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Showing posts with label oriya food. Show all posts
Showing posts with label oriya food. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Sankha Saru Tarkari ( Arbi cooked with tomatoes and lentil dumplings )

Taro (Arbi) or Saru is perhaps one of the most widely consumed vegetables in Odisha and finds it's way into a variety of dishes like dalma, santula, besara and ghanta. Though used in a smaller proportion as compared to other vegetables, it lends a thick consistency and sweetness to the curry. Upon being thoroughly cooked, the vegetable turns sticky and this kind of binds the lentils and vegetables together. This is why one should not add too much of this vegetable to any curry as one does not want to end up with a sticky gloopy mess.

But apart from the culinary aspect, this is one vegetable that boasts of multiple health benefits. It is easy on the digestive system, controls sugar levels, boosts the immune system and even speeds up the blood circulation. No wonder this vegetable is widely used during the fasting period of Navratri and even the  'no onion no garlic' days which are an integral part of the Hindu culture.

In Odisha, the taro plant along with the plantain, used to be an integral part of every garden/backyard in earlier days. The tubers used to be harvested only after the plants died off naturally (else they tend to be itchy) and then stored for use throughout the year. My parents still grow taro in our garden though not in very large quantity. It is enough to last us a few months. The 'Sankha saru' is a relatively larger variety of Taro and is so called as the shape resembles a conch. Apart from being used in the regular Odia dishes, it is often dipped in a rice batter and pan fried. But at times, when the vegetable supply dries up, as it usually does during the summer months, it is made into a light curry with some tomatoes, badi (lentil dumplings) and a light mustard gravy.

Read on for the recipe -

Preparation Time - 15 mins

Ingredients -

  • 200 gm Taro cubes
  • 2 medium sized country tomatoes
  • 1/2 of a small onion
  • 1 dry red chili
  • 2 pinch mustard seeds
  • 2 pinch turmeric powder
  • a handful of badi ( dried lentil dumplings ) 
  • 3 tsp vegetable oil
  • salt to taste

For the mustard paste -

  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 dry red chilis
  • 2-3 garlic flakes 

Preparation - Grind the mustard seeds, garlic and red chili into a fine paste.

Cooking - Heat 2 tsp oil in a wok. Add the badi and fry on a low flame till they start turning red. Remove and keep aside.

Add the remaining oil to the same wok. Once hot, add the mustard seeds and broken red chili. Once the seeds start spluttering, add the coarsely chopped onion.

Once onion turns translucent, add the chopped tomatoes. Sprinkle a little salt over them and cover with a lid for 2 mins to soften them.

Remove the lids and smash the tomatoes. Cook for another 2-3 mins .

Dissolve the mustard paste in 1 cup water and pour slowly into the wok . This ensures that the sediments of the mustard paste do not go into the curry and turn it bitter.

Now add the taro cubes, slat and turmeric. Cover with a lid till just cooked. Do not overcook as they will turn sticky.

Crush the badi lightly and add to the curry jsut before removing it from the flame.

Taro tends to absorb water and so does the lentil dumplings. So do not worry if there is any excess liquid remaining.

Serve at room temperature with steamed rice or even pakhala.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Kadali Chopa Patua ( Green Banana Peel Chutney )

Yet another testimony to the culinary prowess of the Odia woman of yore, this recipe is literally making the best out of waste. Much before the Masterchefs of the tech savy world took it upon themselves to invent a gastronomic masterpiece out of kitchen wastage (peels, seeds, leaves, etc), somebody had already incorporated the idea in a lip smacking dish. Today's recipe is a simple yet amazing dish made from the discarded peel of the raw bananas.

I remember tasting this heavenly dish prepared by my grandma's friend who used to make it on a 'sila' or 'silbatta'. She used to come to our house to pluck the green bananas right from the small grove in our backyard and in return, we got to sample some of her yummy creations. It was my Mom who learnt this recipe from her. Along with the peels, one can also use the very small bananas that are right at the bottom of the bunch.

It is tough to find such fresh vegetables when one does not possess a garden or a farm. But I prefer buying the green bananas from the local vendors instead of the supermarkets for best results. Try buying ones that have a uniform green color and are free from black spots or markings.

