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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Mackarel Fish Curry ( With Mustard paste and dried mango )

Changing priorities dictates our changing preferences. From working out to eating out, nothing has been left untouched as we (my husband and me) inch towards the mid-thirties. With lifestyle diseases already taking a toll on some of our dear friends and colleagues, it could have hardly left us unaffected. Weight gain from a slowing metabolism, hyper-acidity from faulty eating habits, back ache and joint pains from the body being subjected to years of abuse, the signs of ageing slowly but surely start to manifest themselves. And hence the desire to hold on to 'youth' for a little longer. Not just to hoodwink death, even if it is for a fewer more breaths. But to live a life that is uncomplicated by health problems.

These days the workouts have become more regular and intense. Eating out has reduced drastically and even on those rare occasions, the menu is thoroughly scrutinized for healthier choices. The menu at home has not been spared either. Mutton is on the way out and fish is the preferred non-vegetarian favorite. So, it was but natural that we would start with exploring new varieties. While fish like Basa and Seer fish are undoubtedly tasty, they produce less than amazing results when prepared the traditional way. The mustard gravy is as essential part of the Odia meal and we love to stick to it also because it is lower in calories as compared to other curries. Out of the varieties that we experimented with, the Mackarel is the only one which passes the 'taste' test with flying colors. And thank god for it ! One of the richest sources of omega 3, it is one of your best bets to combat the aging process .

So, read on for this easy-to-prepare recipe -


















Preparation Time - 30 mins

Ingredients -
  • 600 gm Mackarel 
  • 1 large potato 
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 green chilis
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
  • 3 tsp mustard oil
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • salt to taste
  • juice of half lime
  • cilantro for garnishing
  • 1-2 dried mango pieces 

For the mustard paste -
  • 3 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 5-6 garlic cloves
  • 1-2 green chili


Preparation - Wash and clean the Mackarel fish.

Soak it in warm water ( 15 mins ) to which 1 tsp salt and lime juice has been added. This helps in removing the fishy odors to some extent.

Remove and pat dry with paper towel. Marinate with salt and turmeric.

Make a fine paste out of the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, green chilis and garlic cloves.

Chop the onion in small pieces . Quarter the tomato.

Peel and dice the potatoes.

Soak the dried mango in 1/2 cup warm water.

Cooking - Heat 2 tsp oil in a non stick pan. Add the fish and fry for 6-7 min on both sides on a medium flame.

Remove and keep aside.

Now throw in the potatoes and fry till light brown. Remove and keep aside.

Add the remaining oil to the same wok. Add the mustard seeds and let them start popping. Then add the slit green chili and crushed garlic.

Once garlic turns light brown, add onion pieces. Fry to a translucent.

Then add the tomato pieces and sprinkle little salt. Cover and cook till mushy.

Add the mustard paste along with two cups of warm water. Slide in the fried fish and potatoes.

Add a little turmeric and adjust the salt. Cover with a lid and let it simmer till the potatoes are done.

Add the soaked mango pieces along with the water used for soaking. Simmer for 3-4 mins.

Remove from the flame and garnish with the chopped cilantro.

Serve hot or warm with steamed rice.


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Fish Head Masala ( Fish Head cooked in Typical Punjabi Style )

Food innovations are all about following one's instincts and cravings. And breaking all those rules can sometimes lead to delicious results. Most of my signature recipes are lessons in sheer craziness and yet they are delectable without a doubt. This Sunday my family had to put up with yet another episode of madness when I decided to cook the much revered Rohu fish head in a Punjabi style gravy topped up with a dash of Chinese flavoring.

Needless to say, husband had his reservations. He argued that the most prized part of the Rohu's anatomy could have been put to better use. "With a plethora of Odia recipes available, what is the need to try something else ?", he put forward his views. But I had become smitten by another recipe posted by a dear friend on Facebook and I just had to try this variation. The Chinese bit was my addition as I did not want a dominant 'garam masala' flavor. And the final product turned out to be drool-worthy.

