Showing posts with label Odiya Rosai. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Odiya Rosai. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Buta Daali Alu Tarkari .. aka ... Chana Daal

One universal truth is ...... nothing can replace 'Ghar ka Khana" (Homemade food ). And no food can be more satisfying than home made ones and especially if it is made by mom. ...... Guess it has the Midas touch !!
But it was not always that I admired food from mom's kitchen as much as I do today, everything was better than her's . I used to be a very willful child when it came to food. The list of food that I didn't eat or didn't like to eat outnumbered the ones I ate. I used to give my mother, grandmother and aunts a tough time everyday ..... my tantrums were unending. And being the first grandchild I was pampered and spoilt. I used to piss my mother so much that she would threaten me about boarding schools and hostels.
And I used to dream of the freedom of staying in a hostel with nobody around to boss, nobody to force feed me with veggies. Little had I imagined about the food and other problems associated with hostel life. I still remember the first day in hostel when I walked up to the dining hall and served myself with cold rice, daal and eggplant curry. With moist eyes I walked to a corner trying to hide my tears as I ate that meal. No one was around to pamper me and none at whom I could throw my tantrums.
Laxmi Amma the cook stared at me as I struggled to finish that bland and disgusting food. "Don't waste food ..... you have to finish all you have on your plate", she told in a stern voice pointing at my plate. I struggled with every morsel as tears rolled down my eyes. I was missing home and more than that I missing the food from mom's kitchen. Slowly I befriended Laxmi Amma. She would fry me an extra pappad or make me an omelet. In return I would buy her jasmine flowers or get medicines for her aching knee. Each meal time I would remember 'ghar ka khana' and finish my food with a sigh. It was a lesson learnt the hard way. I remembered the words wisdom of my grandmother about God punishing children who wasted food.
Soon my semester was getting over ...... which meant that I was going home for vacation. Rather than making a list of lessons that I had to study, I made a long list of things that I wanted to eat. I would read out my wish list each time my mother would call to make sure that she remembers it all.
And the day I was home I ate like there was no tomorrow ..... everything that was on my plate !! As I licked my plate there was a burst of laughter. My mother, aunts and grandmother laughed their hearts out. It was sweet revenge !!

Preparation Time 30 minutes
Serves 3

Chana Daal - 3/4 cup
Potato cubed - 1 medium size
Chopped Onion - 1 tbsp
Chopped Garlic - 1 tsp
Chopped Ginger - 1 tsp
Green Chili - 2
Cinnamon - 2 inches
Cardamon - 2
Bay leaf - 1
Cumin seed - 1/2 tsp
Cumin Powder - 1/3 tsp
Coriander Powder - 1/3 tsp
Clarified Butter - 1 tsp
Garam Masala - 1 pinch
Turmeric - 1 big pinch
Fresh grated coconut - 1/2 cup
Cilantro for garnishing
Oil for cooking
Salt to taste

Method of Preparation

1 Wash daal and pressure cook till one whistle adding salt and turmeric. Keep aside.
2 Add a little oil in a kadhai. Fry the potato when the oil is hot. Fry till all the sides brown. Remove and keep aside.
3 Add some more oil if required. Add Cumin seeds, bay leaf, Cinnamon, cardamon to it and fry for a minute. Add the chopped onion, garlic and ginger. Sprinkle a little salt and fry till they are soft and there is no raw aroma.
4 Add a little turmeric, cumin powder and coriander powder. Fry for 2 -3 minutes. Add the potato and mix in. Add a little water and cover and cook till the potatoes get cooked.
5 Add the cooked daal and simmer.
6 Add butter and garam masala and stir in.
7 Before removing from heat add the shredded coconut and garnish with chopped cilantro.

Serving Tips
Serve warm with rice or roti.

Do not over cook the daal. You may also opt not to add the coconut.

Let me know what Ghar ka Khana/ home made food means to you. I would love to hear it from you all .....

