Saturday, April 28, 2012

Tandoori Cauliflower Fry

Serves 2

Cauliflower - 1/2, chopped into small pieces
Canola Oil - 2 tbsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tbsp
Salt - as per taste
Dry Red Chilli - 2
Chilli Powder - 1/2 tsp
Shan Tandoori Powder - 1 tsp
Coriander leaves - few sprigs


Heat oil in Medium heat..
Add  Cumin seeds, Turmeric Powder, Salt, Dry Red Chilli, Chilli Powder and let it sizzle.
Add the Cauliflower florets. Stir fry to let it cook. 
As it is half-cooked, cover it to continue cooking. Keep watch so it does not burn.
As it is almost done, add Shan Tandoori Powder and stir fry in High heat. Just love the color this spice imparts...bright and absolutely enhances the flavors of this dish!
Garnish with fresh Coriander leaves.

Serve with Rice and hot Raita! Bon appetit! :)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Cha Cha Chakuli

After "not concentric circle" dosa post of last month, now is the time for some "concentric circle" Chakuli - a popular Odiya breakfast item! *~*

So light - you can easily finish off 4-5! :)

Long time back, I posted the Maida Chakuli here. I guess Chakuli and Dosa belong to the same family. Here's my take on the Chakuli and this is what works for me. Anytime I mention my recipe, someone or the other jumps in and tells me to do it slightly differently or using a different proportion for the batter - I have decided to not listen to anyone regarding this anymore. Coz everytime I do, my Chakuli's don't turn out good and I am left a angry frustrated person. And you don't want me anywhere near you when I am like this...hmmp! :)


Makes about 40 Chakulis! :)

Urad dal paste : Rice flour paste = 1:2 .. 1:4 depending on how "urady" you want it to taste
Crushed dry Methi 1 tbsp
Eno - 1 tsp
Salt - as per taste
Water - to thin the paste slightly such that when you drop the paste, it should fall in one line from the spoon.


  • Wash Ural dal clean. 
  • Soak Urad dal with crushed dry Methi for half a day. Tip - Methi aids digestion.
  • Grind it finely with the methi seeds included.
  • Keep it aside outside (not fridge) covered for half a day. This will let it ferment. I usually put them in multiple containers and only take out the container I can finish in a day - it lasts for about a week.
  • Mix rice flour with water and make a thick paste. Add little water at a time so that it does not become runny. As Maa says, making it runny and then adding extra flour to fix it will mess up the taste and texture.
  • Take 1 serving of ural dal with 2 to 4 servings of the rice flour. This works perfectly for me than by using the pre-soaked forms of ural and rice and using their proportion! :)
  • Add few spoons of water if you need to lighten it - the consistency should be such that when the skillet is in Medium heat, you get sufficient time to drop one spoon of the paste and spread it using concentric circles.
Chakuli Batter
  • Continue in Medium heat cooking.
  • Make sure the batter is in room temperature if it was in the fridge earlier on. Very important else it affects the texture of the chakuli.
  • Few drops of oil (optional) - spread the batter using concentric circles and let it cook one side. Optional to turn it over and cook the other side - I do it to make sure it is cooked well as well.
If you were counting, "concentric circles" has been mentioned three times and that is the number of turns I usually get to do for my Chakuli! ;) 

Chakuli - View of both the sides ( Good to have the same in life too! ;) ) 

By the way, this tastes heavenly with a mix of White Sugar and Clarified butter aka Ghee (or as we Odiyas call it Ghia)! Both are sinful and in the list of things to avoid for many, including your's truly, but this is one combination I just cannot resist! Used to wait for and love this as a kid..still do! This also tastes great with spicy Mutton curry - try it! :)

On a side note, you have got to try the Magnum ice-creams - they are delicioso! Check them out - I love the double caramel and white chocolate flavor - it got over so soon! :(

Have a great day, everyone! :)

Update on 04/13/2012:

This  goes to Divya's Culinary Journey's event "Let's Part Every Month" with this month's theme being "Breakfast". The event announcement page is here - check it out and send in your recipes if you are interested. This event was started by dear Surabhi and the event page is here. Check out all the wonderful posts the event has received!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Keema Cutlet

I can never go wrong with kababs - there is not much to mess it up, right?