Read on for the recipe -


















Preparation Time - 35 mins

Ingredients -

  • 1 Fish head ( big one cut into two halves )
  • 1 Fish Tail 
  • 1 mediun sized potato
  • 1 medium sized onion
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cloves
  • 2 inch cinnamon
  • 6-7 peppercorns
  • 1 large country tomato 
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped spring onions
  • 1-2 slit green chilis
  • 1-2 finely chopped garlic cloves 
  • salt to taste
  • 3 tsp oil


Preparation - Marinate the fish head and tail with 1/4 tsp turmeric and salt . Let it stand for 15 mins.

Grind the onion to a fine paste and keep aside.

Puree the tomato and keep aside

Cooking - Heat 2 tsp oil in a non-stick . Add the fish head and tail and fry for 7-8 mins . Then lightly crush the fish head so that it turns up a little more crisp. The whole process should take about 15 mins on a medium flame. Remove and keep aside.

Peel and cut the potato into 4 parts. Add it to the same wok and fry till they turn light brown on the sides. Remove and keep aside.

Add the remaining oil to the wok. Add the whole spices and fry till fragrant.

Add the ginger and garlic paste and cook for 2-3 mins.

Add the onion paste and cook to a light brown.

Finally add the tomato puree with the soy sauce and remaining powdered spices. Cook till oil starts to leave the sides.

Add the fried fish head, tail and potato pieces. Saute for 1-2 mins before adding 1 cup hot water. Cover and let cook for 6-7 mins or till potatoes are done.

Now add the chopped garlic and spring onions. Simmer for a minute.

Remove from the flame and serve hot with steamed rice or rotis !!




Sunday, February 19, 2017

Spaghetti with Walnut-Spinach Pesto

Pasta is one among the ultimate comfort foods. Quick and almost effortless when you have one of the sauces stocked in the fridge. And just in case you were wondering what to do in the absence of the aforesaid option, there is always the very frugal 'Aglio E Olio' that one can turn to. For folks who believe in having a little more diversity in their pantry, there is yet another option. The whore's style pasta or pasta alla puttanesca is nothing but some olives, capers, anchovies and garlic thrown together.

One of my favorites among all the pasta recipes happens to be spaghetti tossed with some pesto sauce. And I have a lot of variety when it comes to the pesto. For one I believe in making mine at home and using it up within a week's time if not earlier. Recently, I got my hands on some fresh baby spinach and the first thing that came to my mind was a lovely verdant pesto sauce with some walnuts, garlic and peppercorns.

I decided to keep it vegan and skipped the Parmesan. To add a little texture to the whole thing, I added some roasted and slightly charred aubergine to it. A few shredded baby spinach leaves add the requisite crunch to this pasta. Overall, a simple and yet amazing recipe.

Read on for the recipe -
























Preparation Time - 20 mins

Ingredients -
  • 150 gm spaghetti
  • 3-4 mm thick aubergine slices 
  • a fistful of baby spinach 
  • 1 tsp olive oil
For the pesto -
  • 1 cup tightly packed baby spinach
  • 8-9 walnuts
  • 3 fat garlic cloves
  • 10-12 peppercorns
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2-3 pinch salt

Preparation - Coarsely grind all the ingredients for the pesto.

Add some salt to the aubergine slices and keep aside for 10-15 mins. Once it leaves the water, transfer to a baking tray .

Cooking - Boil 9-10 cups water in a saucepan. When bubbles begin to appear, add sufficient amount of salt to the water. Once it gets to a rolling boil, add the spaghetti.

Cook for 12 mins or till al-dente. Remove 2-3 tbsp of the water and add it to about 2-3 tsp of the pesto.

Drain the water in a colander, give it a good shake and toss back the spaghetti into the same vessel in which it was cooked.

Drizzle some olive oil on the aubergine slices. Roast at around 180-200 degrees in a pre-heated oven till they are lightly charred ( deep brown color ).