Read on for the recipe -

Preparation Time - 15 mins

Ingredients -

  • 1 raw banana ( we will use the peels for this recipe )
  • 1 small potato ( cut into thin long pieces )
  • 1/3 tsp mustard
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 green chili
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp mustard oil
  • salt to taste

Preparation - Peel the banana and soak the peels in a bowl of water to which a little turmeric has been added.

Grind the peel along with the mustard seeds, green chili and garlic into a smooth paste.

Peel and chop the potato into tin long pieces. Mix the banana peel paste, chopped potato, mustard oil, salt and turmeric in a thick bottomed saucepan. Add about 1/4 cup water to it.

Cooking - Put the saucepan on a low flame and let it cook till the potatoes turn mushy. Keep stirring at regular intervals so that contents at the bottom do not get burnt.

Remove from the flame.

Serve at room temperature with white rice and dal . Or enjoy along with mudhi/bhel !!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Makhana Dalma

Just as the Dalma (dal cooked with vegetables) is symbolic of fasting in Odia culture, the phool makhana (roasted padma manjee) is consumed by North Indians on fasting days. Makhana or puffed lotus seeds are rich in protein, carbohydrates, phosphorous, calcium, iron, thiamine and zinc. They have a neutral flavour and hence can be added to just about any cuisine. Hence thought of adding this crossover ingredient to our very own Dalma.

This is a regular Muga ( split moong dal) Dalma that i have prepared. Have used vegetables like cauliflower, pumpkin, sweet potato, ridge gourd, arum, brinjal and potato. The makhana is thrown in during the chunka/tadka (tempering). Read on for the recipe -

Preparation Time - 20 mins

Ingredients - 

  • 1/2 cup muga dali / split mong dal(lightly roasted)
  • 2 cups diced vegetables (use any 5-6 vegetables of your choice)
  • 1/2 cup phool makhana/puffed lotus seeds
  • 1 dry red chili
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
  • jeera lanka gunda /roasted cumin-chili powder
  • salt
  • ghee for tempering

Cooking - Wash the dal and put in a pressure cooker. Add sufficient water cover dal and stand about 2-3 inches above it. Wash and cut vegetable into medium sized pieces . Add the vegetables to dal. Add turmeric powder and salt, and close the lid. 

Cook on medium flame.Allow for 2 whistles. Remove from fire and keep aside for 5-6 mins.

Heat ghee in a pan. Add broken red chili, cumin and mustard seeds. Pour the spluttering mix over the cooked dal. Add chilli-cumin powder and mix. Throw in the makhana. Simmer for 1-2 mins.

Serve hot with white rice (arwa bhata) or paratha. (sprinkle some ghee over the rice/paratha for added flavour)

Monday, December 30, 2013

Chingudi - Anda Jholo ( Prawn - Egg Curry )

This is a non-vegetarian combo curry that has become my family's favorite. With my husband being partial to prawns and myself being an egg person, a middle path had to be devised to stop us from squabbling over the dinner menu.

With decently sized prawns costing somewhere between rupees 350 to 500, eggs were added as a supplement ( and a tentative experiment ) to add volume and bring down costs. The curry turned out to be hit and an encore has always been around the corner. The use of potatoes is optional and helps to further increase the volume and add more sweetness to the gravy. I personally prefer to mash one or two pieces of the cooked potato into the curry. This help to make a thicker gravy.

As this is my last post for the year, I take this opportunity to thank my readers and friends. This has been quite an eventful year with my blog getting listed in the top 100 (Indiblogger/blogtoplist) and crossing 2,00,000 page views. A Very Happy and Prosperous New Year to All.

Read on for the recipe:

Preparation Time - 40-45 mins

Ingredients - 500 gms prawns (shelled), 4 eggs (boiled & shelled), 1 large potato, 2 large onions, 1 garlic pod, 1 1/2 inch ginger, 2 large tomatoes, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 1 tsp poppy seeds, 1 tsp red chilli powder, 1 tsp turmeric powder, 1/5 tsp garam masala powder, 2 dry red chillis, 1 tsp sugar, salt to taste, 5 tbs oil.

Preparation - Clean prawn and add salt and turmeric. Allow to marinate for 15 mins.

Grind the cumin seeds, poppy seeds and red chillis into a powder. Add 1 onion, half of the garlic pod and 1 inch ginger to the same grinder jar. Grind till the paste is smooth.Keep aside.

