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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

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

bell pepper · black pepper · chilli · egg · flour tortilla · Main Course · medium · mint leaves · mughlai · pepper · peppercorn · red bell pepper · salt · spring onion · tortilla · Uncategorized

Royally simple yet simply royal ~Mughlai Paratha~

Of all the numerous culinary impressions I have formed while growing up, one particular dish that has always stood out has been this fluffy yet crunchy, simple yet with-an-impressionable-bite - "Indian-egg stuffed-flour tortillas". These evoke such strong and beautiful memories of all the Wednesday evenings (I will elaborate in a second the relevance) growing up that when I made this I literally got transported to my very happy place. Its really that simple to be in your happy place..Easy isn’t it? Well here’s a confession - as much blessed as I am to have grown up with my wonderful siblings – I am equally if not more delighted to have grown up with this unique culinary combination formed out of a desire to ease the process of eating an omelet and a “roti” separately, which leads to the birth of this piece of magic called the Mughlai paratha or more phonetically correct “Moghlai Paratta” in Odia. The story goes back to our usual “non-vegetarian” days (the selected days of a week all o

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

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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!! for ingredients, chopping the veggies, marinating chicken, the list was really endless. Seeking someone's help was not an all this in so little time. Going by the Indo Chinese theme - I zeroed

black pepper · butter · cardamom · chana dal · cinnamon · coconut · coriander seed · cumin seed · dal · fennel seed · fenugreek · ghee · ginger · Indian · jaggery · lentil · Main Course · masoor dal · medium · mustard seed · peppercorn · red lentil · salt · seed · sugar · sweetener · turmeric · Uncategorized · water

“Mitha Dali” – Ratha Jatra special – Puri Jagannath Mandira

On the auspicious occasion of Ratha Jatra, I could not help but recollect all the fond melodies and memories associated to this grand festival. I found myself looking for ways to feel closer to home. Warm memories of the occasion swept over me, with the drum beats and jhanja kirtana being so distinct that I could actually feel the reverberation of those beats. For a short introduction, Ratha Jatra is the grandest chariot festival that takes place annually in the mystical coastal city of Puri in Odisha. The three deities- Lord Jagganath, Lord Balabhadra and Subhadra are decked up in their finest adornments as they travel out ceremoniously in their newly built chariots to visit their beloved aunt at Gundicha Mandira about 2 km from their abode at the Sri Mandira. I scoured the internet for any live broadcast of the grand event and was lucky enough to find one. Utter joy swept over me as I saw the three grand chariots with the deities on their way to their beloved aunt’s home. It brought

black pepper · chilli · cinnamon · coconut · coconut milk · cumin seed · garlic · Indian · lemon · lemon juice · Main Course · medium · non vegetarian · pepper · peppercorn · red chilli · salt · seafood · shrimp · tomato · turmeric · Uncategorized

Curried Shrimp in spicy coconut gravy – Into the makings of a keeper

The birth of this recipe took place in my kitchen when one fine day being too fed up with the use of excessive spices and over-cooking of the delicate sea-food, I embarked on this mission to try something different. How different? I had no real clue. Completely enamored by the freshness of the shrimps lying in front of me, I was almost disheartened to recall that all tasty shrimp delicacies that I have had were almost always overpowered by the usage of spices and thick gravies. I,of course love those curries, stir fries and fried shrimps but I bet u know the days when you crave for some freshness! While pondering over the innumerous ways to play with the delicate shrimps, my thoughts went straight to the neglected can of coconut milk sitting in the pantry for ages. Ok not ages..but yeah for quite some time actually. So now driven by the strong desire of using that can of coconut milk, I took on this mission to create something driven by my own changing tastes. The inertia and of cours