Add the diluted pesto and olive oil to the spaghetti. Toss to uniformly cover the spaghetti strands.

Finally add the roasted aubergine slices and shredded baby spinach. Give it a gentle shake.

Serve warm or cold.



Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Black rice and Seafood salad

Salads are becoming a regular feature during lunch these days. I am absolutely smitten with 'one bowl' meals and what better than a gorgeous salad to fill up one of these. But with my husband and kid preferring some 'real khana' and my schedule more packed than usual, i have to throw together whatever I can lay my hands. As a result, sometimes the salad turns out to be just plain 'meh' and at other times it is just 'wow'.

Black rice is one of my usual suspects as it is packed with nutrients and delicious to boost. However I have to say that it is an acquired taste. While the nuttiness works really well for desserts, one takes a little time to get used to the savory dishes. Another ingredient that works really well with black rice is seafood. Think shrimps, octopus or even squid. However since I only had shrimps in stock, I made the salad using shrimps and a really amazing gourmet sauce. It turned out really well and hence it is eligible to make it to the blog. 

Read on for the recipe -

















Preparation Time - 15 mins ( I had cooked black rice in stock else add another 15 mins of cooking time )

Ingredients -

  • 1 1/2 cup cooked black rice ( firm to touch )
  • 1/2 cup shrimps
  • 1 red onion (finely sliced)
  • 1 1/2 tsp ginger juliennes
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • sea salt
  • 2 tsp Sprig Mango Jalapeno Gourmet sauce (or as required)

Preparation - Toss shrimp with a bit of olive oil on a hot skillet till it turns pink.

Prepare a dressing with the thinly sliced red onions, SPRIG Mango Jalapeno gourmet sauce, ginger juliennes, lime juice and a dash of olive oil.

Take the cooked rice and the shrimps in a medium sized mixing bowl. Add the dressing and season with sea salt . Toss everything together.

Serve at room temperature.






Monday, February 13, 2017

Choley and Soya Masala ( 1 tsp Oil recipe )

 IMP - Choley and Soya Masala is an original recipe created by the blogger and has been published for the first time on oriyarasoi.com.


It is not magic that makes food special. Nor it is the use of the most expensive or rare ingredients. Rather, it is that one indispensable ingredient called love and everything else that goes with it. Be it love for that someone special, for good food or even for great company, love is the driving factor behind almost every great meal. Imagine being engulfed by a feeling of inner joy when you see someone mop up every bit of that dish with great pleasure and yet take the time to carefully lick those fingers for any lingering traces of deliciousness. That's love for sure.

But then love takes on different interpretations for different folks. Without going into the intricacies of what is right or wrong T, I choose this Valentine's day to promote a bit of 'self-love'. And what better way of loving oneself than taking small steps for ensuring good health ? I am going to do just that by kicking off the ' 1 tsp oil recipe' series which will let one enjoy those favorite meals without the added guilt pangs and undesirable side effects.

The very first recipe of this series is a protein packed 'Choley and Soya Masala'. Usually people tend to associate 'choley' with copious amounts of oil, spices and some residual heartburn too. This preparation helps eliminate all that. Plus one gets the added benefit of soya protein.

Read on for the recipe -


















Preparation Time - 30-35 mins

Ingredients -
  • 1 1/2 cup Garbanzo beans
  • 1/2 cup small soya chunks
  • 1 medium sized onion
  • 5-6 fat garlic cloves
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 3 tbsp chopped coriander roots 
  • 1 large tomato
  • 3-4 cloves
  • 2 inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder ( use less or more as desired )
  • 1 1/2 tsp Tata Sampann Choley Masala
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp sugar (optional)
  • 1 boiled potato (optional)
  • green chillis for garnishing
  • onion rings for garnishing
  • lemon juice (optional)

Preparation - Wash and soak the garbanzo beans overnight or for 10-12 hours.

The soya chunks can be soaked in hot water 1-2 hours prior to cooking.

Grind the onion, ginger and garlic together into a smooth paste. The tomato needs to be pureed separately.