Make the smooth puree out of the tomatoes and keep aside.

Chop the remaining onion and keep aside. Crush together the remaining garlic pod and ginger. Take care not to make a very fine paste.

Cut the potato into cubes.

Cooking- Heat 1 tbs oil in a pan. Add the marinated prawns and fry till golden. Remove and keep aside.

Add another tbs of oil into the wok. Add the eggs and potato pieces. Fry for 4-5 minutes. Remove and keep aside.

Heat the remaining oil in a wok. Add chopped onion and fry for 1 minute. Add the sugar and allow it to turn brown. Add the crushed garlic-ginger and fry for 2 minutes.

Add the ground masala along with turmeric and chilli powder. Fry for 5 minutes till the raw smell goes off.

Add tomato puree and fry for another 3-4 minutes.

Add 3 cups of boiling water to the wok. Bring to a boil on high flame.

Add fried eggs, potatoes and prawns to the wok. Cover with a lid and allow to boil for 10 minutes or till potatoes are cooked.

Add the garam masala and switch off the flame.

Serve hot with white rice.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Tawa Bara ( Pan fried Vadas )

Crispy vadas or 'bara' as we call them in Odisha are a perennial favorite with almost everyone I have come across.  But they are laden with oil and hence weight watchers/diabetics/people with blood pressure prefer to keep them off their menu.

However, during Manabasa Gurubar a pan-fried version of this delicacy is prepared for the Prasadam. Slightly flavored with curry leaves, green chillis, mango ginger and cilantro, they are a low-calorie treat. Read on for the recipe:

Preparation Time - 8 hours 30 mins ( 4 hours for soaking + 4 hours fermentation )

Ingredients - 2 cups chopa chada biri dali ( black lentil / urad dal ), 2 tbs chopped curry leaves, 2 tbs chopped cilantro, 2-3 chopped green chillis, 1 inch mango ginger (julienne), salt to taste, 4 tbs oil for pan frying.

Preparation - Wash and soak the black lentil for 3-4 hours. 

Drain excess water and transfer to a mixer jar. Grind into a smooth paste with minimum water. Keep aside to ferment for about 4 hours.

Add all the other ingredients except for oil. Mix thoroughly .

Cooking - Heat a frying pan. Drizzle with oil.

Put spoonfuls of batter on the tawa and lightly spread. Drizzle with more oil.

Flip over when cooked on one side.

Cook on the other side till light brown. Remove from the pan and serve hot.

Mango Ginger

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Berhampur Alu Chips

My husband spent his college days in Berhampore. This has turned him into a huge fan of the local cuisine. He keeps raving about the snack (Jala khia) items which he considers to be out of this world. But there was this place called 'Nandan' that he misses the most and in particular its 'Chattu' tarkari or mushroom curry and 'panner tarkari'. We have been planning to visit this place after marriage but have not found the time to do so.

One of his favorite items from the college days is the vegetable chips, crisp fried vegetables with a generous dose of sesame. Potato being the mandatory ingredient, the other vegetables that can be added are potolo (pointed gourd)/kaanada (spine gourd)/kalara (bitter gourd). However we prefer to use only the potatoes as even my little one likes it. Read on for the recipe:

Preparation time - 20 minutes

Ingredients - 2 medium sized potatoes, 1 tsp rice flour, 1 tsp corn flour, 1 tsp besan, a pinch of turmeric, 2-3 tsp sesame, 1/5 tsp coriander powder, 1/2 tsp chilli flakes, salt to taste, oil for deep frying.

Preparation - Wash and peel the potatoes. Cut them into thin strips ( thinner than those you make for french fries ). Transfer to a mixing bowl.

Add all the remaining ingredients except for oil. Mix together so that all the strips are coated properly.

Cooking - Heat oil in a deep wok.

Add the potato strips in small batches and fry on medium heat for 4-5 minutes or till they turn crisp.

Remove from wok and keep on paper towels to absorb excess oil.

Serve with rice or have them as snacks/starters.

Note - This stays fresh for a few hours after frying so one can prepare it in advance if any guests are coming over for lunch/dinner.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


Santula is one of the most popular vegetable dishes of Orissa. It is essentially a mixed vegetable preparation minus the spice which makes it easy to digest. Highly recommended for high blood pressure, hypertension, diabetes, constipation, ulcer and postpartum patients, it is full of nutrients and dietary fiber. It is also popular as pani(water)-santula and khira-( milk )santula.

