Bhendi Ambula Khatta | Sweet & Sour Okra Cooked in Dried Up Mango Pieces





I know many of you would like me to go straight to the recipe. However,  I would like to speak a little bit about the most popular spice mix of Odisha and also West Bengal. It is called Pancha Phutana or Panch Phoran. The spice mix actually contains raw seeds instead of its powder form. It not only gives a nice crackling sound when put in hot oil, it also gives that  nice pickling aroma while cooking in mustard oil which is the most preferred and easily available oil in the eastern part of India. So what is the spice mix: It has equal quantities of Mustard Seeds, Cumin Seeds, Fennel Seeds , Fenugreek Seeds and Nigella Seeds . People generally reduce the amount of fenugreek seeds because it has a bitter taste. Try not to as it has great medicinal properties.

Black Mustard seeds are often used. However if you are not used to the pungent taste of it, use yellow mustard instead.

Also, like people use many souring agents like tamarind, kokum or Lemon Juice, people in the east use dried mango also known as Ambula, a little piece of it can be easily found in the pictures above.
Since, the climate of Odisha is extremely suitable of mangoes, there is usually an ample produce of it which house hold ladies prefer to dry it up to be later used in curries and rasam.



Moving on to the recipe, Okra is a humble vegetable which is loved by most people including those who hate eating vegetables. It can easily chopped and instantly gets cooked, thereby, saving a lot of cooking and preparation time.

Now, how can washing and cutting Okra be an easy task. Well, I generally keep the Okra soaked in water for at least 15 to 20 minutes to remove any traces of dust and then drain excess water using a strainer. This is what I do just before going to bed. I let the okra sit in the strainer and leave it over night. Next day, when water has dried up completely, I chop them in batches. This saves me a lot of time not to wipe each Okra individually.



Sweet and Sour Okra  is an Odisha flair which has the sweetness of Jaggery or Sugar and sourness of Ambula (dried mango) . It is usually prepared as an accompaniment instead of pickle.
It is not a dish which you will ever find in a restaurant. However, if you happen to be from Odisha, this is a very popular or rather common dish of every household.

It is a mild dish and is just delicious . Give it a try !!!


What You Will Need:

300 grams okra cleaned , head & tail chopped off.
Cut the Okra into 1 inch of quarter inch long pieces.
Mustard Oil about 1 tbsp
1 tsp panch phoron/pancha phutana spice mix
Turmeric powder 1 tsp
Red chili powder 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Sugar - 2 tsp or Jaggery 3 tsp 
1 dry red chili
Ambula pieces (1 or 2)
1 big chopped onion 
3 to 4 garlic cloves crushed roughly
A spring of curry leaves

Steps To Make:

Heat mustard oil in a pan till smoking point on high flame.
Add curry leaves and let it crackle too.
Reduce the flame and then add pancha phutana to it. It crackles and that's the time to add chopped onions and crushed garlic.
Once Onion turns brown, add Okra and cook on high for 4 to 5 minutes.
Now Add about 2 cups water , Ambula Salt and Sugar to taste
Add red chili powder and turmeric powder , dry red chili and bring it to boil.
Once, water has reduced and Okra has cooked nicely, its time to switch off the flame, transfer it to a plate and enjoy with a plate of rice and dal.


Thai Green Chicken Curry

Thai green chicken curry was coming from a long time... Having been busy with office work a lot lately. Since, I am not getting enough time to post recipes frequently, I am trying to post atleast 3 blogs whenever I sit down for blogging as an attempt to make up for the rest of the non-blogging days.
I saw the Vegetable version of it in Susma's blog : Authentic Food Delight" and then I had made Thai Red chicken curry some time back too which came out really well. Green chicken curry also tastes equally great. The preparation is same, except, you use green chilies and coriander leaves instead of red chilies.


For Green Curry Paste :
1 large onion chopped
2-3 green chilies
2 tbsp coriander leaves chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp black pepper
6-7 basil leaves
2 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 tsp soya sauce
1 tbsp lemon grass
1 tsp sugar
½ cup water
A pinch of lemon rind for smell (Optional)
Grind the above to a paste. Thai Red Curry Paste is ready. You can replace soy sauce with fish sauce. I didn’t have any fish sauce as I didn’t find it any store in Pune.