When I was eating non-veg, my favorite weekend menu was Rice, Dal (lentils) and a meat Kabab with a crispy Papad - yummo! When I recommence non-veg eating on Jan 2nd next year, think this may be the first item I want to eat. Of course, other than Crab Curry and Whole Food's Tandoori Chicken Pizza with Mint Sauce! ;) Talking of my vegetarian resolve for this year, I am thankfully not craving meat as much as I had imagined I would. 3 months done - another 9 months to go - I can do it!

Was planning to send this post for "Cooking 4 all Season's - Kabab Mela" but I am way past the due date. Anyways, do check it out for a good collection of numerous kabab posts!

Enjoy the post...Bon Appetit!


Keema - 2lbs (Lamb\Chicken - both taste great!)
Onion - 2 large, finely chopped
Tomato - 2, finely chopped
Ginger - 2 tbsp, grated
Garlic - 4 tbsp, grated
Green chilli - 3-4, finely chopped
Shan Chapli Kabab mix - 1 packet
Salt - as per taste
Egg - 2
Fresh Mint - few sprigs, finely chopped
Fresh coriander leaves- few sprigs, finely chopped
Canola oil - for shallow frying, a few tbsps


Make a paste of the all the above ingredients, except canola oil.
Heat canola oil.
Take a spoonful of the above paste and try to flatten it in the palm of your hand or in the pan.
Let one side cook before turning it over for the other side to cook.
Garnish with fresh chopped onions, sliced green peppers and slices of cucumber.

Sharing some recent pics of my Simei upma recipe which is regular weekend brunch item in my house. We love it - leftovers are convenient work-day lunch take-aways. Have a nice weekend, everyone!

Simei Upma

An even closer look at the Simei Upma

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Fruity Custard

Custard used to a regular dessert item in my mother's kitchen. This also must have been the first dessert I ever made also. You can understand the sweet tooth that we Odiya's have from our dinner menu. Baba (my dad) is very health-conscious and likes to eat healthy and light for dinner. However, there has to be a sweet-dish on the side - every night. No exception to that.

Also as a kid, when I would hang out with friends, most of my friend's moms would make custard for us. This may be one of the safest item to make for kids - everyone likes it and you get to make them eat the fruits! ;)

When I went for my undergrad studies, we used to get custard often in our "mess" menu and special meals. It still intrigues me why dormitory kitchens and serving area are called "mess" - they could have been subtle enough and used a more "kinder" word for the ambience these dining areas provide :p Ok, let's get the mess picture out our head now and concentrate on the dish-in-hand! :)


Milk - 5 cups
Custard Powder - 6-8 tbsp (I like mine thick - adjust as per your preference)
Ground Cardamom Powder - 1 tbsp
Condensed milk - 1/2 can
Sugar - 4 tbsp (adjust as per your sweetness preference)

Raisins - 1/2 cup
Cashewnuts (not salted) - 1/2 cup
Butter - 1-2 tbsp

Chopped fruits (apple, banana, orange, grapes)
Rasagolla - a few (I use Haldiram canned ones)


Heat the milk.
As the milk warms up, add the ground Cardamom Powder, Condensed Milk and Sugar.
Take a few spoons of the warm milk from above and add to the custard powder in a separate container. Alternatively, you can use some warm water instead of the milk. Mix it well. This will ensure that the custard powder does not remain in lump form when you add it to the milk. Removing the lumps is quite an exercise by itself! :)
Add this mixture to the warm milk.

In a separate container, warm the butter and roast the raisins and cashewnuts. When done, add to the above custard mixture. Cool it down. I place it under the fan for 10-15 mins and then dunk it in the fridge for 30 mins or so.

Chop the fruits and the Rasagolla into tiny pieces a few mins before serving.
Serve a few spoons of the chopped fruits. Add the custard on top of it.

