Sunday, May 31, 2009

Mitha Dahi with mangoes and Thanks

Mitha dahi is nothing but sweet yogurt. It is a famous dish in Orissa and available in nice earthern pots. This dish is completely inspired by Suparna's mango shreekhand. I was drooling over her dish and thought of trying this mitha Dahi which has been on my list to try for ages. I had never made mitha dahi before but my other bengali friend M had told me to try this out. I searched on the net and found this easy recipe for mitha dahi which was what my friend had described too. I have modified the recipe a little bit, hence I have put it here again. The dish turned out awesome for the time and effort I put into it...
Sending this off to Shanti's sweet time event

Also would like to thank Padma and Hema for sending on this award to me... Thanks friends - always a pleasure to be thought of when you are receiving such great awards and sharing it with me.

I would like to send this this award to my all my blogger friends. But I see all of have already got the award. So enjoy your awards - you truly deserve it. Padma and Hema - I am truly honored.

1/2 can (14 oz) Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 packet of non-fat Evaporated Milk
1 and 1/2 cup plain yogurt
handful of cashew nuts broken up coarsely
1/2 tea spoon of ghee to roast the nuts
sweet ripe mangoes cut into tiny pieces

How to
Mix all ingredients well and pour into a flat pan. If there some small lumps in the mixture - don't worry. They even out fine...
Bake at 200 F for about 1 hr.
Cool and then refrigerate (for about 2 hrs).
Garnish with cut mangoes and roasted cashew nuts.

Serve and Enjoy....

How did it fare
The sweet dish tasted good both with and without the mangoes. But I liked it with the mangoes, else it was a little too sweet for my taste.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Methi Bara

Continuing with my theme of methi, this is a quick and easy recipe for a side dish. I have made this with fresh methi leaves, this won't work so well with frozen methi. When my Mom was frying this, my son loved the aroma and came over and asked to try one. I think getting a 3 year old to eat greens is worth any dish in gold!


1 bunch of Methi leaves cleaned and cut into small pieces
1/2 cup of Besan
1 large onion sliced thinly
3-4 potatoes boiled and smashed
Green chillies cut into small pieces (optional for the kids batch)
1/2 cup sooji or rawa or rice powder (optional)
Salt to taste

pinch of Turmeric powder
Oil to pan fry the baras

How To

Take the methi leaves and wash them well and let all the water drain out before you cut them.
Mix the salt, turmeric powder, methi leaves and onions and boiled potatoes and chillies.
Add some sooji or rice powder to make the baras crispy. (I didn't have any so I skipped it.)
Make flattened round balls.
Heat a pan and spray some Oil. Put the baras and fry on low heat.

Serve hot with rice and Dal. It tastes good the next day too - but the crispiness is lost. So enjoy it hot!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Methi Rice and Aloo Dum

Do your kids like greens ? At least mine don't. And I can't blame them ! I used to hate greens (any saag) as a kid. But as I have grown older I have fallen in love with Methi. I hate bitter stuff too - but somehow methi leaves have an unique flavor and is a treat for me.

Since the methi leaves take a long time to clean, I don't make this dish that often. But when my Mom or Mother in law are around, we get treated to such simple pleasures regularly. My daughter loves sorting and cleaning these leaves with my Mom or mother-in-law, so it turns out to be nice grandma-grand kid bonding time too..

Here is a simple and quick dish to enjoy - absolute comfort food. Also its satvik food - can be eaten on pooja days too!

Sowmya this goes to you for your Cooking with Greens event.
Also sending this to Monthly Mingle - Ravishing Rice event at Edible Garden.

Methi Rice

Rice 1 cup
1 bunch of Methi leaves of cleaned well
2-3 Green chillies
1 tea spoon methi seeds
2 table spoon of Mustard Oil
a pinch of turmeric powder
Salt to taste

How To
Cook rice such that grains are separate. Use left over rice if you have any.
Heat oil and add methi seeds and the green chilies.
When they start spluttering, add methi leaves and salt and turmeric powder. Fry for 2-3 minutes. Add rice and salt. Mix well and serve hot.

1. I used to scrimp on the oil and always complained that my methi rice didn't taste like my Mom's. My mom said the methi leaves need to be fried nicely in oil to get the perfect flavor.
2. Dont add too many spices to this dish. Less is more here. The flavor of the methi leaves is delicate and too many spices overpower it.

