Monday, December 07, 2009

Orissa Breakfasts : A Primer

One Page Cookbooks
Orissa Breakfast – A Primer
All recipes copyrighted. No reproduction / commercial use without permission.

1.: Pakhala Bhat (Fermented rice) To one cup of cooked rice, add two cups of water, three spoons of yogurt and cover. Let ferment for 2-3 hours (or overnight). Mix in two pinches of salt, half a handful of chopped cucumber, a finely chopped green chili and a pinch of mint leaves. The watery portion serves as a refreshing drink – the Turani.

Pakhala Bhat Fermented rice is a popular rural breakfast in Bengal & Orissa.

Chakuli, an Orissa specialty, comes in numerous variations. The crepe can be made from flour, a ground batter of rice, lentils or a combination of all these. They can be thick or thin, small or large.

Chuda, or pressed rice is a much loved breakfast cereal across most of India. It can be eaten raw, cooked into a stir fry or roasted into a crunchy snack.

Upma is made from a wide variety of starches. Rice flakes, bread, sago etc can be cooked into delicious porridges. A sweet version cooked with sugar and milk, is eaten as a dessert across India, but remains a breakfast food in Orissa.

Khechidi One pot meals cooked with rice and lentils exist in almost every Indian cuisine. In the Oriya version, rice is cooked with mung dal and coconut.

The basic north Indian roti, poori and parathas appear often in an Oriya breakfast.

Pitha or cakes are another of Orissa’s signature dishes. Skillet cooked, baked or steamed versions of pithas made from rice, lentils, semolina are popular.
Shopping List:

500 gms.(Atta (Wholewheat flour), Maida (refined wheat flour), Semolina, Thin Rice flakes, Thick rice flakes, Rice, Mung dal, Oil)
200 gms ( Carrot, Potato, Fresh Green peas, Cauliflower, Onion, Salt, Sago, Onions, Urad dal, milk, Yogurt)
50 gms (Cashew, raisins, Ghee, ginger, cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, Sugar, Mustard, curry leaves, dry red chili, Green chili, cucumber, fennel, cinnamon, lemon, mint, cilantro, turmeric powder, Chili powder, Roasted peanuts)

2.: Instant Chakuli (Crepes) Mix a handful each of maida, gram flour ( besan), semolina ( suji), half a handful of chopped onion, a chopped green chili , two pinches each of salt and chopped coriander leaves. Mix in enough water to make a thick, soupy batter. Heat a non-stick skillet. Pour a ladle of batter and spread thin. Pour half a spoon of oil all around. Cook till holes appear on top. Flip over and cook the other side. Serve with chutney / pickle.

3.: Chuda Upma (Stir fried Rice flakes) Take two handfuls of pressed rice (chuda/ poha). Dunk in water and drain. Heat a spoon of oil. Add a pinch of mustard, curry leaves, a dry red chili and half a handful of chopped onions. Stir and cook till onions brown. Add a pinch of turmeric powder, two pinches of salt and half a handful of grated coconut. Mix in rice flakes. Stir and cook for a minute. (Can use puffed rice / chopped bread in place of rice flakes). If poha is too thin, it’ll turn into mush!

4.: Chuda Bhaja (Crispy rice flakes with mixed vegetables) Heat a pan. Add two handful of thin rice flakes (poha). Stir and roast over medium flame for two minutes. Remove from fire. Heat a spoon of oil. Add half a handful of chopped onion, a pinch of chopped ginger, a chopped green chili, two curry leaves and two pinches of salt. Stir and cook till onions brown. Mix in 1/2 handful of roasted and crushed peanuts & roasted rice flakes. Serve hot.

5.:. Sabudana Upma ( Sago Stir fry) Take a handful of sago. Soak in water for an hour. Drain. Heat a spoon of oil. Add a pinch of mustard, curry leaves, a dry red chili and a a spoon of crushed, roasted peanuts. Add a pinch of turmeric powder, two pinches of salt and half a handful of grated coconut. Mix in soaked sago. Stir well and remove from heat.

6.: Khechidi (Rice and lentil porridge) In a pressure cooker with the lid open, add two spoons of ghee. Add two pinches of cumin, a cardamom and a bit of cinnamon. Add two pinches of chopped ginger, a slit green chili, half a handful of grated coconut, a pinch of turmeric powder and three pinches of salt. Add half a cup of rice, half a cup of split and husked mung dal and three cups of water. Close cooker and pressure cook for 3 whistles. Wait 10 minutes for steam to settle. Open cooker & serve hot. Serve with Chutney / Pickle.

7.: Chittau Pitha (Thick Crepes) Soak a cup of rice in two cups of water overnight. Drain. Blend to a paste with half a handful of coconut, a pinch each of salt, baking powder and four pinches of sugar. Mix in half a cup of milk and stir well to a smooth batter. Let rest for an hour. Heat a non stick skillet. Pour a ladle of batter and spread to a thick disc, like a pancake. Pour half a spoon of ghee all around. Cook on medium flame till bottom starts to brown. Flip over and cook the other side. Serve with chutney / Dalma.

8.: Roti / . Paratha / Poori (North Indian flatbreads ) ( See recipe in Bengali Breakfast – a Primer)

9.: Mitha Suji (Semolina Pudding) Heat a pan. Add half a cup of semolina. Stir and roast for 2 minutes over low flame. Keep aside. Heat five spoons of ghee. Add a crushed cardamom and half a handful of crushed cashew and raisins. Stir and cook for a minute. Add pan. Add a cup of water and half a cup of milk. Bring to a boil. Add half a cup of sugar. Stir and mix well. Gradually stir in the roasted semolina and keep stirring till it resembles a thick batter (will thicken further on cooling). This sweet dish, consumed elsewhere as a dessert is breakfast food in Orissa & served with potato curry !

10.: Saru Chakuli (Thin crepe) Soak a cup of rice and half a cup of skinned whole urad dal in water for 4 hours. Drain water and blend to a paste, pausing often so that the batter does not get heated. Mix in three pinches of salt. Mix in some water if needed, to get the consistency of thick soup. Heat a non stick skillet (tava). Pour a ladleful of batter and spread to a thin round. Pour half a spoon of oil all around. Let cook till bottom browns. Fold in half & cook for a minute more. Serve with chutney. (Or pour the batter, but do not spread it thin. Cook both sides like a pancake and you get a Mota Chakuli).

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