Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Easy Orissa recipes 10

This cookbook lists 10 Orissa recipes, greatly simplified, so that a first time cook can easily cook them. The following recipes are listed in this cookbook.For detailed recipes & pictures, check out the links from my fellow bloggers below.

1.: Dahi Nadia ( Coconut yogurt curry)
2.: Badi Chura ( Badi : sun dried lentil dumplings; Chura – powder)
3.: Aloo Chakata
   (Aloo- Potato; Chakata : Boiled & mashed curry)
4.: Bhendi Bhaja
   (Bhendi: Okra; Bhaja : stir-fried curry).
Tomato Khatta  (Khatta : Sweet & Sour curries)
6.: Saaga
  (Saaga : Spinach based curries) 
7.: Chakuli
8.:.Badi Besara (Besara : Mustard paste based curry)
9.: Pakhala Bhata (Bhat : Rice) ( Fermented rice with yogurt)
Dalma  (Dalma : Lentil based curry)  

Orissa As early as 2600 years ago, Kalinga, as Orissa was then known, was a regional power. It controlled the trade routes in the Bay of Bengal, colonizing parts of Southeast Asia. Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Java, Sumatra, Bali, Vietnam and Thailand still bear traces of Kalinga influence.  The fierce Kalinga was conquered in 300 BC by Nanda from Maghada (Bihar). After the overthrow of Nandas by Chandragupta Maurya, Kalinga declares independence. Chandra Gupta’s grandson Ashoka waged a bloody war and re-conquers Kalinga (and renounces war, sickened by the slaughter). A century later, Kalinga rises again under the Jain king Kharavela to conquer almost half of India. Various Hindu dynasties rule Orissa for the next 1500 years. Of these, Yayati 795 AD, who built the Puri temple was the most notable. In 1568, Orissa falls to Moghuls, whose rule lasts 200 years. Marathas rule for 70 years and British for the next 150 years (under whom almost a million starve to death due to famine (1865) and mismanagement). This once great nation which had remained a potent force for almost 1500 years was decimated in the last 500 years and is now counted among the less developed states of India, with many of its people earning a pittance as manual labourers in Indian metros. 

Oriya Cuisine :
The east Indian cuisine ( of Bihar, Bengal and Orissa)  is  characterized by the following :

Staple: Both Rice & flatbreads are consumed.
 Meats: Like all coastal regions, fish and other   seafood (crab, shrimp) are popular. Chicken and mutton are also favourites.

Typical breakfast : Bread (Luchi, poori, paratha, curry, porridge (rice flakes, suji, sago porridges)

Lunch & Dinner : Rice,  Lentils, veggies, meat

Oil : Mustard oil is preferred

Unique Bases: Mustard & poppy seed pastes.

Spices: All Indian spices ( except asafetida) are used. Panch phutana is widely used for flavouring vegetable curries.
Souring agent :  Ambula (Dried mangoes  is chiefly used in Orissa) &  Amchoor are preferred.

Badis : Sun dried, spiced lentil paste is fried and used in Oriya cuisine.

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Okay, let me start from the very beginning. 1500 crore years ago, with a Big Bang, the Universe is born. It expands dramatically. Hydrogen forms, contracts under gravity and lights up, forming stars. Some stars explode, dusting space with the building blocks of life. These condense into planets, one of which is Earth. Over time, self replicating molecules appear, multiply and become more complex. They create elaborate survival machines (cells, plants, animals). A variety of lifeforms evolve. Soon, humans arise, discover fire, invent language, agriculture and religion. Civilisations rise and fall. Alexander marches into India. Moguls establish an empire. Britain follows. Independence. Partition. Bloodshed. The license raj is in full sway. I'm born. India struggles to find its place. Liberalisation. The Internet arrives! I move from Tirupur to Chennai. Start a company. Expand into Malaysia, Singapore and the Middle East. Poof! Dot com bust. Funding dries up. Struggle. Retire. Discover the joy of cooking, giving, friendships and the pleasures of a simple life. Life seems less complicated. Pizza Republic, Pita Bite and Bhojan Express bloom !

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