EVENT: SHHH COOKING SECRETLY
THEME: ODIA CUISINE
May is when participants of Shhhh Cooking Secretly had to find an apt dish from the Odia Cuisine with the ingredients given by their partners.Orissa as it was known before and now known as Odisha, is a state that I’d love to visit one day. When one talks of Odisha then Bhubaneswar and Puri , the land of Jagannath Temple comes to mind. Other reasons to visit the state is for the art and craft, the beaches, the wildlife and Kalinga Architecture, home to both the white and Bengal tigers, to watch Odissi dances and to enjoy the cuisine. Odisha borders four states, Jharkhand in the north, West Bengal in northeast, Andhra Pradesh in the southwest and Chhattisgarh in the west.
Recently Odisha suffered from a severe cyclonic storm Fani, India’s strongest cyclone in 20 years. Though the devastation was widespread, due to technology and evacuations it is said that only about 40 lost their lives. Rebuilding efforts are their way from donations have been pouring in.
Coming to Odia Cuisine, rice is the staple food and food is prepared with minimum amount of oil and spices. Many of the sweets are chenna (paneer based). Panch Phutana or panch phoron is the common spice mixture used in many dishes. It consists of cumin, mustard, fennel, nigella and fenugreek seeds.
Some very famous dishes from Odisha Cuisine are the following:
- Chenna Poda, a baked sweet dish made from chenna (paneer)
- Chakuli Pitha a dosa like breakfast dish
- Dalma – all time comfort dal preparation with some vegetables added to it
- Pakhala Bhaat where cooked rice is allowed to ferment in water usually consumed during summer with roasted vegetables or fish
- Ghanta – a mixed vegetable preparation usually served with rice or roti.
- Khatta – sweet and tangy chutneys made from tomato, raw mango or elephant apple.
- Badi Chura – crushed badis are used to make a dry preparation and can be enjoyed with pakhala bhaat
- Dahi Maacha – fish is prepared in yogurt
- Chingudi Jhola – prawn curry
- Kankada Jhola – crab curry
- Aloo Potol Rossa – a pointed ivy gourd and potato curry
- Saaga Moonga – leafy greens are prepared with lentils
- Besara – vegetables or fish is cooked in a mustard curry
- Dahi Kanji – is a tangy soup like dish
- Rasabali – fried cheese balls in thick milk
- Pahala Rasagulla – special brown rasagullas
- Dahi Bara- Aaloo Dum-Ghuguni – lentils in yogurt with curries
- Khasta Khaja or pheni, Lord Jagannath’s favorite sweet
- Kheer sagar – little cheese balls in thick sweet milk
- Cheena Gaja -sweet syrupy dish made from cottage cheese and semolina
- Arisa Pitha – made from rice flour, jaggery and fried
- Manda Pitha/Enduri Pitha – Manda pitha is made from semolina and usually with a filling. Endure pitha is made from rice flour. Both are steamed
- khicede or khichdi which is the main offering at the Lord Jagannath temple
- Gupchup or what we know as pani puri
- kanika – a sweet rice which is usually prepared as offering for Lord Jagannath.
- Santula – mixed vegetables are boiled to make a simple yet delicious curry
- kadali manja rai – plantain stem is cooked in garlic, coriander, cardamom and cinnamon
I initially was not planning to participate as I was not sure I’d get all the ingredients required to make an Odia dish in Bali. I had panch phoron at my Bangalore home but forgot to carry it. Sujata my partner for this cuisine gave me mustard seeds and ginger as my secret ingredients. Sujata who blogs at Batter Up with Sujata, has a wide selection of cookies, cakes and traditional recipes. I gave Sujata semolina and milk to make an Odia dish. She made a very delicious traditional Odia sweet dish, Rasaballi.
I decided to make Chatu Batibasa using the secret ingredients she gave me. Bati means vessel and basa means steamed in Odia. This is a traditional Odia dish which is generally cooked over chullah where the wood or coal fire is about to die down. The ingredients are mixed together in the traditional bati and allowed to cook slowly without any water. While women go about their work the curry or sabji cooks on its own. A variety of vegetables like eggplants, radish, pumpkin, traditional greens and fish can be used to make batibasa.
I used a mixture of mushrooms(chatu) and potato to make this delicious, easy to cook dish.
Recipe Idea: Culinary Xpress
500g mushrooms, I used half button mushrooms and half white crab mushrooms
2 medium potatoes
I large onion, finely chopped
1 large tomato, finely chopped
6-8 cloves of garlic
2-3 red chilis finely chopped
1″ inch ginger, cut into small pieces
½ – ¾ tsp salt
1 tbsp oil (use mustard oil if you have any)
2 tbsp yellow mustard seeds (rai)
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
½ tsp turmeric powder
¼ tsp red chilli powder
2 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
- Soak yellow mustard seeds in 2 tbsp water.
- Wash the mushrooms to get rid of any grit and soil. Wipe them dry on a tea towel or kitchen towel.
- Cut the button mushrooms into quarters or halves depending on the size.
- Cut the white crab mushrooms into half or leave them whole.
- Peel, wash and cut the potatoes into cubes.
- Grind or crush the soaked yellow mustard seeds, cumin seeds, garlic, and ginger into a paste.
- Add turmeric, red chili powder and salt to the paste and mix well.
- Put a wok, karai or a pan over medium heat.
- Add the mushrooms, potato, onion and tomato into the wok, karai or pan.
- Add the paste.
- Mix well.
- Cover the pan and lower the heat.
- Let the steam realized from the mushrooms, onion and tomato cook the batibasa till done.
- In between just check that the mixture is not sticking to the pan.
- If the water dries up add about ¼ cup water or less.
- Add coriander and serve immediately with some rice, roti or paratha.
- Add vegetables of your choice to make a batibasa.
- I used mushrooms that I could get, use traditional ones if you find some.
- Remember to cook the curry over very low heat.
- You can use brown mustard seeds instead of yellow ones.
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Shhh Cooking Secretly a group started by Priya of Priya’s Versatile Recipes, is where every month food bloggers are paired up and give each other 2 secret ingredients to cook with according to the theme chosen. If you’re interested in joining this exciting group then please leave a message in the comment section. Thank you.