It is also consumed on vrat/osa bara days. The onion and garlic is replaced by jeera-lanka powder and ghee is used instead of oil for the tempering. I find it to be the best way to use/cook all the leftover/excess veggis from the week and hence one can usually find it on the Friday dinner menu at my home. But for best results( read taste) prepare with fresh vegetables.

Preparation Time - 20-25 mins

Ingredients - chopped pumpkin ( 2 cups ), chopped green papaya ( 1 cup ), chopped string beans ( 1 cup ), chopped ridge gourd ( 1 cup ), green peas ( 1 cup ), boiled kabuli chana ( 1 -2 cups ), chopped spinach or any green leaves ( 1 1/2  cup), chopped raw banana ( 1 cup ), chopped potato ( 1 cup ), finely chopped onion ( 1 no., small ), garlic flakes ( 6-7 nos ), dry red chilli ( 2 nos ), salt to taste, oil ( 3 tsp ), turmeric ( 1/4 tsp ), pancha phutana ( 1/3 tsp, optional ), chopped coriander for garnish.

Cooking: Heat 2 tsp oil in a wok. Add all the vegetables and green leaves along with salt and turmeric.

Cover with a heavy lid and cook till vegetables soften. Stir at regular intervals to avoid sticking to the bottom of the wok.

Heat the remaining oil in a tempering pan. Add the red chilli and pancha-phutana.

Follow with the onions and cook till translucent. Finally add the crushed garlic flakes. Fry for 5-10 seconds and then pour over the cooked vegetables. Garnish with coriander and remove from the flame.

Serve hot with rotis/paratha.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Chingudi-kakharu majee chadchadi ( shrimp-pumpkin seeds fry )

Oriya preparations are essentially simple. The frugal use of ingredients defy the astonishing recipes conjured by many a home cooks. This shrimp recipe is a very good example of their culinary prowess. Pumpkin seeds are loaded with zinc but they are usually thrown away by people. Some do use the dried seeds in badis but when combined with shrimps, it adds a new dimension to a otherwise plain old chinguri bhaja (fried shrimp). Here is the recipe:

Preparation Time - 10 mins

Ingredients - small fresh / dried shrimps ( 1 cup ), pumpkin seeds ( with the skin ) (1/2 cup), dry red chilli/chilli flakes ( to taste), green chilli ( 1 no ) garlic flakes ( 3-4 nos ), oil ( 1-2 tsp ), salt ( to taste ).

Preparation - Wash and clean fresh shrimps. Or if using dry ones wash and soak for 10 mins.

Remove the seeds from the pumpkin and wash to remove any flesh/fibres sticking to them. Dry under the fan or in the sunlight for 1-2 hours.

Slit the garlic flakes and green chilli into long pieces.

Cooking - Heat oil in a wok. Add the shrimp along with the chilli flakes and fry till crisp.

Add the pumpkin seeds and fry for another 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and green chilli, mix them and remove from flame.

Serve with Pakhala or white rice.

Note : Transfer to a food processor and buzz it for 1 sec into a coarse powder. This works very well when combined with pakhala.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Chenna tarkari ( cottage cheese balls in a savoury gravy )

Travelling on a long stretch of road between Oltapur and Pahala on a late Sunday afternoon, our car is overtaken by an auto crammed with passengers inside and at least a dozen bundles of white cloth hanging outside. The watery fluid leaking from those bundles catches my attention and I throw a curious look at the husband. 'Freshly made chenna being transported to Pahala and Bhubaneshwar' comes the reply.

I had been in a dreamy state till now, capturing the sights of a setting Sun playing peekaboo among the trees, and lush fields swaying in the winds. Occasionally jolted out of my reverie by stray cattle blocking our way or scores of urchins asking for money ('chanda' as we call it in Odia) to build a temple/celebrate Durga Puja, the ride had been uneventful till that point.