Monday, November 15, 2010

Chingudi Bara aka Shrimp Cakes

How was your weekend ? Did you relax and have quality time with your family and friends ? Did you cook something special, light some fragrant candles and play some light music and enjoy some mushy moments ? Or was it a busy one ..... with you catching up with pending stuff and running around to complete errands that had been waiting to catch your attention.
Mine was quite a balanced one.
It began with the birthday party of a six year old on Friday. I ran errands on Saturday but Sunday was quite peaceful.
I decided to prepare these Chingudi Bara ( Chingudi = Shrimp in Odiya) Shrimp Cakes ..... my very own recipe. But there is not much to boast about because when you add shrimps to potatoes with some dry ground spices they are supposed to taste good. You can never go wrong with it.

Preparation Time 30 minutes
Makes about 8-9 medium size cakes

Cleaned and de-veined Shrimp - 6
Potato - 1 (Medium Sized)
Chopped Scallions - 1 cup
Ginger Garlic Paste - 1/2 tsp
Coriander Powder - 1/2 tsp
Cumin Powder - 1/2 tsp
Red Chili Powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala Powder - 1 pinch
Lime Juice - 1 tsp
Salt per taste
Oil for cooking

Method of Preparation

1. Roughly chop the shrimps. Mash the Potatoes.
2. In a pan, heat about 1 tsp of oil. Add the ginger garlic paste and fry for 2 -3 minutes. Add the chopped shrimps and fry till the shrimps are transparent. Remove from pan and let it cool.
3 Mix the rest of the ingredients with the mashed potatoes along with this fried shrimps.
4 Make small cakes out of the mixture.
5 Heat some more oil in a tawa. Fry till both sides are brown and crisp.

Serving Tips
Serve warm. Sprinkle some Chat Masala and lime juice.

You many also shallow fry the cakes.

Other Names
Shrimp Cakes - Chingudi Bara

Do let me know what you think about this recipe. I would appreciate your inputs for the same. Have a wonderful week ahead !

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Daal ..... The Common Man's Meat !!

Is a 2 Billion dollar home flamboyant enough ? And that too for a family of four ! To add to that there are 3 helipads and and parking space for 160 cars. Not to forget 600 people working to maintain this much talked about billion dollar home. I am not sure how many Indians are taking pride in this India's first Billion dollar house making it to the Forbes Magazine. But surely not me ! I get grumpy and upset when people discuss about this abode of Mr Mukesh Ambani in which he takes so much self pride. Does one really need all these ? Was the current 22 floor house of Mr Ambani not enough for four people that he had to move to a 27 floor mansion ?
Could Mr Ambani not find a better way to spend this 2 Billion Dollars ? I can think of a hundred more effective ways to spend the money.

A small percentage of this amount would have made a big difference for a lot of people who do not even get a meal a day.A charitable hospital, better education for the poor and needy, vocational school and colleges to make more people self employed. .Or how about funding a world class cancer research institute. These are few things that come to my mind in a blink .... I am sure there are many noble ways to spend this 2 Billion.

I believe making it to the list of 'Richest People of the World' on Forbes is not a measuring tape for your riches. It is about how much you give back to the society. I know many people whom I interact with ....... they are not even 0.0001 % as rich as Mr Ambani. But they have dedicated their time and money (whatever little they have) in the service of mankind. One such organisation is Seva Samarpita Charitable Trust. It is run by few retired doctors and teachers.

To me they are the real heros. One's life is not remembered by how much riches he accumulated or where he lived or what car he drove. It is important to have values in life and believe in serving the less privileged ones.
The world remembers JRD Tata just not for the industrial empire he set up but for his philanthropy and simple living !!

So as a silent protest to this 2 Billion Dollar lavish home, I decided to post the recipe for 'Garlic Daal', Daal being the common man's 'Meat'.

Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.