Other Ingredients :
500 gm Chicken (Boneless or with bones)
1 green bell pepper cut into medium pieces
6-7 green beans cut into small pieces.
½ cup green peas
1 onion chopped
1 cup coconut milk
7-8 basil leaves
4-5 mini corns cut into medium pieces
Method to cook:
Heat 1 tsp oil in a non stick pan . Add red curry paste and cook for 5 minutes. Next add chicken pieces and mix well. Cook chicken for at least 5 minutes on high flame stirring the contents regularly.
Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan and cook chopped onion. As it turns brown, add bell pepper, beans, peas, corn pieces, basil leaves, half cooked chicken, basil leaves, coconut milk, salt , 1 tsp soya sauce and 3 cups of water.
Bring the contents to a boil. Cook chicken while its boiling for atleast 10 minutes.
Lower the flame and cook for another 6-7 minutes.
Serve with Steamed Rice

Dried Prawns with Cabbage Curry


This recipe is from the lands of Orissa. Dried prawn is extensively used for preparing many dishes. This is one such recipe. It is easy to make . However, it may not appeal to the masses as dried prawns has a strong smell and is highly recommended to fish lovers only.

Ingredients :
1/2 cup dried prawns soaked in water for half an hour.
2 cups shredded cabbage
1 big inion chopped
1 tsp ginger galic paste
1 big inion chopped
1 green chili chopped
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmuric powder
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp dhania powder
Salt to tase

Method to cook:

Heat oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds.
Add chopped onion, ginger garlic paste and cook till onion turns brown.
Add chopped tomatoes and cook for 4-5 minutes on high. Add a splash of water , all the spices , prawns and cook for 2 minutes more.
Add cabbage and mix the ingredients well.
Cover and cook on medium for 9-10 minutes.
Open the lid, add salt and mix well.
Serve with Rice/Roti and Daal.

Note : For those who cannot bear the smell of dried prawns , can use fresh prawns as well.

Chittau Pitha

Pithas are special authentic delicacies in every Oriya home. Sweet pithas are must during festivels. However, we can also find pithas prepared otherwise also in any normal day. They come in varities. One such Pitha is Chittau Pitha made up of coconut, rice and milk and cooked on tawa inf form of pancakes..This pitha is offered to Lord Jagannath in Puja on Chitalagi Amabasya(Amawas)
Ingredients :
2 cups basmati rice
1/4th cup grated coconut
1/4th tsp baking soda
½ cup milk
1/4th cup sugar
½ tsp cardamom powder
Pinch of salt
Ghee or oil for cooking

Method to cook :

Soak rice overnite.
In the morning, mix rice, milk, coconut and sugar and grind to a fine paste.
Add baking soda, salt and cardamom powder and keep the batter aside for 1 hour.

Heat little ghee in a non stick pan . Take 1.5 to 2 tbsp batter and pour it over the pan. Spread it evenly. Keep it a little thick. Cook on one side for 2 -3 minutes. Turn dosa upside down and cook again for 2 minutes on low flame.

Repeat the above steps to make more dosas.
Serve with milk or daalma.

Guguni - Oriya Cuisine






Guguni is the Oriya name for Yellow Dried Peas-Potato Curry. It is eaten with Puri or Dosa.
Ingredients:
1 cup dried yellow peas soaked overnite with 2 cups of water and boiled for 15 minutes in pressure cooker on high. While boiling, add salt too.
1 big potato boiled, peeled and cubed to small cubes
1 big tomato chopped
Paste of 1 onion, 4-5 garlic pods and ½ inch ginger
1 tsp garam masala powder
½ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp red chili powder
½ tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp chopped coriander leaves for garnishing
Salt to taste
1 tbsp oil


Method t cook :Heat oil in pan.
Add cumin seeds and onion paste. Cook till onion turns brown.
Add chopped tomatoes , all dried spices except garam masala powder and cook for 6-7 minutes.
Add splash of water and cook if tomato dried out.
Add the boiled peas, potato cubes along with water in pressure cooker to pan. Add salt if required.
Add garam masala and chopped coriander.
Serve hot.

Kela Thalipeth


Kela thalipeth is extensively made is Bhubaneswar side. We get lots of banana in Orissa and it is not always possible to eat all of it at same time..Many a times, banana just ripes and we are forced to throw it away. A better way to utilise ripe bananas is to make thalipeth out of it using rawa and eat in breakfast with milk.

Ingredients :6 ripe bananas
3/4 rawa
A pinch of salt
1/4 tsp cardamom powder
1/4th tsp black pepper powder

Method to cook :Mash banana with hand and mix all the ingredients properly till you get a thick batter kind of consistency.
Heat 1 tsp oil in a non stock pan. Pour 1.5 tbsp of batter and spread it evenly. Cover the pan with lid and cook for 2-3 minutes on medium.
Open the lid, turn it upside down and cook again for few minutes.
Repeat for the remaining batter.

