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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Ghora Manda

Yesterday was the first Gurubar(Thursday) of Margasira month (2014). The custom in my father's family is to observe Manabasa for every Thursday of this month, so my mother kept the Manaa (which symbolizes Goddess Lakshmi) and offered prasad three times a day. This may vary for some folks who may choose to keep the Manaa only after 'Prathamashtami' has been observed or even others who choose to keep it after Sankranti. Apart from this, these days one may also find some Odia women (m ostly those who are working) observing only the last Thursday of the month.

Each Manabasa Gurubar calls for a special 'bhoga' or offering. While the offering of the 'chakata bhoga' or mashed banana, chenna, milk and sugar/jaggery at the first prasad in the morning is common to all parts of the state, the anna bhoga or afternoon meal offered to the Goddess widely differs. Kheeri, Tarana, Khechudi, Arwa bhata, Dahi pakhala, Kanika are some examples of the 'anna bhoga'. The evening bhoga is usually a type of a pitha like Kakara, sijha manda, Malpua, attakali, gaintha, chakuli, etc. While some folks may also choose to offer the pitha along with the anna bhoga, the general rule it that it should contain rice as one of the ingredients. Though not a hard and fast rule ( and people do have a general tendency to twist the rules as per their convenience ), one can add a small amount of rice flour if making the kakara/manda/malpua with suji or maida.

One such pitha that is very popular in the Sundargarh (or more specifically Bonei) district is the Ghora or Ghura Manda. Made with a watery rice batter (not flour), this one has an amazing texture that it akin to to a pudding. The stuffing or 'pura' can be a mix of coconut, chenna (cottage cheese), sesame and groundnuts. Soft and melt-in-the-mouth types, this takes a few trials to perfect but is very much worth the effort. Read on for the recipe -


















Preparation Time - 45-50 mins

Ingredients -


  • 1 1/2 cup arwa rice
  • 1 coconut (grated)
  • 1 1/2 cup chenna (cottage cheese)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • jaggery/sugar as per taste
  • 2 tsp ghee
  • a pinch of camphor
  • 1-2 pinch cardamom powder


Preparation - Wash and soak the rice for 2-3 hours. Drain excess water and grind into a fine paste. Adjust the consistency to a flowing liquid one ( just like Chittau Pitha batter or Neer Dosa batter ).

Take the grated coconut, chenna, camphor and cardamom powder in a mixing bowl. Mash everything together.

Cooking - Slowly drain the batter into a large wok taking care to leave behind any solids (residue) in the bottom of the grinder/mixie jar. (If this residue gets into the wok, it makes the pitha grainy and spoils the overall texture.)

Add salt and a little jaggery to the wok. Switch on the flame taking care to keep it low. Keep stirring at regular intervals so that it does not catch at the bottom. Once the mixture thickens to that of a custard ( or somewhat thicker than Ragi malt ) consistency, switch off the flame.

Pour ladles of the hot mixture onto a greased steel plate or banana leaf. Gently spread (but not too much) using the back of a spoon. Layer with the stuffing of sweetened coconut and cottage cheese. Seal it or top it with more of the hot mixture. (While the more seasoned cooks can afford to touch the hot stuff, the rookies are warned to keep their fingers safe and unscathed)

Allow it to rest till it is completely cool.

Serve. (It tastes even better the next day so do remember to pop in a few pieces into the fridge)

Click here for details on the Manabasa Gurubar Puja .


5 comments:

  1. Looks interesting. Nice info. Thanks for the article. Keep sharing :-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great post.
    please write one on Ghee Pitha and Taala pitha.
    Thanks in advance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. http://authenticoriyafood-oriyarasoi.blogspot.in/2010/12/arissa-pitha.html

      Delete
  3. Thanks Manas...I already have a post on Ghee Pitha or Arissa Pitha as we call it...wud love to do one on Taala pitha but sadly I live in Blore and do not know where to find it :(

    ReplyDelete

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