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 !!






Thursday, September 22, 2016

Stuffed Spine Gourd Curry ( Pura dia Kaankada / Bharwan Kakrol )

The most popular spine gourd recipe in Odisha is the perhaps the stir fried or deep one, followed closely by the gravy version. While I do like this vegetables, all the above mentioned recipes consume a copious amount of oil which kind of puts me off. As a result, I rarely buy this vegetable these days.

But on my last trip to the local market, I found a strikingly verdant lot on display. Tempted by the freshness of it, I bought a few. But once I reached home, I was in again besieged by the same dilemma. After some thinking on the low calories versus taste debate, I decided to settle down on both by choosing to stuff it with some spiced cottage and potato.

The curry turned out to be super delicious as well as light. And worked well both with rice and rotis !!

Read on for the recipe -

















Preparation Time - 35 mins

Ingredients -

  • 6-7 Spine gourd/ Kaankada /Kakrol
  • 1 medium sized onion
  • 1/2 inch ginger
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • 1 medium sized tomato
  • 1/3 tsp garam masala
  • 1 dry red chili
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tsp oil


For the stuffing -


  • 50 gm paneer
  • 1 small potato (boiled and peeled)
  • 1 small onion (finely chopped)
  • 1/4 tsp GG paste
  • 2 pinch coriander powder
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 pinch garam masala
  • 2 pinch kasuri methi
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp oil


Preparation - Wash the spine gourd and rub the outer skin with a knife. Put a slit along the length .

Transfer to a pressure cooker and add 1 cup water. Close lid and cook on high for 2 whistles.

Keep aside till steam escapes.

Once it is bearable to touch, take each spine gourd and scoop out the innards without damaging the outer skin.

Cooking -

For the stuffing - Heat 1 tsp oil in a wok. Add the chopped onions and fry till translucent.

Add GG paste and fry till raw smell goes off. Add all the powdered spices, wait for 30 seconds and then add the mashed cottage cheese and potato. Season with salt.

Cook for 2-3 mins and then add kasuri methi. Cover and switch off the flame.

For making the gravy -

Heat 2 tsp oil in a wok. Add the dry red chili, diced onion, ginger and garlic cloves. Fry for 4-5 mins.

Then add tomato and cook till it starts to turn mushy.

Switch off flame, allow for cool down and transfer to a blender jar. Make a fine puree.

Transfer the puree back to the wok. Add 1/2 cup water and bring it to a slow boil. Season with salt and ddd garam masala. Reduce to a simmer.

Stuff the spine gourds and gently place them in the simmering gravy. Let it simmer for 5-6 mins.

Switch off the flame and garnish with chopped cilantro.

Serve hot with rice or rotis.






Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Talaa Pitha ( Ice Apple / Sugar Palm Fritters from Odisha )

Would you like to guess what is the first thing that comes to my mind when I think of the 'Talaa Pitha' which are a variety of incredibly aromatic and sweet tasting fritters. No, it is not the heavenly aroma that envelopes the entire household when they are being prepared nor it is the residual note of bitterness that lingers for a few seconds after the very last bite. Rather it is those old fashioned milk cans made from steel. The reason behind this bizarre connection is that that my grandmother used to get the sugar palm juice/extract from our native village in these milk cans. The mind certainly works in a strange fashion, doesn't it ?

Being an arthritic patient, she could not extract the juice herself as it requires a lot of effort. Hence we always got the extracted juice from our village which is a few hours distance from Rourkela. Since the sugar palm ripens during the cold winter months, the cool temperatures prevalent in the hilly regions of Western Odisha ensure that the fermentation process does not set in within a day or even two. Once the juice is cooked and made into these delicious fritters, they can be stored in air tight containers for up to a week.

I found this ripe fruit on my weekly trip to the HAL market in Marathahalli and could not resist buying one even though it cost me eighty rupees. One can get one for about 10 bucks in Odisha so it seemed rather steep at first. But the dormant foodie in me suddenly turned hyper thinking about the glorious possibilities that it could open up. And I ended up buying one. So, while a variety of dishes can be prepared using this wonderful fruit, the fritters and the poda pith happen to be my favorites. Here I am sharing the recipe for the fritters -

[This time does not include the 40-45 minutes of time required to extract the juice. Plus more time is required to boil and then cool it down completely before using it in any recipe. Refer to the process mentioned in the last section of this post.]

















