Orange French Toast & Hash Brown Recipe

So many questions come to the mind when you think about the most common breakfast item of the world which is none other than French toast. When was French toast really invented? Why is it called French Toast and is French Toast really French..

French toast has many other names to it like Gypsy toast or German Toast and is usually made with Milk and Bread and eggs to fix those old or not so fresh bread pieces to make a filling breakfast.
Whether you serve with loads of fruits or dust with powdered sugar or serve with Hash Browns , they are surely a favourite of many egg eaters.

Addition of Vanilla extract, the most expensive spice of the World, is important to preparing the rustic dish to cut down the smell of eggs.

Frankly, the French call it Lost Bread or Pain Perdu but history does not claim that French Toast originated anywhere in France.

I had some store bought oranges lying around which I decided would complement the breads better than to squeeze juice out it . Bread slices soaked in milk , egg and range juice did taste much much better giving the bread a nice fresh aroma. 

Try out this recipe on a sunny Sunday Morning  and make your day brighter with the many compliments coming your way.

Use bread slices which are atleast 3 to 4 days old. This helps the egg to stay with bread when soaked.

What You Need:

1 Whole Wheat Loaf 1 small
2 Milk 2/3 cup
3 Eggs 3
4 Maple Syrup 2 tbsp
5 Vanilla essence 2-3 drops
6 Maple Syrup For Serving
7 Fresh Oranges 2

Steps To Make:

Cut the loaf to 2 cm thick pieces.
Spread it in a flat plate.
Cut 1 orange into 2.
Squeeze out fresh juice.
Beat eggs, milk, maple syrup, vanilla essence, orange juice together.
Grate some orange zest and put in the batter.
Pour this batter evenly on the cut out bread pieces.
Allow it to rest for 5 minutes.
Heat 1 tbsp butter in a non stick pan.
Place 4 pieces of soaked bread on the pan and cook on low flame for 5-6 minutes.
Flip and cook again for 5-6 minutes.
Check eggs are cooked well and you don’t get the raw smell of eggs.
Repeat the process with the remaining bread pieces.
For Serving, place the french toast in a plat.
Spread maple syrup evenly.
Server with fresh cut fruits.

Recipe of Hash Brown :

Take 3 potatoes and peel them. Wash them nicely in running water and grate .
Squeeze the extra water and mix with salt, pepper, 1 egg and some all purpose flour.
Mix everything nicely using a fork.
Heat some oil in a grill pan. Take small portions of the potato mixture and flatten them out.
Cook the hash browns both sides till crispy and nicely done.

Vegetable Dahi Kadi | Odia Dahi Kadhi Recipe

This distinct flavour of besan and curd gravy served with hot piping steamed rice is an effortlessly made recipe and is relished in every home in India. While in west, people love to have it (kadi or kadhi) as it is, people in the north add crispy pakodas to it and people in the east love to add vegetables.

Enjoy the magic of one of Odisha's most famous and healthy dish and is sure to get everyone asking more of it. The secret is to add red pumpkin which gives a unique and sweet flavour to the kadi.
Some fried papad and pickle will perfectly complement it.

What You Need:

1/2 cup pumpkin cubes
1/2 cup  radish cubes
1/2 cup brinjal cubes
1 cup curd
2 tbsp besan (chickpea flour)
2 cups of water
salt to taste
1 tbsp sugar
10-12 curry leaves
1 tbsp panch photan (equal quantities of fenugreek, cumin, mustard, aniseed, carom seeds)
1  dry red chili
1 green red chili
pinch of asoefoetida(hing)
1 tbsp oil
1 garlic crushed

Steps To Make:

Pan fry vegetables, each at a time and in batches using 1 tsp oil everytime.
Once, the vegetables are half cooked, take them out in a plate to be used later.
Rest of the vegetable will be cooked in the besan-curd gravy.

Beat sugar, salt, curd and besan (i.e. roasted chickpea flour) together with fork or egg whisker till you get a smooth consistency.
Add water to it and stir well.
Next empty the curd-besan blend prepared above to a non stick pan and cook on a very low flame till the raw smell of besan (chickpea flour) disappears.
You need to stir the mixture from time to time so it does not stick to the bottom.

