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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Mandiya Pitha ( Ragi/Finger Millet pancakes )

Mandiya or Finger millet is quite popular in Western Orissa. It is rich in calcium and has cooling properties. It is widely consumed during the summer months in the form of 'sherbat' or 'palua' to keep the stomach cool and reducing body heat. In some of the tribal districts of Orissa (like Keonjhar, Kalahandi, etc) it is mixed with fermented rice water and consumed as a popular drink.

It is also made into thin chakulis (savoury) or thick pithas (sweet/dessert). Read on for the recipe:

Preparation Time - 1 hour ( includes 35-40 minutes of standby time )

Ingredients - 1 cup chaula chuna (rice flour), 1 cup mandiya chuna (ragi flour), 1 cup chopped coconut, 1 1/3 cup water, 3 tsp (heaped) sugar, cardamon ( 2 nos), 1/4 tsp salt, 1 tsp baking powder, 4 tsp ghee.

Preparation - Mix the rice flour and ragi flour in a mixing bowl. Add water little by little and make into a batter of medium consistency (neither too thin nor two thick).

Grind the coconut into a paste and add to the batter. Add sugar, salt and powdered cardamon. Mix well and keep aside for 30-35 minutes.

Divide the batter into 4 parts. Sift in 1/4 tsp of baking powder to each portion of the batter and mix well  just before adding it to the wok.

Cooking - Heat 1/2 tsp ghee in a wok. Add one portion of the batter.

Cover with a lid and cook on one side for 3-4 minutes or till the batter stops being runny.

Flip over to the other side and another 1/2 tsp of ghee. Cover and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

Remove from wok and allow to cool down for 5-6 minutes. Cut into pieces and serve.

Repeat the process with the remaining portions of the batter.

Note - Add milk instead of water to make the batter. It not only gives a better taste but also makes it more nutritious.


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