In no time at all, we came across several autos, bicycles, rickety old mopeds (Luna/TVS), and even a swanky bike or two carrying these leaky bundles with the fluid leaving a trail on the dusty roads. In a few hours' time, the contents of these bundles would be processed and displayed as a mouth-watering array of sweets (chenna poda, chenna gaja, rasagulla, chenna jilapi, rasmalai, raj-bhog, etc ) on the shelves of a Ganguram/Atmaram/Capital sweets. Or maybe they will find their way into one of the many quaint-looking shops that dot Pahala and will be turned into the most melt-in-the-mouth type of Rasagola ever invented. One needs to visit these places in Orissa to experience the magic of making 'chenna' sweets.

More on the sweet stuff another time. Today I am sharing a savoury recipe made out of fresh home-made chenna. Chenna tarkari is the Odia cousin of the Paneer curry but with a unique texture and flavour of its own.

Update - The deep fried chenna balls are easily available in the sweet shops of Bhubaneswar these days.

Preparation time - 40-50 mins

Ingredients - 

  • 1 litre whole milk 
  • 1/2 cup sour curd  
  • 2 heaped tsp maida
  • 1 large tomato pureed
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • salt to taste
  • oil for shallow/deep frying.

  • 1 medium-sized onion(finely chopped) 
  • 1 1/2 tsp freshly made ginger garlic paste
  • 2 green cardamon
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 inch long cinnamon stick
  • 1-2 bay leaf 
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder

Preparation -

To prepare chenna - Bring milk to a boil. Add the sour curd and wait for a few minutes till the milk solids separate from whey. The whey should have a clear appearance at this point. If not add more curd and boil for another 5 mins.

Once all the solids separate, strain the chenna using a fine cloth or even a strainer with very fine mesh. Allow to stand for sometime till excess water is drained.

Take the chenna in a vessel/mixing bowl and add the maida. Crumble and knead the chenna to remove lumps and it just comes togather into a soft dough ( takes abt 5-6 mins, do not overdo the kneading ). Pinch small lumps out of the dough and shape into balls. These balls can either be shallow fried or deep fried.

Cooking: Heat sufficient oil in a wok. Put one ball into the wok and test if it holds together. If yes, add the remaining balls into the wok and fry them to a brown color on medium heat. (If it starts to crumble/break, add a little more maida to the chenna dough and knead for another 2-3 mins.)

Once the balls are fried, keep them aside and drain the excess oil from the wok.

Put the whole spices into the remaining oil in the wok and stir fry for 30 seconds. Add the chopped onion and saute on low flame till light brown ( abt 6-7 mins to allow the sugar in the onion to start caramelizing ). At this stage add the sugar and allow it to melt. Once the sugar melts, it gives a deep brown color to the onion. Sprinkle the soy sauce at this point.

Add ginger garlic paste and stir fry for 2-3 minutes till its raw smell goes away. Pour in the tomato puree and cook for another 2 minutes.

Now add turmeric, chilli powder, cumin powder, coriander powder and salt. Roast the masalas for 1-2 mins.

Add about 1 1/2 - 2 cups of water and bring to boil. Allow water to reduce to 2/3rd.

Put in the fried chenna balls and simmer on medium flame for 2 minutes. Cover with lid and switch off the flame. Allow to stand for 5-10 minutes.


1. One can also use lemon juice/citric acid to prepare the chenna but using sour curd gives it a better flavour. Also the chenna turns out softer.

2. One can also make a paste out of all the ingredients mentioned under spices and add it at once instead of doing it in steps.

3. There is a no onion - no garlic version of this recipe which uses a different masala paste and some amount of milk for added creaminess. 

4. For making the 'no onion no garlic' masala paste - 

1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp fennel 
1 tbsp melon seeds
1 tbsp poppy seeds 
2 green cardamom
1 inch long cinnamon stick
1 inch long ginger
1 dry red chili 

Soak everything in warm water for 2 hours. Grind into a medium fine paste. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Suji Nadia Ladoo ( Semolina coconut ladoos )

Preparation time: 30 mins

Ingredients: 1 medium sized coconut ( grated ), 1 1/2 cups bombay rawa/suji, ghee ( 2-3 tbs ), sugar ( 1 1/4 cup ), water ( 1 cup ), cardamom powder ( 1/5 tsp ), dry fruits ( 1/3 cup, optional ).