Aloo Dum

7-8 small Potatoes boiled and each potato cut into 4 pieces
3 to 4 large Tomatoes - grated
1 tea spoon Chili powder
1 tea spoon cumin seeds
1/2 tea spoon of Turmeric powder
1 tea spoon of Garam Masala
Salt to taste
2 table spoon of Oil
2 cups of warm water

How to
Heat Oil in a pan and add cumin seeds.
When the seeds start sputtering, add tomatoes and salt and turmeric powder and chili powder. Fry the tomatoes until the oil leaves the sides. Do this on low fire or the tomatoes burn.
Then add the potatoes and add salt and garam masala and fry for 3-4 minutes.
Add 1 cup of warm water and cook on low fire for 5 minutes. Adjust the gravy consistency as required.
Serve fresh with methi rice.

I love my Aloo to be spicy and watery! You choose yours!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Savitri Amavasya and Muga Chakta (Moong Fruit Salad)

Savitri Amavasya brata is celebrated by all married women of Orissa praying for the well being and long lives of their respective husbands. While I always complain that there are no festivals where men pray or fast for their wives, I still celebrate this with enthusiasm. Living outside the country, I feel these rituals and customs tie us to our homeland....

For this brata we pray and fast all day and only eat fruits smashed with soaked moong in the afternoon (muga chakta).


2 handful of Moong dal soaked overnight
1/4 cup mangoes - cut into small pieces
1/4 cup bananas - cut into small pieces
1/4 cup apple - cut into small pieces
1/4 cup guava - cut into small pieces
1/4 cup oranges - cut into small pieces
handful of fresh grated coconut ( I skipped this)
2 table spoons of sugar or 2 tablespoons of honey
handful of cashew nuts - coarsely ground ( I used walnuts instead and it tasted good too)

How to

Mix/Smash all the fruits with the hand. Take 1/2 cup of the soaked moong and add double the quantity of fruits. Drizzle with honey. Add freshly grated coconut and nuts and eat fresh...

Friday, May 22, 2009

Pani Santula

Pani Santula is a very popular side dish of Orissa. It is made in most households at least once a week. Its healthy and yummy.

When my Mom was here in US last time, we went to Bertucci's Italian restaurant. She likes Domino's vegetarian pizza, so I thought she would like Bertucci's. We loved the cozy warm brick oven and the generous helpings of salad. We order pizza, pasta and a roasted vegetable side dish. This dish tasted so much like the Santula described below.

So while this is a age old recipe from an Oriya household, it is enjoyed in different versions in different countries and different states - I am sure. Again though it is simple, you need the correct proportion of vegetables and no over cooking. Also usually there are few items that are essential (not mandatory) in this kind of vegetable Santula that I mentioned below. Of course you can add/subtract anything you don't like/like here...


2 Potatoes cut into small pieces - essential
1 Egg plant cut into a little larger size than the potatoes - essential
Pumpkin cut into small pieces like the potatoes - essential
Radish cut into small pieces like the potatoes - essential
1 Fresh Drumstick or 1 can of tin drumstick - essential
1 carrot cut into small pieces
2-3 Cauliflower florets cut into a little larger size than the potatoes
1-2 Tomatoes - cut into small pieces
Few Okra ends cut off
1 raw banana cut into small pieces
Few Beans cut into small pieces

2 tea spoon of Panch phutana - essential
1 tea spoon of Oil - essential
4-5 garlic cloves crushed - essential
1 small onion sliced thinly
1-2 Chopped green chili
Salt to taste

How to

Boil all the vegetables other than tomatoes, onion and Okra with minimum amount of water and salt.
Add the Okra and tomatoes when the vegetables are nearly cooked. Do not stir too much after that.
In a pan heat oil and add the panch phutana.
Add crushed garlic and green chili and the sliced onions. Saute for one minute.
Add the boiled vegetables and serve fresh.

Updated on May 24th

Panch Phutana is a basic of oriya cooking and has the following :
1 part Cumin seeds
1 part Mustard seeds
1 part Fennel seeds
1/2 part Black Onion seeds
1/4 part Fenugreek seeds

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Hadi Wala Chicken

When I saw Vicky's invite to post for the potluck chicken event, I thought of posting this usual chicken I make at home. While I have never made it for a potluck, I think it will be a big hit in a potluck too. Its so easy to make and can be very easily made in big batches as needed for potluck events. My daughter and son both love this 'Hadi wala chicken' - as they call it... Infact my son who doesn't love chicken looks forward to this dish too...

I usually serve this chicken with rice and some greens like slightly sauted broccoli or boiled beans.

