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Friday, June 16, 2017

Luni Poda Pitha ( Savoury Rice Cake from Odisha )

Raja Parba has come and gone. And has left behind a legacy of Poda pithas never witnessed before in Odisha. Every Odia lady with a presence on social media has as gone out of her way to reaffirm her pitha making skills and even hone them further. In the last three days, my Facebook, twitter and instagram feed looked more like a beautiful kaleidoscope with Pithas of various shapes and hues. And as an Odia, it makes me feel proud indeed to witness the ethnic food from my region getting it's fair share of appreciation.

The Luni Poda Pitha is a savoury version of the more popular Poda Pitha. 'Poda Pitha' literally translates into burnt cake as the batter/dough is wrapped up in leaves before being tossed over the dying embers of a dying wood fire. But that was in the days of yore. Nowadays pithas are being prepared in ovens or even microwaves by the tons. Yes, they do lack the smokey flavor but everything else is just amazing.

My version is loaded with veggies like cauliflower, carrot, tomato, capsicum and onions. The seasoning is fairly frugal with some crushed green chili, ginger, a few curry leaves and freshly chopped cilantro.

Read on for the recipe -



















Preparation Time - 1 hour

Ingredients -

  • 1 cup skinless black lentil ( chopa chada biri )
  • 2 cups rice  ( arua chaula )
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped cauliflower (small florets)
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot (small pieces)
  • 1 small capsicum (finely sliced)
  • 2 finely chopped tomatoes
  • 1 large onion ( thinly sliced )
  • 2 green chillis ( coarsely crushed )
  • 1 1/2 inch ginger ( finely crushed )
  • 3-4 tsp chopped cilantro
  • 1 sprig of curry leaves
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tsp oil

Preparation: Soak the rice and lentil overnight. Wash and grind into a fine paste the next morning. Allow to ferment for 10-20 hours depending on the climate.

Cooking - Heat 1 tbsp oil in a wok.  Toss in the cauliflower and carrot. Saute for 5-6 mins on a medium flame.

Next add the capsicum and saute till it starts getting a bit limp.

Switch off the flame and let the veggies come down to room temperature.

Preheat an oven to 180 degrees centigrade for 10 mins.

Take a good quality ovenproof dish which is about 2 inches deep. Grease the container with 1 /2 tsp oil.

Add the sauteed vegetables and the remaining ingredients to the batter and mix thoroughly.

Pour the batter into the baking dish.

Put in the oven and cook at 180 degrees for 30 mins. Then lower the temperature to about 150 degrees and bake for another 30 mins. Insert a toothpick to check if it comes out clean.

Remove from oven and let it cool down completely . Cut into pieces and serve with by itself or any curry of your choice.


























Have a great Raja with the Poda pitha !!

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