Cooking: Heat 1 tbs ghee on a pan. Add the suji and roast for 3-4 minutes on medium heat. Remove from pan when it reaches a light brown colour ( khova colour ).
Add another tbs of ghee to the pan. Now add the grated coconut and roast for 3-4 minutes on medium heat. Remove from pan and keep aside.

Dissolve the sugar in the water and bring to boil in a wok. Let it boil till the sugar reaches a stringy consistency. ( Test this by taking a little of the liquid, cool it to a tolerable temperature and keep a drop of it between the thumb and forefinger. When you try to separate the fingers, a fine thread of the liquid appears )

Add the cardamom powder and coconut to the sugar syrup. Reduce the flame and mix it for 2 mins. Now add the suji in small batches and stir rigourously to mix all the ingredients. Remove from the flame once the mixture thickens enough to form balls/laddoos ( ideally its better to do it a little before it becomes this thick so the mixture further solidifies on cooling ) .

Keep aside till the temperature drops a few notches and it becomes tolerable to work with your fingers.

Spread a nice amount of ghee on your palm and fingers. Take a little amount of the mixture and gently shape into laddoo.

Spread a little ghee on your hands after every 2-3 laddoos as it prevents the mixture from sticking to your fingers. Makes 20 medium sized laddoos.

Store in a airtight container when completely cool. Keeps fresh for 1 week.

Note: Adding more ghee while roasting the semolina adds to the flavour.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Biri Chop ( Urad dal bonda )

Preparation time: 30-40 mins

For the outer layer - 1 small cup chopa chada biri ( dehusked black lentil ), 2-3 tsp semolina, 5-6 crushed peppercorns, a pinch of baking powder, chopped green chillis, salt to taste, oil for deep frying.

For the stuffing - 2-3 medium sized potatoes ( boiled and peeled ), 1 tsp grated garlic, 1 tsp grated ginger, 1 medium sized onion ( finely chopped ), mustard and cumin seeds for tempering, 1/2 tsp chilli powder, 1/5 tsp turmeric, 2-3 tsp chopped coriander leaves, fried peanuts/boiled yellow peas/green peas, 2-3 tbs chopped coconut pieces, 3-4 tsp oil, salt to taste.

Preparation: Wash and soak the biri for 3-4 hours. Grind into a smooth thick paste in a mixer/grinder and keep aside for 3-4 hours to allow fermentation.

Just before frying, add the remaining ingredients to the batter and mix well. Add water if required to get the correct consistency. On dipping the balls, the batter should form a layer of 1-2 mm thickness.

Cooking: Heat 3-4 tsp oil in a wok. Add mustard-cumin seeds when the oil starts smoking. Follow with chopped onion and the grated ginger and garlic. Fry for 4-5 mins till the raw smell goes away.

Add the mashed potato along with chilli powder, salt and turmeric. Fry for 2-3 mins. Now add the fried peanuts/boiled peas, coconut pieces and chopped coriander. Fry for 1-2 mins. Remove from heat and keep aside till it is bearable to touch.

Make small balls out of the above.

Heat another deep vessel/wok with sufficient oil for deep frying. When the oil just starts to smoke, lower the heat.

Dip the potato balls in the batter and add to the wok few at a time. Fry on all sides to a medium brown colour.

Serve hot with ghuguni/chutney/ketchup.


Monday, June 17, 2013

Milk Cake

Ingredients: Milk solids  (leftover from preparing ghee at home) ( 1 cup ), milk (1 cup ), condensed  milk ( 1/2 cup ), roasted semolina/suji ( 2 tsp ).

Preparation: Take a vessel and add the milk solids, milk and condensed milk to it. Transfer onto a stove and bring to a boil.

Add the roasted semolina and stir continuously for 2-3 mins on a low flame.

Grease a baking tray and pour the mix into it.

Preheat oven at 180 degrees C and pop in the baking tray. Bake for 10-15 mins depending on the thickness of the layer.

Allow to cool down. Cut into pieces and serve.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Gota Kalara Bhaja

Cooking Time Required: 15-20 mins
Cost of Preparation: 60-65 Rupees

Ingredients: Bitter gourd/kalara ( 6 nos., small to medium sized ), cooking oil ( 4 tsp ), salt ( to taste), turmeric ( 1/6 tsp ), red chilli ( 1-2 nos ), garlic pods ( 5 nos ), mustard seeds ( 3 tsp ), cumin seeds ( 1 tsp ), onion ( 1 no., medium sized).