Ingredients :

2 Onions chopped
1 small tomato chopped
1/2 tea spoon Chili powder
1/2 tea spoon Turmeric powder
1 tea spoon Garam Masala
2 cloves
1 inch of Cinnamon
3-4 table spoon of oil
Salt to taste

To marinate

4-5 Chicken legs cleaned (or chicken pieces of about 1 pound)
1 table spoon Ginger-Garlic paste
2 table spoon Curd
2-3 bay leaves
1/2 tea spoon Chili powder
1 tea spoon Coriander powder
1/2 tea spoon Turmeric powder
1/2 tea spoon Garam Masala
1 tea spoon Mustard Oil
Salt to taste

How to

Marinate the chicken with all the ingredients listed in to marinate.
Keep it for minimum 2-3 hours, overnight preferred.

In a big pan, add oil (mustard oil preferred). Once it is hot, add whole cloves and Cinnamon.
Then add the onions and saute until it starts turning golden brown.
Add the chili powder, turmeric powder and then add the chicken.
Cook in low fire, until the water from the chicken completely dries up.
After that add the chopped tomato and garam masala.
Add salt if needed.

Serve hot with rice.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Bara with ghuguni

If you talk of an oriya snack and don't mention this it will be a shame. Bara or Vadas are very popular in Orissa and people usually have it with Aloo dum or ghuguni. Ofcourse vendors sell both separately too. Ghuguni is nothing but a nice spicy dried peas curry. While either the bara or the ghughuni can serve as a snack by itself, the combination is what people in Orissa love.

In school we had a small shop whose owner made yummy ghuguni. His was the best ghuguni ever - he served it with a dash of onions and imli pani. Wonder what his secret was... He served for 15 min during snack time and then for 1 hr during lunch - but he sure had a monopoly! There would be at least 50 hands stretched out asking for either candy or chips or ghuguni during each break.

This combination of Vada and ghuguni was made by my Mom on one of the Sunday's evening snack! No wonder there was no time to take any decent pictures. Everyone was busy gobbling the baras down...

Ghuguni's ingredients

Dried Peas -1 cup
1/2 tea spoon of whole Jeera
2 green chillies - chopped (optional)
1 large onion - thinly chopped
1 large tomato - diced
1 tea spoon ginger-garlic paste
1/2 tea spoon of turmeric powder
1 tea spoon dhaniya powder
1/2 tea spoon of chili powder
1 tea spoon garam masala
Salt to taste
1 table Spoon oil
1 tea spoon tamarind paste (skip if you don't like it sour)

Ghuguni How to

Soak the dry yellow peas in water for 6-7 hours.
Heat oil in a large pan, add some whole Jeera, when it splutters add some chopped green chillies and the chopped onions.
Once the Onion turns golden brown, add the ginger-garlic paste.
Fry till the oil separates from the frying pan.
Add turmeric powder, salt, chili powder, chopped tomato and dhaniya powder.
Cook for few more minutes till tomatoes are done.
Then add the boiled peas and 1/2 cup of water and garam masala.
Cover and cook for 5-10 mins more.
Once it is done, remove from the fire and add the tamarind paste and mix thoroughly.

Bara Ingredients

1 cup Urad dal
1 medium sized onion chopped finely
2-3 green chilies chopped finely
1/2 tea spoon of whole jeera
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying

Bara How to

Soak the Urad Dal in double the quantity water for 4-5 hours.
Drain it and grind it in a grinder with ginger and jeera and chillies, using very little water to get a semi-smooth consistency.
Mix the chopped chopped onion, green chillies and salt and leave it to ferment for 8-10 hrs.

Heat oil in a small pan.
Make small balls of dough in hand, flatten it little bit and make a small hole in the center.
Fry it in oil till golden brown.

Eat the bara with ghuguni or with ketchup and with a hot cup of tea! Bliss!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's day with Veggie burger and milk cakes

Today was a beautiful Sunday and mother's day. After getting pampered for 2 weeks by Mom with good food, my daughter and I decided to pamper my Mom. First I thought of making something authentic but knowing my skill levels at typical oriya stuff, I decided to make something that she likes and will be able to eat happily. She has a sweet tooth and though usually I stay away from sweets I made this easy milk pedas for dessert.