Heat oil separately in a small tempering pan. Add panch photan, curry leaves, dry red chili and green chili, crushed garlic and pour over kadhi.
Cover the curry to let the tempering mix well with curd gravy.
Add vegetables at this point.
Cover the pan immediately and boil for another 4 to 5 minutes.

Serve Kadhi/Kadi with hot steam rice.

Macha Besara (Fish Curry In Mustard Sauce) A Renowned Odia/Oriya Delicacy

Do you smell something fishy . Many people squeeze nose whenever you take the name of fish fry or fish curry. 
However, did you know river fish smell less than sea water fish. 

Come let me introduce you a world famous method to cook fish in mustard oil and mustard paste where you can hardly find any trace of fish smell and will get an aroma instead that might increase your headache in turn to have invited many hungry people from neighborhood.. It is called Macha Besara , the most renowned fish recipe of Orissa or Odisha. Besara is the mustard paste in which fish is cooked and broiled after frying in mustard oil. Dry Mango pieces or Ambula ate added to add to the sourness and cut down the bitterness of mustard.

The best taste comes out with yellow mustard .However, you can use black mustard (small variety) if you don’t find yellow ones. To make a smooth paste, dry grind the mustard seeds and then wet grind using water.

Many people ridicule mustard oil to be bitter. However, non-vegetarian food tastes best when cooked in mustard oil which has been heated first to a smoking point and then the intensity of the flame/fire is reduced to lower the temperature of oil. Your mustard oil is ready to be used for cooking.

River fish is often included as a staple diet in most eastern families in India due to its ample supply and Rohu is the most common and healthy fish which everybody can afford. I will advise you to wash the fish thoroughly to remove any traces of blood before cooking.

What You Need:

1/2 kg Rohu Fish cleaned properly.
Marinate with 1 tsp turmeric powder,1 tsp red chili powder, salt tsp taste and juice of half lemon

Mustard Oil for shallow or pan frying

For the gravy:

1 onion chopped finely
1 tsp panch photana (equal amounts of cumin seeds, mustard seeds, fennel seed, black onion seeds and dry fenugreek seeds)
3-4 small potatoes peeled and cut into 4 pieces
2 big onion chopped
2-3 dry mango pieces(ambula)
2 green chilies
6 to 8 whole garlic clove
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 tbsp mustard oil
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp garam masala

Steps to prepare

Grind mustard seeds in a grinder.
Add garlic cloves, green chilies and few drops of water. Then grind again to a fine paste.Add water as per requirement for a fine paste. Its ready to be used in gravy.
Heat oil in a Pan . Fry the marinated fish in few batches till it turn golden yellow on both sides.
Take them out and keep aside.
Heat few drops of oil in a pan and fry potatoes for 3 to 4 minutes till its glazed nicely from all sides.
Add remaining oil in the same pan. Add panch photana, chopped onions and cook for 3-4 minutes.
Add tomato pieces, dry mango pieces, dry powdered spices and mix well.Cook for 2 minutes. Add mustard paste and cook for some more time.
Add 2 cups water, salt to taste and shallow fried potato pieces. Bring it to boil.
Add fried fish pieces and cook for few minutes more.
Serve hot with steamed rice.

Ukdiche Modak - Manda Pitha - Kadubu - Kozhakkattai - Kudumu - Kozhakkatta ( Steamed Rice Dumplings with Coconut Jaggery Stuffing)

May the blessings of Sri Ganesha be upon you all! May He remove all the obstacles that stand in your spiritual path! May He bestow on you all material prosperity as well as liberation!

Ganesh Chaturthi or Vinayak Chaturthi is an auspicious occassion in the Hindu Calendar where Lord Ganesh is worshipped on his birthday to give inner spiritual strength, wipe away all sins and  give success in all enterprise.

