Padma Nada Batibasa ( Lotus Stem Cooked in Quintessential Odia Style )
Something ? God what could it be ? I had completely forgotten about it and as I tried hard to remember, I realized that I was having another bout of momentary amnesia. Expecting the worst, I popped it open. But got a pleasant surprise instead. It had about a cup and a half of neatly cut and thoroughly cleaned lotus stems which meant I could directly cook them. No hassles. Just what I would have wanted on a lazy day.
So, I quickly made some 'batibasa' or mustard based semi dry curry with it. The beauty of the 'batibasa' lies in its simplicity. All the ingredients are thrown together and cooked on a low flame. No stirring required. Just a bit of a mustard garlic paste, a little poppy seeds paste, some more crushed garlic, a few green chilis (if you like it hot), a spot of mustard oil, a pinch of turmeric and salt to taste are all that one needs to whip up this super easy dish.
Read on for the recipe -
Preparation Time - 20 mins
- 150 gm lotus stem
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 5 garlic flakes
- 2 green chilis
- 1 tsp mustard oil ( I used Fortune Vivo which is a blend of rice bran and sesame )
- pinch of turmeric
- salt to taste
- 1 tsp poppy seeds
Preparation - Peel the cut the lotus stem. Wash it thoroughly to remove any dirt sticking to the holes.
Grind the mustard seeds, 2 garlic flakes and 1 green chili into a smooth paste.
Soak the poppy seeds in hot water for 1-2 hours. Drain water and crush them into a light paste with a pestle or a grinding stone.
Cooking - Mix all the ingredients evenly using about 3-4 tbsp water. Put it in an oven-proof dish and pop it into the oven for 15 mins at 170 degrees.
Or put it on the stove top in a thick bottom vessel. Cook covered till tender.
Serve warm or at room temperature with steamed rice and yellow dal.
Note - Lotus stem can be cleaned and stored in water for about a week when refrigerated.