Preparation Time 30 minutes
Serves 4
Toor Daal - 1 cup
Garlic - 4 cloves
Green Chili -1
Dry Red Chili - 1
Panch Phoran - 1/2 tsp
Oil - 2 tsp
Chopped Coriander leaves - little
Turmeric Powder - 1 pinch
Salt per taste
Method of Preparation
1 Wash the daal and soak in in water for 15 minutes.
2 Pressure cook adding salt and turmeric.
3 In a kadhai, add some oil. When hot add minced Garlic and chopped green chilies. Also add the panch phoran and red dry chili to sputter. Pour the cooked daal carefully to this seasoned oil.
4 Simmer for a minute. Garnish with chopped Coriander.
Serving Tips
Serve warm with rice. Add a little ghee or butter on top of it for flavor.
You may prepare using any other daal, Moong or Masoor Daal.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Alu Chop

If you see a bee line before an old rickety looking 'Thela' at Old Station Bazar road in Bhubaneswar ... then don't hesitate to join the Que. If you categorize yourself as a health and cleanliness freak who would only dine in restaurants that make it to the Page 3 of the leading news papers and drink mineral water, then ignore it . All I can say is you are missing a lot in life and you can buy my words for that.
Like someone has quoted 'Don't judge a book by it's cover', I would say don't judge this mobile Desi fast food joint by it's look. I have seen this cart smudged with the ugliest looking blue color since I was a child. Only the blue color and the hand written 'Jalakhiya' (Jalakhiya = Nashta in Hindi) has faded over time. Everything else remains the same. The taste of the Alu Chop, Singada (Samosa), Anda Chop (Egg Chop), Chingudi Chop (Prawn Chop) is as delectable as it used to be even fifteen years back.
I was standing in this long Que after a long gap of seven years just to have a bite of his delicious 'Alu Chop'. In fact it was J's idea as he could not give in to the temptation as we were walking past by that way.
Gopal Kaka the owner of this Thela has seen me from the time I held my father's finger and walked up to his Thela. As a kid I would have made innumerable trips to his cart .... especially when it rained. He looked at me from a distance. It was the same warm look ..... yes I was amused that he recognized me even after so many years. Only this time I could see that age had taken a toll on his appearance. His hair was grey and his face had more wrinkles than I could count. But his enthusiasm and energy level had not reduced a bit. He never got tired smiling at the crowd and talking to them. His wrinkled face had the same old charm. He was talking to his old customers and enquiring about their family and what their kids were doing. And he tried striking a cord with the new ones as he dropped the alu (potato) dipped batter into the hot oil.
Soon the gap between us and the cart shrunk. He looked at me and the 'new face' with me . I could see the happy disbelief on his face. 'Arey kete bada hai galuni' (Can't believe that you have grown up ) he said looking at me. I introduced J to Gopal Kaka. The expression on his face was as pure as his heart.
He quickly wrapped some hot Alu Chop in a 'Khali Patra' (Plate made from dry leaves) before putting it in the plastic bag. I stood in utter disbelief that he remembered what I relished after so many years. When J handed him the money, he grabbed him by his side and gave him a hug. He put the money back into J's pocket. I saw his eyes go wet ..... and so was mine. I felt very small before this old guy selling some snacks to make a living. But I tried hiding my tears as I walked back home.
Every time I prepare 'Alu Chop', I remember this man. And because he knew that I was going to miss his 'Alu Chop' across the seas, he handed me his secret recipe.
He taught me one of the biggest lessons of life ' People remember you by the good deeds you do. They won't remember you for the fortune you leave behind'.
No matter how hard I try I don't match up to Gopal Kaka's Alu Chop ....... the most important ingredient called 'Love' is not available over the counter !!!

