and raisins, and mix them gently with the rice. (Keep aside a few cashews and raisins to garnish later.)

Allow all the water to dry up. Remove from the flame.

Serve with mutton jholo or if vegetarian, go for channa dali-amba khatta.
















1 comment:

  1. Awesome recipe and thanks for sharing it so beautifully, I Hd tried it N always loved to relish, but haven't tried with Mutton jhol this tym I will b trying with mutton curry

    ReplyDelete

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