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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Chaula Bara ( A Rustic style Vada from Odisha )

Have you ever wondered if there is a key to your memory ? If yes, is it just one ?  Or do such multiple keys exist which have the power to selectively unlock small sections of one's memories ? To me, the human mind sometimes seems like a beehive with cell upon cell crammed together. But while they may seem identical, each one is unique and holds something specific. And most importantly, there exists a singular key for each cell.

But at other times, digging into the human mind reminds me of looking/ exploring for water /oil under a rocky terrain. Just like the water or oil which is trapped between two layers of solid rock and can be harvested only if we reach a specific depth, neither less not more, the human mind seems to have layer and layers of memories superimposed one upon the other. Reaching for a specific memory thus requires knowledge of a very specific nature which can enable one to penetrate to the particular layer which holds the information.

The reason that I have been ranting about the human memory is because I sometimes fail to recall certain things even after people remind me about them. And then, all of a sudden, things jump at me when I am least expecting it . This recipe for example evaded me till I got to sample some prepared by an Odia neighbor of mine. This old lady is one of the few who still prefer to make 'bara' in this manner while most of us prefer to follow the biri 'bara' recipe.

Read on for the recipe -


















Preparation Time - 30 mins

Ingredients -


  • 1 cup split biri / black lentil ( i use the skin variety )
  • 1 cup arwa rice ( jeera rice or sona masuri will do )
  • 1 tsp whole cumin seeds
  • 2-3 green chili ( finely chopped )
  • 1 small onion ( finely chopped )
  • 2 pinch baking powder
  • salt to taste
  • oil for deep frying


Preparation -  Wash and soak the biri and rice for 7-8 hours ( overnight ).

Drain excess water and grind into a thick smooth batter .

Keep aside for ferment for a good 4-5 hours .

Mix in the cumin seeds, green chili and onion along with the salt and baking powder. Let it sit for 15 mins.

Cooking - Heat sufficient oil for deep frying.

Drop small balls of the batter into the oil. Cook till brown on one side and then flip to cook on other side as well.

Remove and drain on paper towels.

Serve hot with ketchup and green chilis.

















Note - One can also use crushed ginger, curry leaves and cilantro to enhance the flavor. The smaller the size, the more crunchy it will be, so take care to keep them small.

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