'Have you seen the wedding card of the Mishra's my aunt asked me ......I was busy watching Super Hit Mukabla. That was a question irrelevant for a 15 year old like me. I nodded my head as I was too engrossed watching Shahrukh Khan dancing to the tunes of 'Jaati hoon mein ..... jaldi hai kya' . Marriage cards would be the last thing I would be interested ....... Shahrukh and Kajol were much more important.
"It's a beautiful one printed on pure silk. Must be quite expensive na ? Just look at it ...... don't know how much they would have spent on these. And do you know the reception is at The Park Heights ". She went on blabbering. "So what do you think I should wear to the party ...... do you think the pink banaresi would look good as an evening wear".
"Oh ho baba ..... wear something, no one would even notice you. Every one would have their eyes stuck on the newly wed. Now can you please allow me to watch the remaining songs .... huh "
The Mishra's Wedding was a classic example of the 'Big Fat Indian Wedding'.
Marigold garlands were replaced with orchids and daisies. The carpet below was Persian. Waiters wearing uniforms carried trays of cocktails and mock tails around ..... Guests of the Mishra's wore well coordinated mauve outfits. There were food counters reading 'Indian Veg', 'Indian Non-Veg', Chinese, Italian, Mediterranean ..........
I walked up to the Indian Veg counter, I was ignorant about the other cuisines, hence went for a safer bet ...... The waiter served me little of everything, the silver serving spoon was a little bigger than a tea spoon. "Can you put some more of that ...... I asked the guy serving paneer kofta". He stared back at me as if I asked him the world.
I took a little bit of everything, trying to balance my food laden fragile bone china plate. The food no doubt was cooked to perfection. And why not, I was attending a wedding at 'The Park Heights'.
And dining in an Indian wedding would be incomplete without desserts. There were Jalebi and Rabdi Stalls around. A halwai prepared fresh jalebi's and handed over to the crowd around them.
After a stomach full I decided to socialise and least congratulate the bride and the groom. Not to forget I took liberty of getting a 'meetha pan' from the 'Banaras Pan wala Stall' .... which otherwise my mom would have objected.
On our way back my mom and aunt began their post wedding review ..... Everything under the sun ........ How much jewelry the bride wore, how much their IITian son was worth of, the saree Mrs Mishra wore ..... an unending list !
And suddenly she remembered asking me the most important question 'Potala Rasa ta khailu ki nahin ?'. (Did you eat the Parwal Curry). Been in my teen I just stared at her with utter disgust. Could there have not been a better thing to ask ??
Hmmm Potala Rasa is a very Odisha Centric food which is a must in the wedding menu.
Yeah I absolutely love this dish .... and this time I was lucky enough to spot some fresh produce at the Indian Grocery.
Nah ..... there ain't any wedding but I prepared it ...... You need not have a wedding at the Park to eat Potala Rasa. You can still prepare it within the four walls of your kitchen and relish it.
Preparation Time - 40 minutes
Serves - 4
Potala - 1 pound
Chopped Onion - 1/2 cup
Ginger - 1 inch
Cinnamon - 1 inch
Coriander Seeds - 1 tsp
Green Chili - 3
Tomato - 1
Fresh Shredded Coconut - 1/2 cup
Turmeric - 1 pinch
Garam Masala - 1 pinch
Sugar - 1 pinch
Salt per taste
Mustard Oil for Cooking
Method of Preparation
1 Slit the Potala length wise and shallow fry it. Keep aside.
2 Grind Onions, ginger, green chili, coriander seeds, cinnamon together to make a masala paste.
3 Puree the tomato.
4 Heat about 1 tbsp of oil in a kadhai. Add the masala and fry till golden brown.
5 Add the tomato puree, salt and turmeric and fry till the masala gets cooked and there is no raw smell. Add a pinch of sugar
6 Add the shredded coconut and mix with the masala. Add about 1 tbsp of water.
7 Now add the fried potala to it and mix well. Cover and cook for 5 minutes till the potala gets soft.
8 Add a pinch of garam masala and remove from flame.
Serve warm with roti/paratha or rice
Do not over fry the potala.
You may also add potato to this curry. Adding sugar is optional. To make it more spicy add red chili powder. You may also add coconut milk instead of shredded coconut.
Potala Rasa - Parwal Masala.
Note - This is a fiction and I hope you liked reading it.