Dinner was a different story. I know much she enjoyed her stay with me in Delhi while I was working. All my friends would land up unannounced on weekdays or weekends and stay for a proper home cooked lunch/dinner or both. Sometimes they would come over even when I would be out. She was their good friend too. So while most days she fed us, sometimes we used to take her out to eat burgers at Nirula's or Wimpy's. Initially she resisted fast food, but after few months, she loved it too. So I made veggie burger (she is pure vegetarian) to remind her of good days...
Since its my Mom favorite recipe that I can make, I am sending this off to Shama nagarajan of easy2cook recipes who is hosting an event called MOM'S MOST FAVOURITE RECIPE EVENT.

Vegetable Burger recipe

This recipe is my Moms. I usually make it with potatoes and all vegetables, but she suggested to add nearly equal quantities (as potatoes) of paneer. The vegetable burger suddenly went from the usual to just mind blowing. Add less paneer, if you want. Replace paneer with minced soy if you like.

Ingredients for the cutlet

Home made Paneer - 1 cup
Potatoes 3 - boiled and smashed well
1 carrot - grated
handful of peas
1 onion finely chopped
green chillies cut finely
salt to taste
1/2 tea spoon of garam masala
1/2 lemon
bread crumbs - 1/4 cup
Oil for frying


hamburger rolls cut and lightly toasted in butter
Lettuce leaves washed and cut
onions cut in thin round slices
Tomatoes cut in thin round slices
Spicy Tomatoes Sauce

How to

Take 1 tea spoon of oil and fry the paneer. Add grated carrot and peas and salt to taste. Keep aside.
Take the potatoes and add the cut onions and chillies and salt and mix well. Add as much paneer as you need (I added same quantity of paneer to potatoes).
Add the garam masala and the lemon juice, adjust spice level now.
Take big rolls of the mixture above in you hand and make nice patties. Roll them in bread crumbs and keep aside for 5-10 min.
Deep fry the cutlets.

Now assemble the cutlets on warm freshly toasted hamburger rolls and serve with lettuce, onions and tomatoes. Add some spicy tomatoes sauce and serve fresh.

Milk pedas or milk cakes

My friend T promised it was a simple no frills and yum sweet done in 6 minutes in the microwave. While the recipe is not mine and I am not sure hers either, its my implementation of it. The sweet was real easy to make and tasted like the milk cakes you get in Orissa.


2 cups non fat dry milk
14 oz (1 can) sweetened condensed milk
1 butter stick
1/2 cup ground cashew nuts
1/4 tea spoon cardamom powder

How to
Warm the stick of butter in microwave for 1/2 minute.
Mix butter, milk powder and milk well.
Set it in a microwaveable bowl. Ensure the bowl is much larger than the content, else the mixture bubbles over and makes a nice mess (mine did...)
Microwave it for 3 minutes.
Mix well and microwave it again for 2 min.
Now, add cardamom powder, and ground cashew and and mix well and microwave it for 1 min.
Spread it evenly on a cookie sheet or a plate. Cover the surface with a very thin layer of ghee/butter before spreading the mixture. Cut into diamond shapes. Serve cooled...

My diamonds didn't look pretty, so I put in the microwave for 1/2 min extra and shaped them with my hand...

Friday, May 1, 2009

Mushroom Manchurian

I had gone to Trader Joe's for grocery and saw these awesome mushrooms - called steak mushrooms. They looked so royal that I picked them up without giving it another thought. Back home I kept wondering how to treat these royal guys! I couldn't make the usual Oriya rayee with it - won't show them off well. So I tried this Manchurian with it... They tasted really good too. I made this for my husband's birthday few weeks' back - it sure did make him feel special...

A quick and easy snack that can be served to guests too.


Steak Mushroom - 1 packet
1 Green chili (optional)
Spring onions - cut into small pieces
1/4 tea spoon Ginger-garlic paste
Salt to taste
1 tea spoon corn starch
1 table spoon besan
Oil for frying

For the Marinate
1 table spoon vinegar
1 tea spoon soy sauce
1 table spoon chili sauce
1 tea spoon corn starch

How to

In a large bowl, mix the mushrooms, salt, corn starch, besan and ginger garlic paste and leave aside for 1/2 hr.
In a separate bowl, heat oil and deep fry the above mushrooms in slow fire and then keep aside.

In a new pan, put 1 tea spoon of oil and add the green chili and then the sauces. Cook in medium heat for 1 min stirring constantly. Add salt to taste.
Pour the sauce mixture over the mushrooms.

Add the spring onions and serve hot.

How did it fare
My husband was thrilled with the special treat. We had it for evening snack with tea. I served him the fried mushrooms first, without adding the sauce and then the Manchurian. He said the fried mushrooms tasted better than the Manchurian (I think it was a little soggy). So go ahead try the one you prefer or try both...