Monday, August 6, 2007

RCI: Orissa

by Priyanka posted at 10:38 PM 15 comments

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

Serves 2

1 cup chana dal

1/4 th cup grated fresh coconut

1 big stick cinnamon
2 cloves

2 cardamoms

1-1/2 tsp cumin-coriander seeds

1/2 tsp whole black pepper

1/3 tsp turmeric

salt to taste

sugar (a pinch)

For tempering:
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

Serves 4

15-20 parvals

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

For paste
1 small red onion

1 inch piece of ginger
2 cloves garlic
2 cloves

1 stick cinnamon

2 cardamoms

For tempering

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.

3. Luchis

Makes 12

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.

4. Rasabali

Serves 4

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.

Comments 15 comments
Roopa said...

Wah! looks delcious i loved the rasbali really with RCI it has helped us to learn and explore new recipes. nice spread!

archana said...

Tuza menu tar mast ahey. Luchi tar kiti white chan dista ahet. Nice entry :)

Sukanya Ramkumar said...

WoW....These dishes are looking prefect dishes for RCI....So different...

Asha said...

OH YUM YUM YUM!!!! That is a great selection! LOVED them all.Aren't they so tasty and easy to make too?! Beautiful dishes!:)
Tips for Luchis.Make the dough as stiff as you can.Do not let it rest for than 15mins,cover the rolled Luchis,so they don't dry out until you are ready to fry.And now the secret ingredient is " White bread flour"!!!Shh...!!;D

Sharmi said...

the rasabali looks really good. wonder how it tastes. lovely try and great recipes!

Priyanka said...

Roopa, Archana, Sukanya, Sharmi,
Thanks a lot guys. Yes RCI has helped us learn quite a lot, and especially this month's RCI since not many people know about Oriya cuisine.

Asha... Thanks a lot for the tip...oh so its the white bread flour.... thats smart.... will try it out next time:)

Richa said...

hey, loved all three dishes, you have come up with absolutely lip- smacking dishes :) rasbali pahun khoopach kaychi ichha hot ahey :) bhaji pan avadli, yaooka jevayla?
beautiful entry, tonadala pani sutlay, great job!

sra said...

That's a nice meal - the rasabali looks really satisfying

Priyanka said...

Richa, kevha pan ye, you r always welcome ga... i wish i was close by then i could have invited you over.

Thanks a lot.... rasabali tastes absolutely delicious too, you just need lots of milk...:)

Hima said...

Excellent spread of dishes. Great entries.

evolvingtastes said...

Priyanka, that looks like such a feast, I tell you. Everything looks perfectly made, and the presentation is so pretty. Since you mentioned that you hadn't cooked Oriyan food before and since I am always curious about recipe sources, do you mind telling me where you found all these wonderful ones?

Priyanka said...

Hima, thanks a lot.

ET, i have updated the blog to denote the link to Wiki. If you scroll down you will find a lot of external links. Most of them have the same recipes.Let me know if you have any questions.

Dee said...

Wow! I love the oriya platter. im gonna try each one of them!

ilima said...

Another ingredient which is almost always used for the Aloo Potal rasa is coconut milk which gives a creamy consistency..Being an oriya, I cudn't stop myself from leaving a comment..Nice work Priyanka.

Anonymous said...

hi - traditionally for alu potal rasa, the parwal is diced perpendicular to its axis - so it retains the seeds inside covered by the skin. that way when you fry it, the seeds do not get out to make a mess with the oil. the cream of grated coconut - as suggested by someone else before is also a great idea.
the paneer balls in rasabali are supposed to be flattened - like a chappati - but thenagain, paneer in any other shape, would taste equally nice. about frying them and they sticking to pan - not sure may be oil was not hot enough or there was not enough oil. you could also try adding some sooji into the paneer mix.
thank you for the blogpost,

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