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Monday, February 3, 2014

Mula Khatta

With the onset of winters, one finds a whole lot of varieties of khatta, ambila and kanji being introduced in the menu of most Odiya households. Vegetables like elephant apple, indian olives and star fruit are abundantly available in the local markets and find a place in any feast happening around this time of the year.

As I have always maintained, Oriya food transcends the need to merely satisfy the 'jivha' and focuses on the appeasement of the 'jiva'. Hardly any surprise then that this kind of diet mirrors the ancient Ayurvedic wisdom which states that one should partake sweet, sour and spicy food during the winters to balance out the 'dosas', especially the 'Vata' dosa. Since winters is considered to be the time when the digestive system is at its strongest, it calls for a heavy or high calorific diet else the body may burn its fat reserves and create a 'Vata' dosa (when the fat reserves fall below the minimum required limit ).

'Mula', 'mooli' or radish is essentially a winter vegetable. While it is quite liked in the stir-fried form (bhaja), it is also added to many oriya preparations like 'dalma', 'kanji', 'ambila' and 'ghanta'. It is also prepared into a sweet-sour preparation referred to as 'khatta'. Read on for the recipe:




Preparation Time - 25 mins

Ingredients - 1 large radish, 2 large tomatoes, 2 dry red chillis, 1 sprig curry leaves, 3-4 tbs yogurt, 1/2 tsp mustard paste, 1/4 tsp mustard seeds, 5-6 garlic flakes, 2 pinch asafoetida, 2 tsp oil, 1/5 tsp turmeric, salt to taste.

Preparation - Chop the radish into thick slices. Transfer to a pressure cooker along with 1 cup water and cook for 1 whistle (on medium). Once steam escapes. open the lid. Drain off excess water.

Chop the tomato into 4 halves each.

Cooking - Heat the oil in a wok. Add the mustard seeds, broken red chillis, curry leaves and asafoetida.
Follow with the crushed garlic flakes.Fry for 30 seconds.

Add the tomatoes along with salt and turmeric. Cook till it turns into a paste.

Lower the flame, and add the yogurt and mustard paste. Stir for 2-3 minutes.

Add 3 cups water and bring to a boil. Add the boiled radish at this stage. Simmer for 10 minutes.

Serve hot/cold with rice, dal and veggies.




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