Ukdiche Modak  is Lord Ganesha’s favourite Prasad and has its reference even in Mahabharata .  Usually, devotees offer 21 Modaks to him. The traditional Modaks are made using Rice Flour and stuffed with a filling of coconut and jaggery and served hot with ghee or clarified butter. Today, people have become quiet innovative and have come up with unique ideas for stuffing and its outer shell. The latest trend I know is chocolate modak or khoya modak. Even the outer shell is replaced with wheat flour or all-purpose flour since working with rice flour is very tricky. Many prefer to deep fry the modaks to increase its life. Steamed ones are however healthy and yummy.

It is surprising how modak has travelled in all direction and is known with different names in different parts of the country. In Odisha, it is prepared during most of the festival time and has a round shape. Similarly, it is known as Kadubu in Kannada, kozhakkattai in Tamil, and kudumu in Telugu and Kozhakkatta in Malayalam.

Getting the shape can be very difficult. Mine does not look perfect but still is very close. You can use store bought moulds to get the perfect rose bud shape. On the other hand, try to make a normal dome shape and then press the sides of the dome with index finger and thumb to get a nearly close rose bud shape.

The below measurement will make about 35 to 40 modaks

What you need for the stuffing :

1 whole coconut grated
½ cup grated dry coconut
½ tsp cardamom powder 
Pinch of jayfal powder (optional) – Use carefully as it can induce sleep
1 cup powdered jiggery
2 tbsp roasted poppy seeds
Chopped cashew and raisins (optional) 

  • In a pan, add jaggery and coconut together. Mix them together.
  • Do not add water or oil for cooking.
  • Cook on low flame to allow jaggery to melt and let coconut cook in the melted jaggery.
  • Once coconut and jaggery are cooked properly, add poppy seeds and cardamom powder.
  • Add raisins and cashew and mix everything well.
  • Let this mixture cook down before you can use it for stuffing. I usually make it the night to make the modak making procedure easy for me.

What you need for the outer shell:

200 grams rice flour
200 grams of water
2 tbsp ghee
1 tsp oil
1/4th tsp salt
Boil water in a pan.
Add ghee, oil and salt to it.

  • When you see water boiling , add rice flour and mix well till there are no dumplings.
  • Cover and cook for 4 to 5 minutes on low flame. Add more water if the rice flour seems to dry up even before it gets cooked.
  • Switch off the flame and transfer it to a steel plate. Use a masher to mash the cooked rice dough nicely.
  • Add little ghee or oil while mashing if you see it has become very dry. Cover it with a damp cloth so it does not dry up till your modaks are ready.

Preparing the modaks:

  • Mix 1/3rd cup of oil and 1/3rd cup of water together. You will need this to keep your modaks moist and prevent it from cracking. It also prevents the rice dough to stick to your palm and fingers.
  • Grease your hand with oil-water mixture. Well, you can use ghee instead of oil for better rich flavour.
  • Take a small amount of dough, almost half the amount you use for making roti.
  • Flatten it out or give a bowl shape to it. The bottom should be thicker than the sides.
  • Stuff with sufficient amount of coconut-jaggery stuffing. Close from  all sides and give a nice dome shape. Do not over stuff as it will try to come out of the shell.
  • As you start preparing, one after another, you must take care to keep them covered. Else, it will dry up even before you steam them and will crack apart.
  • Heat water in a steamer and steam modaks for 15 to 18 minutes.
  • Modaks will be ready to serve.
  • If you find it hard to make, just give it a round shape and make your life easy.  



Dalma - A Classic Oriya|Odia Special Recipe | Odia Cuisine - Lentils Cooked with Vegetables

Dalma is a traditional and classic lentil and vegetable dish from the state of Odisha, my Homeland. It is a simple preparation and is traditionally cooked in earthen pot ware or Matti Handi. Some people claim that it is close to Sambhar. However, the main difference lies in the absence of any onion and garlic because it is often offered to God as Prasad. 

Moreover, it is tempered with Ghee or Clarified butter instead of normal oil.