Preparation: Make a fine paste of the mustard, cumin, garlic and red chilli.

Finely chop/ coarsely grate the onion.

Make slits along the length of the bitter gourd and put them in a pressure cooker. Add salt and turmeric along with 1 cup water. Cook on high flame for 4-5 mins.

Remove from flame and allow to cool down. Remove the seeds .

Cooking: Heat 1 tsp oil in a wok. Add the onion and stir fry for 3-4 mins. Follow with the paste and  fry all ingredients for another 3 mins. Add a little amount of salt and mix well.

Remove from fire and allow to cool down.

Stuff the bitter gourds with the above prepared paste.

Heat oil in a wok. Add the bitter gourds 2-3 at a time. Cook covered for 7-8 mins or till done.

Serve hot with white rice/rotis.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Kakharu saaga Bhaja ( Pumpkin leaves fry )

Cooking Time Required: 10-15 mins
Cost of Preparation: 25-30 Rupees

Ingredients: Kakharu saaga and dunka ( use only the tender tips, 3-4 cups ),  ridge gourd (chopped into small pieces, 1/2 cup), potato ( chopped into small pieces, 1/2 cups), pancha phutana ( 1/2 tsp ),  dry red chilli ( 2 nos), garlic cloves ( 5-6 nos ), oil ( 3 tsp), salt to taste.

Cooking: Heat the oil in a wok. Add the dry red chillis and pancha phutana. Allow to splutter.

Add all the vegetables and mix well. Cover with a lid and allow to cook till tender. ( Takes abt 7-8 mins)

Remove the lid and allow excess water to evaporate.

Add salt and mix. Add the crushed garlic flakes and remove the wok from the stove.

Serve hot with rice.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Kakharu Dunka Raee ( Pumpkin leaves/stem curry)

A delicious curry made with pumpkin leaves, stems and tendrils.

Cost of Preparation: 50-60 Rupees
Cooking Time Required: 30-35 mins

Ingredients: Chopped Kakharu dunka ( tender pumpkin stems, tendrils and leaves ) 4 cups, pumpkin ( 1/2 cup), potato ( 1/2 cup), colocassia/saru ( 1/3 cup ), brinjal ( 1/2 cup), tomato ( 1 cup ), ridge gourd ( 1/2 cup), pointed gourd/potola ( 1/2 cup), garlic pods ( 10-12 nos), red chilli ( 3-4 nos ), mustard seeds ( 2 tsp), cumin seeds ( 1 tsp), pancha phutana ( 1/2 tsp), oil ( 3 tsp), turmeric ( 1/4 tsp), salt to taste.

Preparation: Grind the mustard  seeds, cumin, 2 red chillis and 7-8 garlic pods into a fine paste.

Cooking: Heat the oil in a wok. Add the red chilli and pancha phutana. Allow to splutter.
Add all the chopped vegetables except for the pumpkin leaves and tomato. Add turmeric.

Stir fry the vegetables for 5-7 minutes. Add the pumpkin leaves and tomatoes and mix well. Sprinkle salt and cover with lid for 3-4 mins.

Add the mustard-cumin paste. Pour 1/2 to 1 cup water and cover with a lid.

Bring to a boil and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. ( If the veggies are still not done , pressure cook on a high flame for 2-3 mins. )

Crush and add the remaining garlic flakes just before removing the wok from the stove.

Serve hot with white rice.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Chinguri Checcha ( Mashed Prawns )

Cost of Preparation: 80-90 Rupees

Cooking Time Required: 10-15 mins

Ingredients: Prawns ( 250 gms ), Garlic pods (7-8 nos ), onion ( 1 no., small ), green chilli ( 1 no ), mustard oil ( 1 tsp ), turmeric ( 1/5 tsp), salt to taste, oil for cooking.

Preparation: Wash and clean the prawns. Do not remove the shell. Add salt and turmeric and mix well.

Cooking: Heat a pan. Add 2-3 tsp oil.

Add the prawns and fry them on medium flame for 5-6 mins.

Allow to cool down a bit and remove the shells.

Transfer to a grinder jar along with the onion pieces, garlic pods, green chilli and a pinch of salt. Grind into a coarse paste. Add the mustard oil to this paste and mix well.