Preparation Time - 25 mins

Ingredients -


  • 1 cup sugar palm juice / Talaa 
  • 1 cup rice powder ( arua / jeera rice, approx as it depends on the thickness of the juice )
  • 2 tsp semolina (suji)
  • 3-4 tsp sugar (optional, the sugar palm already has loads of it )
  • oil for deep frying


Preparation - Take all the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Mix together to get a thick but dropping consistency.

Let it stand for 10-15 mins.

Cooking - Heat sufficient oil in a wok for deep frying the fritters.

Drop a few teaspoons of the batter at a time. Fry on all sides to a rich brown shade.

Remove and keep aside.

Repeat the process for the remaining batter.

Let it cool down completely before enjoying the fritters. Keep away some of them in an airtight container as they taste even better on the next day.


















Extraction and Prepping of the juice -
  • When you buy the ripe Sugar Palm, check for one that is a little mushy when you press it.
  • Wash the outer surface and slice off the top portion.
  • Carefully peel the black fibrous outer layer and throw it away. 



  • Put 1 cup water in a deep bowl and place the orange flesh in it. Squeeze and mash it to remove the hardened seeds. Throw away these seeds.
  • Finally use a strainer to separate the juice from the fibers.




  • Put this juice in a thick bottomed pan and place it on the burner. Bring it to a bubbling stage on a low flame.
  • Let it bubble for 4-5 mins before switching off the flame. Remember to keep stirring it throughout.
  • Once it cools down completely (takes a few hours), one can use it. Boiling the juice reduces the bitter notes in it though a slight bitterness can still be detected. Add a little sugar will mask it further. 


Thursday, September 15, 2016

Sorisa Broccoli ( Broccoli in Mustard Paste )

I have often been asked "Can simple food be good enough ? We have invited so and so for the dinner/lunch". And every time the reply has been "Of course, simple will be the best. That is why they also call it soul food. It ties up one's soul to those memories embedded in some corner of the mind. It does not stop at just appealing to the senses, it goes beyond and strikes a connection at multiple levels." And that is usually enough to shut them up ! Though a few keep grumbling afterwards, it is in the best interests of one's sanity to shut out such discordant notes.

However the term soul food, which is actually African American in origin, holds different connotations for different folks. For someone like me, bred on a diet of lentils, rice and a mind boggling variety of vegetables, any meal which includes the all three qualifies as 'soul food'. The whole idea behind soul food is to evoke that feeling of emotional well-being. Without getting high. Period.

Mustard paste is the most widely used ingredient (or sauce) across Odia cuisine. It can be used to flavor anything from stir fries, curries and even a few varieties of relish. Almost every indigenous vegetable barring a few can be cooked with a flavoring of mustard paste, garlic, green/red chili and some mustard oil. The best thing about such preparations, which employ low heat, is that it retains the original flavor of the main ingredient.

However, it is a bit of a challenge to adapt new vegetables to this method of cooking. It invariably takes the trail and error route. I have tried my hand at quite a few exotic greens and some have been disasters. This post is dedicated to the lone surviver, the one that passed with flying colors and no less. The broccoli turned out to be the clear winner in this desi-fication drive. Given that it has some inherent bitterness which can get enhanced by the addition of mustard paste, I added a bit of tang to balance out the flavors.

Read on the recipe -

















Preparation Time - 20 mins

Ingredients -

  • 250 gm broccoli
  • 2 tsp big mustard seeds
  • 2 dry red chili
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 2 tsp mustard oil 
  • 2 dried amchur pieces ( or 1/3 tsp amchur )
  • salt to taste
  • 2 pinch turmeric


Preparation - Cut the broccoli into medium sized florets. Blanch and keep aside.

Make a fine paste out of the mustard seeds, garlic and red chili. Dilute with 1/2 cup water and let it stand for 10 mins.

Slowly drain off the water into another cup while retaining the solids at the bottom. Throw away these solids which can sometimes lead to a bitterness in the curry.

Soak the amchur pieces in 3-4 tbsp of hot water for 10-15 min.

Cooking - Take the blanched broccoli, mustard water, soaked amchur, turmeric, salt and 1 tsp of mustard oil in a thick bottomed casserole (small size). Mix everything together before putting it on a low flame.

Let it cook for 10-12 mins or till the broccoli is done. There should not be any excess water in the casserole.

Remove from flame.


















