Alu-Potal Rasa, Chana Dali, Luchi, Rasabali
The theme for this month's Regional cuisine of India is Oriya cuisine and our host- Swapna from Swad of India has asked us to explore the wonderful eastern state of Orissa to come up with some authentic Oriya dishes.
Being relatively ignorant about this particular cuisine of India, i googled it and was rewarded with a lot of varied recipes from these links in Wiki. Now i am not much of a planner. If i do plan something, it never works out as planned.... so i rarely plan anything. Whatever dishes i have cooked so far are cooked on the spur of the moment. If it means that i have to drive half an hour to the grocery store to get some missing ingredient, i do so....and since i didnt have a lot of the ingredients needed for these Oriya recipes, off i went to the grocery store today to get them after i decided on what to cook.
Since i have never cooked any Oriya dishes before, i was a bit apprehensive about how they might turn out. However all the dishes that i made far surpassed my expectations. Now, i dont like parval as a sabzi- the way we make it at home is to just stir-fry the veggie with some mustard, turmeric and chili powder thrown in for taste. But when i came across the alu-potal recipe (potato-parval curry vegetable), i decided to give it a try because of the spices and condiments in it. Believe me, this one's a keeper. Never again am i making parval the old way!!!
The chana dal has a blend of some unique and totally different flavors. The cardamom, the black pepper, cinnamon and coconut lend an authentic, fresh aroma, adding a different spin on the dal that we usually have. Its not spicy in taste but its not bland either. Bear in mind- the dal is very heavy and you cannot have more than one helping of the dal if you are having a fullfledged meal.
The Rasabali- is akin to gulabjamuns in rabdi/sweet flavored milk. As soon as i read the recipe, i knew that i would love it. The only cons to it were i had difficulty frying the paneer balls (any help/suggestion would be appreciated)- they kept sticking to the kadai and secondly, i used 2% milk (i know- i should have used whole milk/condensed milk). Well, there's always a second chance:) I made slight variations to this recipe- adding saffron and cardamom to the boiled milk.
I served the dal and curry vegetable with rice and luchis (my luchis didnt puff up as well as Asha's:(, but i will keep practising- need some tips Asha).
Here go the recipes:
1. Chana Dali
1 cup chana dal
1/4 th cup grated fresh coconut
1 big stick cinnamon
1-1/2 tsp cumin-coriander seeds
1/2 tsp whole black pepper
1/3 tsp turmeric
salt to taste
sugar (a pinch)
2 tsp ghee
1 tsp cumin, mustard, fenugreek and fennel seeds (char phutana)
1. Boil the chana dal in a pressure cooker so that it is cooked but not completely mashed.
2. Add turmeric, salt and sugar and boil it on a low flame till it thickens (add water if it thickens a lot)
3. Make a paste of the coconut, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and pepper and add it to the dal and boil for 10 minutes.
4. Heat ghee and add the tempering ingredients and when they splutter, pour over hte dal mix, simmer for 10 more minutes and serve with rice or roti/puris/luchis.
2. Alu-Potal Rasa
2 medium potatoes
salt to taste
1/2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin-coriander powder
1 tsp garam masala
1/3 tsp turmeric
2 small tomatoes finely chopped
1 small red onion
1 inch piece of ginger
2 cloves garlic
1 stick cinnamon
1 tsp cumin seeds
3 green chilies
1. Dice the potatoes and parval and pan fry them till they are cooked and slighlty golden brown.Remove and set aside.
2. Heat oil and add cumin seeds to it. When they splutter, add the green chilies and the paste. Fry for 5-10 minutes.
3. Next add the turmeric and all the spices and saute for another 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and fry for 10 more minutes.
4. Now add the potato-parval, salt, a little water and cook for another 10 minutes. If the potato-parval are not cooked , add a little water and cook them until they are done. Serve with rotis/puris.
2 cups maida
salt to taste
1. Make a stiff dough by firmly kneading the maida with little water and set it aside for 20 minutes.
2. Make small balls and roll them out as you would a puri and deep fry them. Do not let them turn brown like puris.
3. Serve with dal/sabzi.
250 gm paneer
3 tsp wheat flour
1-1/2 tsp cardamom powder
1/4 cup sugar (or as per your taste)
ghee/oil for frying
3-1/2 cups milk (whole or condensed)
a few strands of saffron
1. Knead the paneer, 1 tsp cardamom, wheat flour and 2 tsp sugar together. You will have to knead for a long time till the paneer no longer breaks while moulding.
2. Make small round balls or patties and deep fry them in oil/ghee.
3. Boil the whole or condensed milk till it thickens and then add the remaining sugar to it. Add 1/2 tsp cardamom and saffron (soak it in some hot milk and grind it in a mortar).
4. Add the paneer balls and simmer on low flame for 5 more minutes.