bay leaves · bean · butter · carrot · chilli · citrus · cumin · cumin seed · easy · eggplant · gelling agent · ghee · ginger · green bean · Indian · legume · lime · Main Course · mango powder · ovo vegetarian · pepper · potato · pumpkin · red chilli · salt · sugar · sweetener · toor dal · turmeric · Uncategorized · vegetarian · water · winter squash

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

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Spiced Pineapple Carrot cake ~ Not your usual “upside down” fare

The makings of this spiced cake took root, when this utterly sweet-smelling golden pineapple sitting on our kitchen counter, literally piqued my imagination wild. Whoever has gotten a whiff of a ripe pineapple knows for sure the compelling aroma of the prickly fruit! To be more articulate - the inte

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Who doesn’t love a twist & that too a Sriracha one? ~ Garlic & red chilli Vegetable Manchurian (dry) ~

In one of our numerous chat sessions, as my conversation with my Chinese friend/colleague veered towards Sino-Indian relationship, the cultural differences and similarities, we couldn't help but contemplate on the amalgamation of Indian intricacies into Chinese cooking. It veered towards a very interesting conversation about cooking styles, spices used, favorite dishes etc. etc. and she was extremely amused to know that there prevailed a very popular fusion cuisine known as "Indo-Chinese". She had never heard of it (of course..who has unless they are from India?), and seemed intrigued by the names of dishes I was hurling at her. Manchurian, Mixed chowmein...wait what? Manchurian...what's that? As I pondered on it a bit more, I assumed that although it's never really surprising to find tastes transcending national/international boundaries to give rise to a melange of flavors, the popularity of Indo-Chinese cuisine in India is something you have to see, to believe. This cuisine which sta

american · bean · beetroot · black pepper · bread · cabbage · carrot · chilli · corn starch · cornstarch · dairy free · garam masala · garlic · ketchup · legume · mango powder · masala · medium · mint leaves · onion · ovo vegetarian · pepper · peppercorn · potato · pulses · raisin · red chilli · salt · snack · tomato · Uncategorized · vegan · vegetarian

Vegetarian croquette from modern Odia cuisine & the Cuttacki street-food ~ “Vegetable Chop”

There’s never been a cold, rainy day when I haven’t yearned to cuddle up in my cozy comforter gazing out of the window while sipping on a cup of chai generously laced with ginger and munching on crispy home-made pakodas. Although quite a rare occurrence these days, especially with our busy schedules and untimely rain, I considered myself extremely lucky to be home on one such afternoon when it rained generously to my heart’s desire. Just like rain does to every romantic’s heart, it brought out the poetic, creative side of me very willing to experiment. So on that occasional rainy afternoon, in a quest to celebrate the downpour as I raided my refrigerator to cook up something delish, I came across this half-a-piece of beet lingering in the forgotten corner of my fridge drawer. As I stared at it for a brief moment, the only thing that popped up distinctly was the "vegetable chop". While I am at it, I must confess that I have always had a love-hate relationship with beet.The very few time

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Roasted garlic fried rice – Bursts of “garlic-ness”

When renowned chef and culinary writer, Louis Diat said “There are five elements: earth, air, fire, water and garlic”, he echoed my sentiments quite exactly. I couldn’t possibly deny because in my tiny world it does represent the fifth essential life force. I have always been a “add-some-more-garlic please” person (well, who isn’t?). It’s one magical pod of intense flavor that perks many a dull, somber dish. But the hundredth (or maybe thousandth) dimension of this multi-faceted little pod is its very surprising aspect - mild sweetness. Very surprised right? I couldn’t ever imagine garlic being sweet AT all, before having been to Gilroy of course. In fact, I was quite apprehensive, when I stopped by Gilroy (The garlic capital of the world) to taste some garlic ice-cream. Just out of sheer curiosity, I tasted it. I must agree that I found the concept of garlic ice cream a little too weird but I must mention that the sweetness and intense flavor was something to commend. That kind of con

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Vegetable Manchurian – Going the veggie route, the Indo-Chinese way

Most likely you wouldn't agree if I were to say that it takes a LOT of work into pulling off an Indo-Chinese theme party successfully or....would you? I wouldn't believe it AT all, if I had not been the one to slog for it. So the story begins with inviting a few friends over for dinner and asking for their preferences. I got a special request for the Chili chicken that I had posted earlier in the blog. Honoring their wishes, I zeroed in on the Chili Chicken as the main dish. But with vegetarians in the group, I had to include a vegetarian dish. The planning went into a slight disarray when just two days before the big day, my adviser decided to pile on some work and of course I got immersed into it UNTIL the day before the party. So much to be done and so little time!! Phew..shopping for ingredients, chopping the veggies, marinating chicken, the list was really endless. Seeking someone's help was not an option..so all this in so little time. Going by the Indo Chinese theme - I zeroed

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Chilli Garlic Chow Mein – Chinese cuisine with Indian flare

Nothing quite compares to the din and bustle of a busy Indian street. Adding to it are the ever bustling food corners scattered all around the place. I have almost always failed to resist the temptation of giving in to my evil desire of eating some slurpilacious (oh yes…I made that word up!) good food out on the streets! If you ever noticed one of those “Chinese” stalls around, they seem to be so much at ease tossing those noodles high up in the air and catching our attention and the noodles- both with remarkable dexterity. Compounding the desire is the whiff of a complex blend of sauces wafting in through the air, through our nostrils, directly to the tummy. Sigh! At times I sorely I miss those tastes, smells and of course, the sounds! But to my pleasure I can always look back and say that I have learnt how to make these and can always satisfy my craving –of course sans the sounds and the dexterous tossing of the noodles. Almost every country has an exclusive version of its neighborin