Preparation Time - 40 minutes
Serves 3


For the Alu masala
Potato - 3 mid size
Green Chili - 3
Garlic cloves - 6/7
Mustard seeds - 1/3 tsp
Curry leaves - few
Turmeric - One pinch
Salt per taste
For the Batter
Besan - 2/3 cup
Red Chili Powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander Powder - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric - 1 pinch
Salt per taste

Oil for deep frying

Method of preparation

1 Mix Besan + Red Chili Powder +Coriander Powder + Turmeric + Salt per taste in a mixing bowl. Add a little water and mix well to form a thick batter. Do not make the batter runny else it will be difficult to coat the Potato masala.
Keep aside.
2 Boil and mash the Potato. Crush the garlic. Chop the green chilies.
3 In a pan heat a little oil. When hot add the mustard seeds to sputter. Add the crushed garlic and chilies, fry for a minute. Also add curry leaves.
4 Now add the mashed potatoes along with a pinch of turmeric and salt per taste. Mix well. Remove and let it cool.
5 Form small balls of the mashed potato masala.
6 Heat oil in a kadhai. When hot, dip the potato balls into the batter and coat uniformly. Deep fry.
7 Remove to paper towel.

Serving Tips
Serve warm with you choice of sauce or chutney.

Do not make the batter runny/ watery. Add water slowly a little at a time.

You may add the chili per taste.

And yet another Sunshine Award from Soumya ...... Thanks Soumya for the sweet gesture and for sharing this with me.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Egg Curry .....

This week began with a pile load of pending stuff. I am struggling to make things work ..... can't blame anyone but myself for this situation. Well I can ....... blame it on the weather. The cloudy rainy days dampen my mood and make me lazy. Not to forget the dropping temperature.
I wish I had a magic lamp like Aladdin ...... rub it and the Genie appears saying 'Kya hukum hai mere aka'. And then I can read out my never ending wish list to him. Yah I know that's called day dreaming ..... but there is no harm in dreaming if that makes you feel good.
But I am well aware that nothing like that is ever going to happen. So to lighten my spirits I decided to cook, to take a break from the mundane life.
Ever since I saw the egg curry recipe from Madhur Jaffrey's Cookbook on Indian Simmer, I was desperate to prepare it. The inspiration - Prerna :-) , the blog owner who posted this as her 50th post celebration. Her recipe and clicks are a sure motivation for food lovers. Every time I see her posts I can't stop myself from drooling. Wish she was my neighbor.
So today I decided to make this egg curry ..... I tweaked the recipe a little bit though.

It was perfect combination with plain basmati rice for this busy day.

Preparation Time - 30 minutes
Serves 2
Boiled Eggs - 4
Grated Onion - 1/2 cup
Grated Ginger - 1/2 tsp
Grated Garlic - 1/2 tsp
Tomato Paste - 1 tsp
Cumin Powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander Powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala - 1/3 tsp
Crushed Black Pepper - 1 big pinch
Turmeric Powder - 1/3 tsp
Red Chili Powder - 1/3 tsp
Salt per taste
Oil for cooking
Method of Preparation
1 Heat about 1 tbsp of oil in a kadhai. Add a pinch of turmeric to it. When the oil is hot add the boiled eggs to it. Fry the eggs till they are golden in color. Remove and keep aside.
2 Add the grated onion, ginger and garlic to the hot oil now. Add turmeric and salt and fry till the masala gets cooked and leaves oil. (Approximately 10 minutes).
3 Add the tomato paste to it and mix into the masala.
4 In a separate bowl mix Cumin + Coriander + Red Chili Powder. Add a little water to make a paste.
5 Add this paste to the cooked masala and fry for 2 minutes. Add about 2/3 cup of water and let the gravy simmer.
6 Add the eggs to it and cook for two minutes.
7 Add garam masala powder and simmer for a minute.
8 Remove from heat and sprinkle the crushed pepper on it.
Serving Tips
Serve warm with rice.
Do not over fry the eggs. The oil should be hot when you fry the eggs, else the eggs will stick to the vessel.
Use fresh pureed tomato if tomato paste is not available.
Other Names
Egg Curry - Anda Curry.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Mahalaya ...... Khichudi, Dalma and Kheeri