Clean the coriander roots thoroughly and chop into very small pieces.

Cooking - Transfer the garbanzo beans to a pressure cooker. Cook with 2 cups water, salt and turmeric for 3-4 whistles. Keep aside till steam escapes.

Squeeze out the water from the soya chunks. Wash them under fresh water 2-3 times before giving a final squeeze.

Heat the oil in the pressure cooker. Add the sugar and keep the flame low.

Once the sugar starts turning light brown, add the cloves and cinnamon. Quickly add the onion, ginger and garlic paste to avoid burning the spices.

Cook till the raw smell goes off.

Now add the tomato puree and cook for 3-4 mins. Add the chili powder, Tata Sampann Choley Masala and a wee bit of turmeric. Cook for 3 mins.

Drain the garbanzo beans and transfer to the cooker along with the soya chunks. Peel the potato and cube it before adding it the contents of the cooker.

Add 1 1/2 cup hot water, salt and the chopped coriander stems before closing the lid. Let it cook for 1 whistle on a low flame.

Serve hot with a dash of lemon juice, slit green chilies and onion rings.

Goes best with rotis or even steamed rice.


Thursday, February 9, 2017

Karamanga Khatta ( Star Fruit Curry from Odisha )

The outer. The inner. And a whole journey to encompass the voyage from the former to the latter. If seeing (the external) is believing, then knowing (the inner) is taking it to the next level of awareness. From the Western values of consumerism to the Indian values of spirituality, the differences between the two worlds could not have been more stark. And somehow this difference in approach crops up in the most mundane of things that we come across in everyday life.

Yeah. Something as mundane as the way we treat an ingredient like starfruit ! While the Western world is more than happy to use it as a pretty accessory to garnish those tempting fruit punches or even salads, the Eastern world makes good use of it's nutrients . From being made into juices to being candied or even curried, starfruit finds quite a lot of takers in this part of the world. 

Ofcourse, not to forget the fact that it is one of the most sought after 'food cravings' when it comes to pregnant women. But it is not just the tangy and slight sweet flavor that makes it such a hit during pregnancy when the changing hormones tend to play havoc on the taste buds. Nutrients in starfruit are believed to improve immunity and regulate the female hormones. Plus, those digestive juices are good for the guts and the stomach which tend to get sluggish during those nine months of gestation.

Here, I am sharing the recipe for a very simple starfruit curry that we usually prepare in Odisha. It is easy to prepare and low in calories. Read on -






Preparation Time - 25 mins

Ingredients - 

  • 4-5 Lightly ripened Starfruits
  • 1 tsp mustard paste 
  • 1-2 garlic flakes 
  • a sprig of curry leaves
  • 1-2 dry red chilis
  • 1/4 tsp pancha phutana
  • 2 pinch turmeric power
  • 1 tsp oil
  • salt to taste
  • 3-4 tsp sugar (or as per taste)

Preparation - Cut the starfruit across the length into pieces about 4-5 mm thick. 

Dissolve the mustard paste in about 1 cup water and let it stand for 10 mins.

Cooking - Heat the oil in a wok. 

Add the broken red chilis and pancha phutana. Once it starts spluttering , add curry leaves and crushed garlic. Saute for 20 seconds.

Add the starfruit pieces to the wok, sprinkle a little salt and saute on medium high for about 5 mins.

By this time the solids in the mustard paste would have settled down at the bottom of the cup. Carefully pour this water into the wok while still retaining the solid residue in the cup.

Add another cup of water to the wok. Sprinkle the turmeric powder and adjust the salt. Bring to a boil and then let simmer (covered) for 10-15 mins.

Finally add the sugar and let it just dissolve.

Remove from the heat.

Serve at room temperature. Best with steamed rice .


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Apple Peppers Walnut Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Salads and more salads !! While it was black rice a couple of weeks back, now it is the turn of salads to capture my imagination. In sync with my fitness resolutions for the current year, I am substituting a bowl of salad for lunch at least 2-3 times in a week. Chickpeas, kidney beans or even tofu is a regular addition to my salad bowl as these ingredients have a high proportion of protein.