Serve along with white rice.

Chittau Pitha

Made with rice and coconut, the Chittau pitha is a beautifully perforated dish from Odisha that reminds one of the appams. The usage of black lentil is optional though with some people avoiding it altogether. If black lentil is added it is called ' Biri Chittau'.  Addition of black lentil can also be avoided during the summers or in a hot climate as itcauses rapid fermentation and makes the batter sour.

Cooking Time Required: 30-35 mins

Ingredients: Raw rice/ arua ( 4 cups ), coconut ( 1 no ), salt to taste, oil for cooking.

Preparation: Wash and soak the rice for 4-5 hours. Drain and transfer to the mixie jar.

Break the coconut and cut into small pieces.

Add the coconut pieces to the same mixie jar. Grind into a fine and watery paste.

Keep aside for 2-3 hours to allow for fermentation in hot weather. 5-6 hours is needed for cold weather.

Cooking: Heat a thick bottomed wok ( kadai ). Add a little oil .

Add salt to the batter and mix well. Pour sufficient batter into the wok to form a

thick pancake.

Cover with a lid. Take a wet cloth and put around the rim of the lid.( OR sprinkle

water along the sides of the wok )

Allow to cook on a low flame for 5-6 minutes ( Do not flip over ).

Remove from the wok.

Note: Chitta pitha is cooked on one side only and remains soft on the other side. Its

distinguishing feature is the presence of tiny holes all over its surface.

Any guesses as to the best way of devouring these piping hot beauties ???

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Besara dia Matti Alu Bhaja ( Suran fries )

Cooking Time Required: 10-15 mins
Cost of Preparation: 30-35 Rupees

Ingredients: Matti Alu/ Suran ( 200 gm ), cooking oil ( 7-8 tsp ), salt ( to taste), turmeric ( 1/3 tsp ), soaked rice ( 2-3 tsp), mustard seeds ( 3 tsp ), green chilli ( 1-2 nos ).

Preparation: Grind the mustard seeds with the green chilli into a fine paste.

Grind the rice separately into a thin watery paste. Add a pinch of salt to this paste.

Cut the suran into 1/2 cm thick pieces. Wash throughly.

Cooking: Take the suran pieces in a wok. Add the mustard seed paste along with salt and turmeric. Pour just enough water to cover the pieces.

Cook on a medium flame for 5-6 mins till almost done. Remove from stove, drain excess water and allow to cool down.

Heat a non-stick pan. Drizzle a little oil on it.

Dip the boiled suran pieces in the rice paste and place on the pan. Fry on both sides till lightly crisp.

Serve hot with white rice.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Piaja Sandha Bhaja ( Onion flower stalk fry )

Cooking Time Required: 10-15 mins
Cost of preparation: 15-20 rupees

Ingredients: Piaja Sandha/Onion flowers stalks ( 1 bunches ), potato ( 1 no, medium
sized ), dry red chillis ( 2-3 nos.), roasted cumin-chilli powder ( 1/3 tsp ), turmeric ( 2-3 pinch ), salt to taste, vegetable oil ( 3-4 tsp ), pancha phutana ( 1/2 tsp ).

Preparation: Wash and cut the onion flower stalks into inch sized pieces.

Wash and cut the potato into small pieces so that both vegetables can cook togather.

Cooking: Heat a non-stick pan. Drizzle a little oil. Turn the flame to high.

Add the broken red chillis and pancha-phutana. Allow seeds to crackle.

Add the potato and onion stalk pieces. Sprinkle turmeric and salt. Mix well and cook
covered for 8-10 mins. Stir occasionally so that the vegetables do not stick to the pan.

Sprinkle the chilli-cumin powder, mix well and remove from the stove.

Serve hot with rice or rotis.

In a slight variation of this recipe, swap the pancha phutana with mustard seeds and add 1 tsp of mustard paste (diluted with 1-2 tbsp of water) towards the end of the cooking. Once this liquid is absorbed, swap the roasted cumin chili powder with fried and crushed urad dal badis. Remove from the flame and serve immediately to retain the crunch provided by the badis.

Onions flower stalks are available twice a year in most markets in Odisha, first during the early winter and then during late spring. They make a wonderful side dish with Pakhala too.

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