Rawa Uttapam

This is an ultra fast super snacks which tastes exactly like the rice uttapam and is very easy to prepare. Ingredients you need for making 6 uttapams approximately are :

1 cup rawa1 cup curd
1/2 curd water
salt to taste
Vegetables:
2 medium tomato chopped
2 medium onion chopped
2 green chilies chopped
2 tsp coriander leaves chopped (not used here)
salt to taste

Method to cook :
Mix rawa, curd, water and salt together.
Keep aside for 10 minutes.
Mix all vegetables together.
Heat a non stick tawa.
Spread 1 tbsp oil evenly once the tawa is hot.
Take 1.5 tbsp of batter prepared and spread it evenly while keeping the flame on low.
Spread all vegetables , turn the tawa to medium heat and cover the uttapam with a concave shape lid.
After 2 -3 three minutes, open the lid. Press the vegetables and pour 1-2 drops of oil over it. With a flat spatula, turn it upside down. Cover with lid and heat again for 3-4 minutes on medium flame.
Serve hot with chutney.

Goan Prawn Cake

Coconut Prawn cake is an old age recipe from the lands of Goa. I read it in one of the books of Anjum Anand which was presented to me by my husband in one of his trips to Scottland.
I was thinking of trying this since a long time.
Now that I have tried and it has come out really well, I am sharing it with you all with due respect to the Author. I have made slight variation though to it. We don’t take wine. Hence, I have replaced white wine vinegar with normal vinegar. Have changed quantity according to the taste of my family as well.

Ingredients for Prawn Coconut cake :
250 gm prawns
250-300 gm Prawns
2 medium onions chopped
2 tomato chopped
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 cinnammon stick
4-5 cloves
5 whole black pepper
½ tsp cumin seeds
5-6 dry red chilies
3 tbsp oil
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp vinegar

Grind ginger garlic paste along with whole spices.
Heat 3 tbsp oil in a pan . Add onion and cook till brown. Add the chili paste and cook for 2 minutes more.Add tomato and splash of water and cook for 10 minutes.
Add the prawns, sugar , vinegar and cook till prawn is well cooked and dry.

For cake batter :
1 cup ground sugar
1 cup oil
2 eggs (can also use 3 eggs)
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 cup coconut
½ cup milk
3/4th tsp oil
For the cake batter , beat oil and sugar well. Add eggs one after another and blend till soft and creamy. Add grated coconut, milk , flour , baking powder, baking soda, salt and blend to a thick consistency.

Grease a baking pan. Pour ¾ batter into the tray. Spread the cooked prawns above it .
Pour the remaining batter. Bake for 45 minutes at 200 degree centigrade.

Cut into pieces and serve with salad.

Gujrati Kadi


Serves : 2 to 3 persons
Ingredients :½ cup curd
1.5 cups water
2 tsp besan
1 tsp ginger paste
1 green chili chopped
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp salt
For Tempering :
1 tsp ghee
1-2 dry red chili
4 whole black pepper
1 cinnamon
2 cloves
4-5 curry leaves
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
Pinch of hing

Method to cook :Mix curd, besan , water, sugar, salt , ginger paste and green chilies. Make sure no lumps are formed.
Heat the curd-besan mixture of low flame. Make sure to stir the ingredients well at regular intervals.
Once the raw smell of besan goes away and curd-besan mixture is well cooked, prepare the tempering.
Heat ghee in a small pan. Add the whole garam masalas, hing , curry leaves, cumin seeds, mustard seeds and dry red chilies. Pour the tempering over the curd-besan mixture and cook for 5-6 minutes.
Gujrati Kadhi is ready to serve.

Uttapam

Ingredients:1 cup Urad Daal
2 cup Rice
Tomatoes
Onions
Green chillies
Coriander Leaves Chopped
Green Capsicum
Salt to taste
Cabbage(not used here)

Method to cook:
Soak Urad Daal and Rice separately for atleast 8 hours.
Grind separately to a fine paste. Mix them together and allow batter to ferment overnight.Add Salt to taste qnd mix the batter well.
Chop all vegetables and mix salt to taste.
Heat 1 tsp oil on a non stick pan.
Add 2 tbsp batter on the pan and spread it evenly.
Spread the chopped vegetables evenly on the batter and cook on low for at least 5 minutes and then turn upside down.
Do not be hasty in turning it upside down as uttapam might break.
If you are not confident in turning it upside down, gently move the pan and check if the uttapam is moving freely. If yes, then gently slide it on a plate. Add 2 3 drops of oil on the uttapam. You can also add grated cheese at this time.
Then , turn the plate back on the pan so that the vegetable side is now facing the pan. Cook again for 5 minutes.
Serve with hot ketcup or coconut chutney

