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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

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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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Schezwan Chicken Frankie – A treat for spicy, street food lovers

We were in a “Thursday evening limbo” - referring to the liberating “Friday feel” but not without the pressure of having to endure yet another long working day. On many such evenings, I face the dilemma of meals to prepare so as to suit our mood - something exciting yet not extremely adventurous; pe

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Mitha Gaja / Shankarpale ~ The Diwali faraal making escapade-Part I ~

The glittering diyas, the bright, vivid hues of a meticulously rendered rangoli and the warm appetizing aroma of fried snacks hanging buoyantly in the air while my spirited family and friends gather around the porch to light up firecrackers– this is all that Diwali means to me. The celebration of virtue and compassion with an inanely fair amount of lip-smackingly delicious snacks – that’s surely something everyone wants to come together for. So to commemorate everything that makes Diwali remarkable, I had resolved that no matter how difficult it might seem to fit anything at all into my schedule right now, I am going to try and make as many snacks as I can and replicate “our gharwali” Diwali and this being our very first one after the wedding made it extra worth the effort. So homemade snacks, decorating up our home with lots of diyas, rangoli and lights, a celebration with friends and lots of food to share for our potluck – that became the highlight for our Diwali festivities this yea

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Oh! the joys of entertaining ~ Ragda Pattice / Aloo tikki chaat~

In our frenzied and increasingly impersonal world of late work nights, busy schedules and conveniently located restaurants luring us with elaborate menus, who takes an effort to cook anything for a meal time - leave alone a party? And in all this chaos, the burgeoning restaurant scene seems to have

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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

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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