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Dalma & the typical Odia thali : A divine affair

“If you had to name a dish that would sum up the essence of Odisha – what would it be?” – This is the question I get asked a lot! And I do mean - a lot. And my first instantaneous answer is always – the humble, unassuming Odia comfort offering – the Dalma. For me, dalma is to Odisha what Undhiyo is

bay leaves · chili powder · cilantro · cinnamon · cooking oil · coriander · fish · garam masala · ginger garlic · Indian · Main Course · masala · medium · mustard oil · onion · potato · salt · seafood · sugar · sweetener · tomato · turmeric · Uncategorized · water

A page from my Ma’s cookbook ~Odia style fish curry/ Maachha Aloo Jhola/Macha Tarkari~

As the aroma of the fish curry wafted through the hallway into the bedroom, M (that’s my hubby) came sniffing into the kitchen. Often it’s quite unlikely to elicit such a response from him when I am conjuring up a fish recipe. But this as you might have guessed was a very pleasant surprise. It is my tested way of getting assured that this dish is here to stay and going to be served on demand on many mundane occasions. More so a total win especially when you are trying to think of ways you can make fish recipes without it tasting fishy. Quite tricky eh? Ahh yes and to complicate things – I am an absolute fish eating, true Odia at heart. So you see my attachment to this very sensitive subject and my extensive efforts to make this a success. My memories of this recipe goes way back to days when I came home from school to a plate of piping hot rice served with this special hand licking fish curry. In those days, the comfort and luxury of getting delicious meals without preparing them was a

anise · basmati rice · bay leaves · butter · cardamom · cashew · chilli · cinnamon · ghee · ginger garlic · Indian · lemon · lemon juice · Main Course · medium · milk · mint leaves · nut · nutmeg · onion · paneer · pepper · peppercorn · raisin · rice · rose · rose water · saffron · salt · sugar · sweetener · turmeric · Uncategorized · water

A vegetarian’s delight – Quick Paneer Biryani

So…here I am back again! After almost three months and several days of incessant thesis writing and dealing with the nitty-gritty of graduate school, I am finally back to my haven – writing and reliving every bite I have loved to make and savor. Almost after every hiatus – laden with feelings of guilt and anxiety, as I sit to start penning down my thoughts, the familiarity of this blog and its comfort, suddenly makes it all seem ok. Back to my very own safe nook, where everything feels the same regardless of how fast things might have changed in the past few months. Regardless of all that, this long hiatus from the blog, has been one heck of a remarkable journey through a dream I have always had but never really imagined it happening. Sharing my graduation with my parents and loved ones was one of the most fulfilling experiences even though it remained equally paired with the hustle and the craziness that’s a part and parcel of submitting one’s thesis. While that’s another chapter alto

all purpose flour · baking soda · bay leaves · bell pepper · black pepper · brown sugar · capsicum · chilli · cilantro · cinnamon · coriander · corn starch · cornstarch · cumin · egg · flour · garam masala · garlic · ginger garlic · Indian · kashmiri chili powder · ketchup · lemon · lemon juice · maida · mango powder · masala · medium · onion · pepper · peppercorn · salt · sauce · side dish · soy sauce · soya · spring onion · sugar · sweetener · tomato · turmeric · Uncategorized · vinegar · water · white vinegar

Anda Alu Jhola/Anda Tarkar – An Odia spin to the classic egg curry

How comforting is it to catch a glimpse of eggs gloriously adorning the-almost-empty refrigerator? Very comforting, isn’t it? I say it with much conviction since I believe that I might almost win (or be a very close competitor) for the “The most Experienced” award of such situations - a lot number of times. I might be damned to proclaim it as the most versatile of ingredients EVER but I am sure most of you will agree with me that indeed it is a savior in those critically desperate times. Eggs are such adorable, "un"-intimidating delights that almost everyone is content savoring and more importantly, very fearless while cooking something wondrous. With its numerous avatars – be it the humble French toast for breakfast, frittata for lunch, nutritious boiled eggs as a snack or the fancy Pasta Carbonara for dinner, eggs are undoubtedly the most pliable of all ingredients I have ever worked with. I actually cannot sing eloquent enough of this dazzling star which is there to support you (as

bay leaves · butter · cardamom · cashew · dessert · ghee · Indian · medium · milk · nut · ovo vegetarian · rice · rose · rose water · saffron · salt · sugar · sweetener · Uncategorized · vegetarian · whipping cream

“Chaula Kheeri” – Back to my comfort zone with my comfort food

What would your realm of comfort be, once you are back home after a long period of absence? Beyond any doubt, I know what mine is! So being back in my haven after a 3 week trip both for work and fun, I knew exactly what I wanted. A brief stint in the kitchen and I got back my dilapidated energy level. Easy and effectively consistent remedy for my home parched soul 😉 Past few weeks have been very hectic with a research trip intermingled with a short outing with friends. The sparse number of posts have been a testimony to that fact. I felt guilty all this while being away from this space all along, while trying my best to focus on the trip at hand. I guess very soon (!!) I will learn how to leave this baby aside for a well deserved break. Soon..or so I hope! My long absence from home entailed that I have been on store bought/ restaurant bought food for the past 3 weeks. That's quite a bit for me to take. So by the end of the trip, I was literally dreaming about home-cooked simple meals

basmati rice · bay leaves · black pepper · butter · cinnamon · cumin seed · ghee · green pea · Indian · jeera · Main Course · medium · mint leaves · onion · peppercorn · rice · salt · sugar · sweetener · Uncategorized

Piaja aau podina matar palau

Birthday Dinner II- The Menu and some rice devotion Intimate birthday dinners lit up with happy faces and resonant with friendly banter make up for some lifelong cherished memories. To my absolute pleasure, I got to celebrate my special day with not just one but two of them - albeit a week and hundreds of miles apart. Indo-Chinese flavors and techniques ruled the roost for friends in SF while friends in LA had been pestering me for an Indian meal for quite sometime. Now what better occasion than a birthday to commemorate with Indian tastes and flavors? So with a firm resolve and a patient guide (read: my Ma), I took on the challenge. The challenge - Three courses, three days, seven dishes and five guests. I had to give in my best to create magical memories of Indian food. I took the onus onto myself to introduce my friends to spicy gravies,an aromatic pilaf & creamy dessert, quite quite different from the regular Indian fare in restaurants here in LA. Finalizing the menu, I stuck to so

bay leaves · butter · cardamom · cashew · cinnamon · ghee · Indian · lentil · Main Course · medium · moong dal · nut · nutmeg · ovo vegetarian · raisin · rice · salt · sugar · sweetener · turmeric · Uncategorized · vegetarian · water

“Ama Odia Thali” – Mitha Khechudi / Kanika  (A hearty vegetarian Odia meal)

Five years ago, I wouldn't have ever imagined myself preparing a traditional Odia thali - that's mostly because I have always been the venturous kinds, finding myself playing with new ingredients and untried stuff.Tried and tested recipes were for "traditional" people.Or so I thought - until this whole idea of preparing a thali was seeded with the Indian Thali Mela, which gives a unique platform for food bloggers all over India to represent their own states. That's when I decided that I want to represent Odisha. The aroma and the taste of each morsel of a traditional dish evokes such strong emotions that can only be experienced.My very own time-machine you see. I have been wanting to prepare this Thali for quite sometime now, particularly since its been very busy at work lately. So last Sunday was one of the few Sundays I got some time for myself after a long time. Feeling well rested and armed with a strong desire to make it happen..I took upon myself to make a traditional Odia "Arua"