Many thanks to all the enthusiastic participants for sending such lovely entries for RCI: Orissa and thanks to Lakshmi for giving me the oppurtunity to host this event. Most of you (including me) had no idea about Orissa cuisine, but we all took great efforts to dig up some mouth-watering recipes. Sincere apologies from me for not replying to all your mails. This was partly because of my India trip and mostly because some mails landed up in my Spam folder. All those who will be hosting blog events in the future, please remember to check your Spam folder from time to time so that you don't miss any entries. (Updated: I had missed out Cinnamon's and Priyanka's beautiful entries in the round-up. Check it out in the Besara, Mitha, and Meals section.)
A little information about Orissa cuisine before we move to the round-up. Orissa cuisine can be broadly divided into the following categories:
- Rice or bhata: comprises of khichdi, jeera rice, and other rice dishes.
- Roti: covers the famous luchis made using all purpose flour, puris, and chakuli (a type of dosa made using rava, maida, and besan)
- Pitha: These are mostly prepared using rice flour, suji, sugar, or jaggery. Pithas are made by stuffing a sweet mixture into rice balls and then steaming them (just like the modaks). Pithas are prepared during all Orissa festivals and poojas.
- Dali: These curries are made using toor daal or chana daal and an abundance of spices. The famous dalis include Dalma and Chana dali.
- Bhaja: This is the stir-fried method of cooking vegetables.
- Tarkari: These gravy vegetables are made using individual or a combination of vegetables mixed with spices. Famous curries include Ghuguni, Jahni Posta, and Alu Posta.
- Khatta: These sweet and sour condiments complete an Orissa meal. Khajur (dates) khatta, dahi nadia, and tomato khatta are some well-known khatta types.
- Non-veg items: are made using mutton or fish and served in the form of curry.
- Besara: These vegetable curries are made using a base of mustard paste and panch phoron or panch phutan. Panch phutan is a unique mixture of 5 spices - mustard (rai), fenugreek(methi), fennel (saunf), cumin (jeera), and nigella (kalonji). These spices are dry roasted and ground to a powder and used in vegetable preparations.
- Mitha: Famous Oriya sweets include Rasgolla and Chena Kheeri.
While most of us explored the Bhata, Roti, Dali, Tarkari, Khatta, Besara, and Mitha categories of Orissa cuisine, we did not explore the Pitha category. Ghuguni, Dalma, and Aloo Posta were clearly the favorites.
I have divided your entries into categories based on the type of dish and the snaps you sent me. Here's presenting RCI: Orissa round-up.
Dalma : Sra of When my soup came alive
Begun bhaja: Meenakshi from her Yahoo blog
Besara and Tarakari
(Updated: This was missed out earlier.)
Hope you all enjoyed this round-up. If I have left out any entry, please mail me and I will update the round-up. Have a great weekend!