Jul 25, 2007

Announcing RCI

I kept reminding myself that I have to announce the RCI event this month. My worst fear was that I would somehow forget announcing and Lakshmi and my fellow bloggers would ban me from the blog world for such a horrible mistake:))
A small announcement: I am going to India for a short 3 weeks vacation. We are leaving tomorrow and I am very, very excited:)

This is the first time I am hosting a blog event. So, I am nervous, excited, thrilled, and worried at the same time. Lakshmi has given me this wonderful chance to host the event and I am thankful to her for the same. Out of all the delicious and varied cuisines of India, I chose...

Orissa cuisine

Lying on the East coast of India, this state has been blessed with a coastline. Bhubaneswar is the capital of Oriya. Orissa is famous as a tourist location mainly for the beautiful temples such as Jagannatha and Sun temples. Read more about Orissa here.

Read the details about RCI and rules for participation:

What is RCI?: The Regional Cuisines of India is a monthly blog event started by Lakshmi. It's Lakshmi's baby and we all are taking turns to take care of the baby. The host chooses the cuisine from the ethnic Indian cuisines and bloggers have to come up with dishes cooked from that cuisine.

How do you participate?: Write a post featuring any dish related to the Oriya cuisine. Include a link to this post and the RCI logo in your post.

What do I cook for RCI Oriya, I know nothing about it: Well, you are not alone. RCI gives you a great opportunity to explore a new cuisine every month. To know more about the Oriya cuisine, check Wiki and sites such as this, this, and this. You can also refer to cookbooks such as Purba: Feasts From The East by Laxmi Parida or Healthy Oriya Cuisine by Bijoylaxmi Hota. For all of you who are Orkut members, you can find loads of recipes in the Oriya Delicacies community. Fellow bloggers have already experimented with Oriya cuisine and come up with dishes such as Jahni Alu Posta, Luchi aur Aloor Dom, and Shrimp with Opo Squash.

My friend staying in a nearby building is from Oriya. Her in-laws are visiting from India and I thought I would get some first-hand information from them about Oriya cuisine. The sad part was that her mom-in-law could not speak or understand Hindi. So, we set about my interview by me asking my friend questions in Hindi, she translating to her MIL in Oriya, her MIL replying back in Oriya, and S translating back in Hindi. Meanwhile, I was furiously scribbling all this information in my notebook for fear of forgetting it. Here's what I learned about Oriya cuisine:

  1. Swapna: What kind of dishes are famous in Oriya cuisine?
    S: Oriya cuisine is famous for a variety of vegetables and daals. We also use rice flour and urad daal in a lot of dishes. We make different kinds of dosas called chakuli pittha.

  2. Swapna: What kind of spices are used in this cuisine?
    S: We use mustard seeds paste to make some vegetables. Almost all the spices are roasted and ground to a fine powder. We also use poppy seeds and panch phoron in a lot of dishes.

  3. Swapna: How would you define an Oriya breakfast?
    S: A typical Oriya breakfast consists of upma, plain parathas, stuffed idli (using coconut and jaggery stuffing), rice appam (chittau), or sweet sheera.

  4. Swapna:What does a typical Oriya lunch consists of?
    S: Vegetables such as santuda or palak saag, plain rice, tomato pickle (khatta), dalma, rotis (without ghee), papad, raita, and daal. We mostly use moong daal for making daal. Oriya cuisine has some interesting raita recipes. Raitas can be made using combination of curd with any of the following - cauliflower, okhra, coconut (nadia pachedi), and brinjal. Pickles are another area where we experiment with different fruits and vegetables. Famous pickles from our cuisine are made using mango, drumstick, jackfruit, tomato, and pineapple.

  5. Swapna: What are Oriya dessert specials?
    S: Rice kheer, sweet boondi, sankarpala. Majority of the sweets are made using combination of daal and rice/rice flour.

  6. Swapna: What do you cook during fasts (upvaas)?
    S: Everything is cooked in ghee. No onion or garlic is used in any of the dishes. However, ginger can be used. We make lot of pittha varieties for upvaas.

Well, I am sure you have a lot of information after reading this.

How to send entries?: Mail me your entries at swaps1@gmail.com (swaps1ATgmailDOTCOM)with the subject "RCI: Oriya". Include the following in your mail: 1. Your name 2. URL to your post 3. Name of the dish 4. A picture of your dish in 400X400 pixels.

When is the last date for sending entries?: The last date for sending entries is 25th August, 2007.

What about the round-up?: Well, what about it?:) I will be posting the round-up asap. I will need your support in posting a timely round-up, which means no late entries.

I am going to have a fantastic time hosting this event and you are going to have a fantastic time exploring the Oriya cuisine. So, start reading, surfing, or asking friends for authentic Orissa recipes. Have fun!


Suganya said...

Have a fun time in India, Swapna! You will be welcomed with all our entries :)

Saju said...

what a challenge, I did not even know Oriya existed.
This food blogging is so educational, I learnt of lot of things, including history and geography

Dee said...

Congratulations and thanks for hosting such a wonderful event!

FH said...

Swapna darling,I have Purba!!;D
I am ready and will post ASAP before I go for my Lasik surgery.
I was not familiar with Oriya at all until I got the book.It looks lot similar to Bengali cooking.
Anyway, have a great time in India.I will send mine quickly this time.Have fun and don't worry,we will still accept you and let you live even if you were late announcing!!;D

bha said...

a swell of an announcement swapna....enjoy India

Foodie said...

Loved your theme for the RCI.
Enjoy your vacation dear.
I will definitely explore this cuisine, as I have never tried it before.

bee said...

mumbait asnar tu? eat lots of chaat, and don't be surprised if i post jahni alu posta again. i love it, and it's the only oriya dish i know. :-)

Sharmi said...

have a safe and wonderful trip. enjoy and bring us lot of pics and great memories. remember me when you have delicious food:(

Tee said...

Great job with the announcement! You have given a lot of info about Oriya cuisine...am looking forward to try something.
Have a safe trip and enjoy your time with your family!

musical said...

Hey Swaps,

Have a good time in India! Enjoyyyyyyy :). and that was a neat job for putting together and referncing all the resources :).


Coffee said...

What was a great first hand information on orrisa cuisine!
Have fun in India..... and don't fret about the round up..... we wont scold you if you make a mistake ;) :P

Richa said...

intro changla dila ahes :)
have fun & enjoy ur trip, ram ashray & mani's madhye upma/shree combo khanar ahes ka? :)

archana said...

You have given so many references it will be easy to cook something for RCI.Orissa :)
Have a safe journey and enjoy your self :)

Sig said...

Have a great vacation Swapna, and thanks for that intro to Oriya cuisine.... I really need that :)

J said...

Oriya cooking is going to be a big challenge for me! Have a great vacation Swapna!

Sia said...

thats a cute little interview:)
have a safe trip swapna n enjoy ur stay:)

swapna susarla said...

Hi Swapna
thats really a great information.Thanks for sharing with us.

Manasi said...

Have FUN!!!!! come back with lots of spices and recipes!!!!
Enjoy ur time with the family!!
See u with an Oriya recipe!

Anonymous said...

Hi Swapna, hope you are already enjoying a wonderful time in India! I look forward to learning about and cooking up some Oriya/Orissa cuisine! Thanks for choosing this and giving me the chance to try something new :)

Bong Mom said...

Have agood vacation Swapna. See you when you are back

Anonymous said...

Very nicce!