However last week, I ended up missing lunch on one of the days. Being caught up with some work, I realized quite late that it was well past 3 in the afternoon. As I did not want to eat anything heavy so late in the day, I skipped the dal-chawal lunch that I had prepared for kiddo. A quick raid on the fridge did not yield my usual protein sources. But I had quite a few apples in stock. And there were the walnuts from goingnuts.in that had arrived the previous day. So, I whipped up a quick salad with the aforementioned ingredients, some leftover colored peppers and a balsamic vinaigrette. It turned out to be delectable and filling to the core

Read on for the recipe -


















Preparation Time -
  • 1 apple (I used Gala, cut into thin slices)
  • 1 cup mixed yellow and red peppers (thin long pieces)
  • A few leaves of lettuce 
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
For the Balsamic vinaigrette -
  • 3 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp English mustard
  • 2 pinch black pepper
  • salt to taste


Preparation - Take all the ingredients for the vinaigrette in a bowl and whisk together till it forms a uniform mixture.

Toss in the apples, peppers, lettuce and walnuts in a big bowl. Drizzle some of the vinaigrette over it as per your taste.

Mix lightly and serve immediately.



Saturday, February 4, 2017

Easy Chicken Tortillas

Hummph !!! Those capricious hunger pangs have a way of sneaking up at the most unexpected hours. Apart from making a regular call every afternoon, they have been getting more and more frequent as I find myself getting involved in more and more physical activities. Exercise and smart eating choices have helped me reduce weight, boost metabolism and feel more energetic than I did even in my early twenties. But of course, the obvious side effect has also manifested itself !

An active lifestyle often calls for smaller and more frequent meals. And tortillas stuffed with a good dose of protein and fibre is a smart anytime snack/meal. The protein can come from sources like grilled fish, chicken or even paneer. Vegans can opt for chickpeas or tofu. Lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, a variety of peppers, cabbage and onions add the fiber and make it even more filling.

This is one such whole wheat tortilla recipe in which I have used grilled chicken and a few veggies. But it is the addition of a gourmet sauce which takes this recipe to another level of deliciousness. The Sprig range of gourmet sauces are something that one can try if you like a touch of magic to your everyday dishes. Read on -


















Preparation Time - 30 mins

Ingredients -

For the tortillas -
  • 2 cups of whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/3 tsp salt
  • warm water

For the stuffing -
  • 1 cup of bite sized chicken pieces
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 2 garlic cloves (finely minced)
  • freshly ground pepper
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tsp Sprig Alphonso Mango and Jalapeno Pepper sauce
  • 2 cups colored peppers
  • 7-8 lettuce leaves
  • 1/3 cup tomato slices
  • 1/3 cup cucumber slices

Preparation - Take a large mixing bowl. Add the flour, salt and olive oil. Mix in. Then add just enough water to make a smooth dough.

Smear with a few drops of olive oil. Let it rest for 15 mins.

Knead it again for 5 mins. Then divide into 8-9 balls . Roll out each ball into a circle on a lightly floured working surface.

Marinate the chicken with salt, lime juice, minced garlic and pepper for 30 mins. 

Cooking - Heat a oven to 200 C. Line a baking tray with aluminum foil and spread the marinated chicken pieces. Roast for 12-14 mins or till tender.  Sprinkle the Mango and Jalapeno sauce. Toss lightly and put the tray back in the oven for another minute or two.

In a large bowl, add all the veggies. Toss in the chicken. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat a skillet . Rub in a few drops of oil on the surface. Add the tortillas one by one and cook on each side for about a minute on medium flame. Once small brown dots appear on the surface, they are done.

Layer the stuffing on one half of each tortilla. Sprinkle a little more Mango and Jalapeno sauce if you like it hot. Fold over. 

Grab one and get going !!!
















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