Drizzle with raw mustard oil just before serving at room temperature. Goes best with a simple meal of dal, rice and a salad.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Ambada/Ambeda Khatta ( Tangy Indian Olives Curry )

One of the most endearing and enduring memories of my childhood days have been those village feasts where everyone sat down on the floor to partake the meals. Served on disposable plates sewn out of dried Sal leaves (khali patra), even the simplest of meals acquired that 'wow' factor in my city bred conscience. Even as the piping hot rice was piled on the sal leaves, the aroma released by the heat was enough to set the salivary glands in a state of overdrive. A topping of dal and some random vegetable curry usually followed the rice.

However, all tongues were kept hanging in limbo for the arrival of the 'piece de resistance', if I may christen it so, of all odia feasts. The mutton curry was undoubtedly most sought after dish at these feasts. But any guesses what came a close second on my list? None other than the 'ambada khatta', a sweet and tangy relish made out of Indian olives. While, the coastal regions of Odisha swear by the 'Oau' or elephant apple, the 'ambada' is more prevalent in the Western parts of the state. Given that the mutton curry is quite spicy and laden with fat, the sweet sour nature of the 'khatta' acts as the perfect foil for it.

It had been ages since I got the chance to feast on some of this delicious stuff. Hence I was almost euphoric when I chanced upon a vendor selling them in Bengaluru. The young fruit is usually tender and one can easily split it into four halves. But the ones that I found were quite mature and hence I just ended up putting slits on their surface. They got nicely cooked in the gravy and lent their juices to it. However, the consistency was a little thinner than usual. One can mash them up a little to thicken the gravy. I was quite happy with the thin consistency so I just let it be.

Read on for the recipe -


















Preparation Time - 30 mins

Ingredients -

  • 250 gm Ambada/Ambeda/Indian Olives
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp mustard 
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1-2 dry red chili
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 tsp pancha phutana
  • a sprig of curry leaves
  • 2 pinch asafoetida
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tsp oil

Preparation - Dry grind the red chili, mustard and cumin seeds. Once powdered, add the garlic and a little water. Grind into a fine paste and keep aside.

If the ambada is tender, cut each one into 4 halves. Else just put 3-4 slits on the surface.

Cooking - Heat the oil in a wok. Add the pancha phutana and let it splutter.

Add curry leaves and asfoetida. Fry for 30 seconds before throwing in the ambada.

The ambada need to be cooked/stir fried till it turns brown and the skin is almost ready to peel off.

Now add 2 1/2 cups water, salt and turmeric. Let it simmer for a while to let the juices seep into the gravy.

Then add sugar and boil some more till it reaches the desired consistency. 

[Mash them up a bit if you want a thicker curry. However, it will also increase the sour quotient of the gravy and hence you have end up putting more sugar to balance it out]

Serve with rice and mutton curry.


















Note - This can be preserved in the fridge for a couple of days. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Black Rice Truffles with Coconut Custard ( The Vegan Attakali )

IMP - This i an original recipe created by the blogger and has been published for the first time on Oriyarasoi. 


At times, when I look at food, my thoughts begin to wander far and wide. How would a dish look like if it were to be prepared in a different realm or even in a different era ? That inspires me to take a very mundane everyday dish and give it a makeover. For me a makeover is all about preserving the very soul of a recipe while mutating it into something very different. And that is exactly what I have done with the 'attakali', a traditional Odia dessert. Of course, this recipe is a late Teacher's day tribute to Masterchef Vikas Khanna for it is his show 'Twist of Taste' that really inspires me to take on such mammoth challenges.

For the uninitiated, 'attakali' consists of rice balls immersed in a rice custard (more like a phirni). It is quite low in calories as compared to other desserts and is usually prepared on certain festive days. In my recipe, I have used two varieties of rice. The black or purple rice from Manipur is used to create the rice balls and the sweet smelling Gobindo bhog from Bengal is cooked in coconut milk to create a vegan custard. The nuttiness of the black rice complements the sweetness of the Gobindo bhog to build a unique flavor. This is a vegan version of the 'attakali'.

Read on for the recipe -




















Preparation Time - 40 mins

Ingredients -

For the rice balls -


  • 1/2 cup Black (Manipur) rice 
  • 3-4 tsp jaggery
  • 2 tsp almond paste (optional)
  • a pinch of cardamom
  • toasted sesame seeds for garnishing



For the coconut custard


  • 3 tsp Gobindo bhog rice ( one can use Jeera rice instead ) 
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 2-3 tsp sugar 
  • 2 pinch white pepper powder
  • toasted charoli seeds

Preparation - Wash and soak the two rice varieties separately . 