It is also one of the Chappan Bhog (56 food items) served to Lord Jagannath in the famous Puri Temple which is one of the 4 Dhams (pilgrim sites) in India, the other 3 being Badrinath, Dwarka & Rameshwaram. 

It is a very tasty dish whose flavour comes out best when prepared exactly the way I have mentioned below. Have you ever wondered why its is said : When God Wants to Eat, he comes to Odisha !!! Well, the answer lies in the recipe given below. However, instead of earthern potware, I ave prepared it in pressure cooker.

What You Need:

Toor Dal soaked in water for 30 minutes
1 cup pumpkin cut into medium size
1 cup brinjal or eggplant cut into medium size
1 cup potato peeled and cut
1 raw banana cut into medium size
1 radish peeled and cut
2 tomatoes cut into medium size
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chili powder
3 green chili and 1 inch ginger crushed
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp roasted cumin powder
3 to 4 dry red chili
Salt to taste
½ cup grated coconut
2 tbsp ghee
1 bowl coriander leaves chopped for garnishing
1 bay leaf
2 cloves
2 cardamom

Steps To Prepare:

  • Make sure all vegetables are cut into same size
  • Add Dal, vegetables, ½ liter of water, salt to taste, half the quantity of turmeric powder, half the quantity of red chili powder, half the quantity of grated coconut, grated green chili and crushed ginger , whole spices in a pressure cooker.
  • Cook on high flame for 2 whistles. Lower flame and cook for 4 to 5 minutes more. 
  • Switch off the flame and let pressure cool down completely.
  • Heat ghee in a pan. Add cumin seeds, remaining turmeric powder, red chili powder and dry red chilies to the pan.
  • Add remaining coconut to the tempering pan. Open the lid of pressure cooker, add the tempering and close it immediately.
  • Let it boil for 2 more minutes to allow the tempering to infuse completely into the cooked lentils.
  • Open lid, add coriander leaves and roasted cumin powder.
  • Serve with steamed rice and Tamato Khatta (Tomato Chutney in Oriya Style)

Chicken Stuffed With Mushroom And Spinach

Isn't it an interesting way to treat those boneless chicken breasts. Stuff them with some mushrooms, paneer and spinach to add some fiber to the dish and turn them stimulating for the taste buds.
You can serve it with risotto or with a humble creamy white sauce. On the other hand, some boiled sweet corn will also complement it very nicely.

Traditionally, people cooked this classic dish with red wine . However, I don’t consume alcohol in any form, I added our regular Chinese sauces and prepared the lip-smacking dish.

So shall we see how to cook this fascinating chicken dish.

What You Need:

Chicken Breasts – I used only two as I was experimenting for the 1st time. Clean the breast pieces and place it on a flat tray. Beat with a rolling pin so it flattens out
Baby Spinach finely chopped and tossed in 1 tsp oil, 2 crushed garlic and pinch of salt
Baby mushroom finely chopped, tossed in 1 tsp oil, 2 crushed garlic and pinch of salt
Paneer or Goat Cheese crumbled finely

Keep some toothpick handy with you before we start rolling them.
Sprinkle salt and pepper on the chicken breast. Add a layer or spinach followed by mushroom and paneer crumbles. Fold them from one corner while trying to hold the stuffing from falling apart. As soon as you reach the other end, quickly grab the entire thing with one hand , whichever works for you, while use tooth picks to close all open corner. Keep it aside.
Repeat the step with other breast pieces.

Now heat a non-stick pan. Add some crushed garlic and gently lift the chicken pieces and place them on the hot stuffed pan.
Use a tong with the help of which you can lift it and turn it around to cook on all sides. While you are cooking, sprinkle some salt and pepper from all sides so it gets seasoned evenly.
Sprinkle any herb mix or spice mix which is readily available at home.

Cook the breast pieces only till the pinkness is gone.
Now place the breast pieces in a baking pot. Mix the left over spinach, mushroom and add some chili garlic sauce and ketchup. Pour this mixture over the chicken and bake in a preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes at 180 degree centigrade.

Let it cook down before you remove the tooth pick and cut it.