Thai Red Chicken Curry

For Red Curry Paste :
1 large onion chopped
5-6 dry red chilies
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp black pepper
6-7 basil leaves
2 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 tsp soya sauce
1 tbsp lemon grass
1 tsp sugar
½ cup water
Grind the above to a paste. Thai Red Curry Paste is ready. You can replace soy sauce with fish sauce. I didn’t have any fish sauce as I didn’t find it inany store in Pune.
Other Ingredients :
500 gm Chicken (Boneless or with bones)
1 red bell pepper cut into medium pieces
1 carrot peeled and cut into small pieces.
1 onion chopped
1 cup coconut milk
7-8 basil leaves
4-5 mini corns cut into medium pieces

Method to cook:
Heat 1 tsp oil in a non stick pan . Add red curry paste and cook for 5 minutes. Next add chicken pieces and mix well. Cook chicken for at least 5 minutes on high flame stirring the contents frequently.

Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan and cook chopped onion. As it turns brown, add bell pepper, carrots, corn pieces, basil leaves, half cooked chicken, basil leaves, coconut milk, salt , 1 tsp soya sauce and 3 cups of water.
Bring the contents to a boil. Cook chicken while its boiling for atleast 10 minutes.
Lower the flame and cook for another 6-7 minutes.
Serve with Steamed Rice

Karela Stuffed with Potato


Karela stuffed with Potato
3-4 karelas
Ingredients for Stuffing :
3-4 boiled potatoes, boiled , peeled and mashed
1 green chili chopped
1 tbsp coriander leaves chopped
1 tbsp mint leaves chopped
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 tomato chopped
1 onion chopped
½ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp red chili powder
Salt to taste
Ingredients for the batter :5 tsp besan
1 tsp kasuri methi
½ tsp ajwain
Salt to taste
Pinch of soda(optional)
½ cup water
Oil for frying

Method to cook :Heat 2 tsp oil in pan. Add cumin seeds. Add chopped onion and cook till brown.
Add mint leaves, coriander leaves, ginger garlic paste and tomato. Cook till tomato is well cooked.
Add all the dried spices. Add mashed potato and cook for 4-5 minutes more.
Allow the stuffing to cool down.
Cut each karela into two halves. Remove the seeds from the karelas . Peel the skin slightly. Rub the karelas with salt from inside and outside and keep aside for atleast 1 hour. This cuts down the bitterness.
Wash karela with water well.
Stuff the karelas with potato stuffing made above.
Make a batter of besan, ajwain, salt, kasuri methi and soda. Add water little by little to make a thick batter.
Heat 4-5 tsp oil in a non stick pan.
Dip each stuffed karela with besan batter and shallow fry karelas for 4-5 minutes.

Methi Mutton


I am delighted to post my 100th recipe.. Hence, it had to be a little special..


Methi Mutton, is what we make every time we cook mutton masala curry. The smell of methi mixed with the smell of mutton masala gives a heavenly aroma. Whenever, we cook it, the whole house fills with its smell to such an extent that even neighbors and guests ask what was cooked today !!


Mutton Masala Curry (Already posted the recipe in the past)
4 cups methi chopped
3 tomatoes chopped
2 tsp oil
Method to cook :
Prepare mutton curry as mentioned in Mutton Masala Curry.
Heat oil in a pan. Add tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes. Add mutton and cook again for 2 minutes.
Add mutton curry prepared above and cook for 15 minutes on low flame.
Methi mutton is ready.

Pudina Murg Kebab


Ingredients :
500 gms boneless chicken pieces
1 cup curd
1 cup mint leaves
½ cup coriander leaves
10-12 green chilies(depending upon how spicy you want the kebabs)
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste.
Salt to taste.
Method to cook :
Mix all ingredients except chicken and blend to a fine paste. Marinade is ready.
Marinade the chicken in the paste made for 2 hours.
Roast chicken in pre-heated oven for 30 minutes at 200 degree centigrade.
You can also marinade capsicum and onion and roast together. It will take lesser time to cook.
The chicken might turn black. Do not panic.. Chicken is not burnt. Its green marinade and hence the color.