Grind the purple rice into a fine paste without using too much water. Add the jaggery and grind it again. Keep aside

Grind the Gobindo bhog rice separately.

Cooking - 

For making the rice balls -

Boil about 1/4 cup water in a wok. 

Add the purple rice and jaggery paste. Cook on low to medium flame as it thickens. 

Once it starts to solidify, add the almond paste and the cardamom powder. Remove from the flame and keep aside it is bearable to touch the dough.

Rub a few drops of oil on the fingers and knead it again. Divide the dough into small portions and shape into balls by rolling between the palms. 

Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds on a plate. Roll these balls gently on the seeds.

For the coconut custard -

Bring the coconut milk and sugar to a gentle boil. Add the Gobindo bhog rice paste and keep stirring it till it thickens to a thin custard like consistency. 

Add the powdered white pepper and toasted charoli at this stage. Mix it in. Remove from the flame. Let it cool down before popping it into the fridge for 15 mins.

Serve the rice balls (at room temperature) with a dollop of the chilled coconut-rice custard. 


















Note - Want to look up the original 'Attakali' recipe ? Check out HERE.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Magaja Laddoo ( Ganesh Chaturthi Colab with A Dollop Of That & Delish Potpourri )

It's time to welcome home the 'Vighna Harta', the Hindu God endowed with the power to remove all obstacles. He is the God of new beginnings, of wisdom, success and prosperity. Hence for many of us, Ganesh Chaturthi is the right time to begin something new. However, the festivities surrounding this occasion vary with various parts of the country. In Odisha, it is just a one day affair whilst in states like Maharashtra, the celebrations last 10 days on such a grand scale that everything else almost comes to a standstill.

With just 3 days to for the festival, it is high time to get the grocery shopping done for the various kinds of Prasadam to be prepared on the day. Except for the perishables, which of course have to wait for the last day. Different regions swear by their own version of the elephant God's favorite. But 'Laddoos' are onething that remain a constant. Almost every image of Ganesha is depicted with a laddoo in his hand or a plateful of these placed right in front of him.

Hence, my special recipe for this day had to be some kind of a laddoo. And I finalized on the 'Magaja Laddoo' or'Atta laddoo', which is quite popular in Odisha. When I was a child, these laddoos were made by my grandmother who absolutely adored them. She used to dot them with roasted charoli seeds and the combination of flavors was just heavenly. These are a specialty of the cold winter months when the hilly regions of Odisha can turn quite cold. As expected, quite a bit of ghee goes into the making of these laddoos which are said to keep the body warm.

My version of these laddoos is however low in ghee. And I have further fortified their nutritional quotient by adding powdered almonds, flax seeds, sesame seeds, charoli and pumpkin seeds.

Do not forget to scroll down to the bottom of this post for more amazing laddoo recipes from my blogger friends !!

Read on for the recipe -


















Preparation Time - 40 mins

Ingredients -


  • 2 cups whole wheat atta (flour)
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp flax seeds
  • 2 tsp charoli 
  • 2 tsp pumpkin seeds
  • 10-12 almonds
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup ghee
  • 2-3 cloves (powdered)
  • 1 green cardamom (powdered)


Preparation - Dry roast the sesame seeds, flax seeds, charoli, pumpkin seeds and almonds separately.

Keep them aside to cool down. Transfer all these nuts into a mixer jar (chutney jar is fine) and powder them. Do not overdo the grinding as these the natural oils tend to seep out.

Cooking - Dry roast the whole wheat atta on a very low flame on a skillet. Gradually it will start turning a few shades darker and giving off a heavenly aroma.

At this stage, add the ghee, powdered nuts and sugar . Cook for a while to bring everything together.

Finally sprinkle the powdered cardamom and cloves. Mix in and remove from the flame.

Let it cool a little till it becomes bearable to touch. Take small amounts of the mixture and press tightly to bind them into laddoos. Shape them while they are still warm as they tend to be fragile and difficult to mold once cooled down.































Store in airtight containers once completely cool. Stays fresh for over two weeks.

That's not all !! Check out these fabulous recipes -






















Parinaaz's Dink Che Laddoo / Dry Fruit Laddoo with edible gum

And























Saswati's Carrot Cottage Cheese Truffles / Gajar Paneer ke Laddoo !!

Once again, wishing everyone "A very Happy Ganesh Chaturthi " !!