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Showing posts with label Kanjee. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kanjee. Show all posts

Friday, July 15, 2016

Torani Kanji ( Fermented rice water and vegetable soup from Odisha )

Kanjee is one of those coolants from Odisha that also doubles up as a soup .Or maybe it is just an excuse to sample this delicious liquid goodness throughout the year !! And why not when it is available in multiple flavors. There is a pariba kanjee, khada kanjee, saga kanjee, dahi kanjee and the most delicious of all, the 'Torani Kanjee'. Hats off to the Odia ladies of yore who had the ingenuity to make delicious meals out of frugal resources !! It is tough to believe that bringing about a slight change in the ingredients can alter the taste to such an extent.

One needs to plan well in advance to prepare this dish. Water discarded from cooked rice is collected over days and stored in an earthenware pot which allows it to ferment and develop a sour taste. It is a bit of a technical process wherein we retain half of the previous day's rice water and mix it with the current day's lot after it has been cooled and diluted. It is a slow and elaborate process which is worth the wait. I still get nostalgic remembering the huge pots in which my grandmother used to brew and simmer this thing. It has a particularly strong aroma ( somewhat pungent actually ) that is sure to tickle the olfactory ducts of the neighbors. Hence the generous quantity in which is it prepared.

While one can enjoy the 'Kanjee' all around the year, the abundance of vegetables and leafy greens (especially 'kosala sagaw') during the winter months make it a must-have during the fall. There is something very soothing about sipping 'Kanjee' from a big bowl while enjoying the wintry sun. So, here is the recipe of the 'Torani Kanjee' which I got from Mom after a lot of advice and deliberation. 'Keep the torani carefully covered', 'do not let it become too stale and smelly', 'remember to throw away half of the pervious lot when you mix in the fresh one', and so on. Guess it is ingrained in a mother's psyche to keep the advise coming even after we are completely grown up.

Read on for the recipe -

Preparation Time - 30 mins

Ingredients -

  • 2-3 litres of torani (rice water)
  • 1/2 cup radish slices
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin pieces
  • 1/4 cup green papaya slices
  • 1 small eggplant ( cut into semi-circles) 
  • 6-7 okra ( cut into inch long pieces
  • 10-12 fat garlic cloves
  • 4-5 dry red chili
  • 2 sprigs of curry leaves
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 pinch kala jeera
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 3 tsp mustard oil
  • 3-4 pieces of ambula ( dried green mango )
  • salt to taste

Preparation - Collect the excess water after cooking rice. Dilute it with a cup of water. 

Drop in a piece of ambula and cover the vessel with a thin cloth . Let it stand overnight.

Again collect the rice water on the next day. Dilute and allow to cool down completely. 

Throw away half of the previous day's rice water along with the ambula. Add the fresh lot along with another fresh piece of ambula. Let it stand overnight.

Repeat this process for 3-4 days. Once the torani starts to smell a bit pungent and taste sour, we can proceed for the kanjee.

Cooking - Dilute the torani with 2-3 cups water and transfer to a deep saucepan. Add salt to taste and a bit of turmeric. Bring it to a full boil. (be careful as it tends to rise and come out of the vessel )

Add the chopped vegetables to the torani. Let it boil on a medium flame till all the vegetables are cooked.

Check for salt and sourness. If it lacks enough tang, drop in 1-2 pieces of ambula.

Heat the oil in a tempering pan.  Once it starts to smoke, reduce heat. Add the broken chilis, mustard and kala jeera .Quickly follow with the crushed garlic and curry leaves. Once the garlic turns brown on the edges, pour the contents of the tempering pan over the kanjee.

Let it boil for another 2-3 mins before removing from the flame.

Serve hot or at room temperature.

It can be stored in the fridge for 2-3 days .

The veggies I have used -

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Pariba Kanji

Cooking Time Required: 20 mins
Cost of preparation: 20-25 rupees

Ingredients: Green Papaya (100 gms), brinjal (100 gm), tomato ( 100 gm), saru ( 50 gm), rice ( 2 tsp), ambula ( 3-4 pieces), pancha phutana ( 1 tsp), garlic pods ( 6-7 pieces ), curry leaves ( 6-7 nos), red chilli ( 1 no.), green chilli ( 1 no), oil, turmeric ( 1 tsp), salt to taste.

Preparation: Soak the rice for 1-2 hours. Grind into a fine paste and keep aside. Soak the ambula pieces for 2-3 hours. Crush the garlic pods.

Cooking: Cut the vegetables into medium sized pieces. Fill the pressure cooker with
sufficient water. Add the cut vegetables along with green chilli, turmeric and salt. Close the lid and put the cooker on the stove. Allow it to cook for 3-4 whistles.

Put a wok on the stove. Transfer the contents of the pressure cooker into the wok. Bring to a boil. Add the rice paste to thicken the stock , stirring the mixture continously all the while. Then add the ambula pieces. Allow to boil for 10-12 mins.

Heat a pan. Pour 1 tsp of oil on it. Allow to smoke. Add the pancha phutana, red chilli, crushed garlic pods and curry leaves. Stir gently for 1 minute. Remove the contents from the pan and pour it over the boiling stock. Remove from fire and serve with rice and dal.

Tips: One can also add sweet pumpkin and ladiesfinger pieces to this preparation. Stir fry the ladies finger pieces before adding to the rest of the vegetables. This takes care of the slimy content of the ladiesfinger.

Additional info - Kanjee is to the oriya people what rasam is to south indians. Its a tangy preparation with adds spice to the usually plain (some would term it as bland) oriya meals.It is popularly served during the summer months to keep the body cool .

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