The air outside was crisp and the a cool breeze swayed the curtains. I heard the bells and the sound of conch from the near by temple. I looked outside through the narrow gap between the windows, it was still dark. The morning hustle bustle in our house had started much early.
Aai (my maternal grandmother) had switched on her old transistor on full volume. A familiar voice recited the chants of various hymns of 'Mahisasura Mardini'. I guessed it was 'Mahalaya' ! I have always associated Mahalaya with an early morning audio montage of recitation of stanzas from 'Mahisasura Mardini'.
I heard Padma fill the bucket with water and splash it. Her glass bangles moved in rhythm to make a nice jingle as she swept the courtyard. Gopal Bhai the 'Phul wala' was also early. He rang his bicycle bell twice before he left the small woven bamboo basket with flowers for the usual morning puja. But today there was a 'Laal Mandara Mala' (Red Hibiscus Garland) along with the marigolds. Aai had asked Gopal Bhai for the Laal Mandara ..... she wanted to beckon the goddess by offering her favorite flower. Padma finished sweeping the courtyard and grabbed the faded plastic bowl in which Aai kept the Muruja ( Muruja is fine rice powder/flour. It is used to prepare motifs/rangoli ). She moved her hands swiftly to make a big rangoli around the 'Tulsi'.
The early rays of the sun and the early morning breeze was intoxicating. This morning was quite special in it's own way.
Aai was ready for the morning puja . Her long wet grey hair swayed in the morning breeze as she lit the lamp near the 'Tulsi' and watered it. I stood behind her as she began the puja . My eyes were stuck on the special bhoga/ prasad. "Aai is it Mahalaya ? Does that mean it is Durga Puja ?" Aai smiled and nodded as she gently caressed my tangled hair. Aai completed her Puja and placed a laddu on my hand. I happily roamed around the house nibbling on the laddu.
I knew it was time for new dresses, sweets, buying balloons from every balloon wala that passed by our house, exchange of puja gifts among kith and kin. And most importantly it was time for family reunions and pandal hopping.
I spent the rest of the day following Aai wherever she went and listening to stories of 'Maa Durga' and the victory of good over evil.
I have got so engrossed and busy with life that I have almost forgotten the true meaning of celebrating Puja. I wish I could unwind time and wake up to run to the courtyard and hear stories from Aai while eating Khichudi, Dalma and some warm Kheeri.

Sending this to Pree's 'Beyond Five Days of Durga Puja'.

Preparation Time - 30 minutes
Serves -3
Basmati Rice - 1/2 cup
Mung Daal - 1/2 cup
Chopped Onion - 1/2 cup
Chopped Methi Leaves - 1 cup
Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp
Cinnamon - 2 inches
Cardamon - 4
Green Chili -3
Roasted Peanuts - 1/3 cup
Clarified Butter - 1 tbsp
Salt per taste
Sugar - 1/2 tsp
Method of Preparation
1 Wash the rice and mung daal and keep aside.
2 In a pressure cooker add the clarified butter. When warm, add the cumin seeds, slit green chilies, Cardamon and Cinnamon.
3 Add the chopped onions and fry till brown. Now add the rice and the daal. Stir fry for about 5 minutes. Make sure you stir continuously else it will stick to the bottom of the cooker.
4 Next add the chopped methi leaves and peanuts. Fry for 2 minutes. Add salt per taste and sugar.
5 Add 2 cups of water and pressure cook till you get one whistle.
6 Remove from heat, open cooker and add some clarified butter on top of it.
Serving Tips
Serve warm with Dalma
You can use roasted mung daal instead of raw one.
You can use cashew nuts instead.
Other Names
Mung Daal Khichudi - Muga Dali Khechedi, Methi - Fenugreek.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Potala Rasa and a Odiya Wedding ......

'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.
Serving Tips
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.
Other Names
Potala Rasa - Parwal Masala.

Note - This is a fiction and I hope you liked reading it.