This is a trick I learnt from Maa - if you add the fruits to the custard earlier on, it will not last long and the fruits get mushy. This way, the fruits are crunchy when you eat. Prior to learning this, I used to add the fruits to the custard before putting it in the fridge - this is good only if you are finishing it off the same day.

Enjoy the dessert!

As I was playing around with my iPhone, clicked this pic which turned out quite good in "lighting". Yes, I know it is a lamp and it provides light ... was referring to the lighting for the photograph. :p Have a great day, everyone! :)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

"Lanka Jeera Gunda" with a click

This view caught my attention during dusk. And every time I take a look at it, I feel like humming the Hindi classic melody "Jalte hai dil yahan.." (literal translation: Heart burns here!).

Along the lines of the above click, sharing a very simple spice recipe in this post - it is a ground spice with very earthy flavors. "Lanka Jeera Gunda" means "Chilli Cumin Ground (spice)". It is used abundantly in Odiya cuisine and an essential item in my pantry. Do you have any such spice which is home-made and an integral part of your spice rack without which you have this mildly nagging feel of "I have to get this refilled soon!"? Would love to hear from you.

Without this hot spice, Dahi Vada is incomplete in an Odiya house. It is used prolifically in Dalma "veggies and lentil soup kinda" as well as any of the veggie shallow fries. Add a dash of this spice for added flavor. I usually make the amount below once a year (typically Memorial Day is the day I pick for such type of pantry replenishment tasks!) 


1 cup Dry Cumin Seeds
2 cup Dry Red Chilli

Dry roast both of them separately since they both have different roasting times.

Sometime I get lazy and roast them together. In that case I dry roast the chillis first and then add the cumin seeds. Since you are roasting chillis, be very careful not to overcook them else you are sure to have the entire house having the smell, everyone going into an eye-burning sensation and sneezing. I usually try to leave the window open when doing this for easy ventilation.

Let them cool down and then dry-grind them. Voila! You have almost a year's supply of "Lanka Jeera Gunda"! :)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Nan Khatai

When I urgently needed the recipe for Nan Khatai to take as a gift when visiting a relative, I came across this recipe. It turned out the way I used to make earlier on and had lost the recipe. Thanks, Vaishali, for sharing your MIL's much coveted recipe here - she sounds like my mom who has her own rules for cooking. I am not complaining - we have always got some terrific food out of her kitchen! :)

Makes approx. 20 biscuits (as shown in pic)
  • 1 cup White flour (Maida)
  • 1/2 cup Brown Sugar (White sugar is also ok)
  • Ground Cardamom Powder - 1 tbsp
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 6 tbsp Ghee (I used home-made Ghee from butter)


  • Mix the dry ingredients - Flour, Sugar, Cardamom Powder, Baking Powder and Salt.
  • Add the Ghee (preferably room temperature) to the above. Knead the dough - it will be like the dough meant for roti\paratha, slightly more wet. Keep it aside for a few mins to an hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (or 180°C).
  • Divide the dough into 20 equal portions. Shape those portions into oval shape balls. Place an almond or any other nut of choice as decoration.
  • Arrange them on the baking sheet giving them enough space to expand and bake evenly.
  • Bake in the pre-heated oven for approx 15 minutes. Keep a close watch for the first batch coz every oven differs and you don't want to burn the nan khatais.
  • Take them out of the oven immediately and let them cool. I move them to a different tray to stop the baking process sooner.
  • Store in an air-tight container if you manage to keep some for later. ;)

Enjoy the snacking!

Update on 04/13/2012:

This  goes to Surabhi's event "Let's Part Every Month" with this month's theme being "Snacks".The event page is here. Check out all the wonderful posts her event has received!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Dosa (not the concentric circle one!) with Aloo curry

Hey All,

Happy Spring, everyone! It is so gorgeous outside these days - wish it was like this all THE time. Out here, weather goes into extremes so quickly that a single moderate weather day is a blessing. Been having a hectic life so much so that a week just zip-zap-zooms by!!

Yes, if you are wondering, Sorisha is still a food blog and someday hope to have a restaurant with this name - another one of those "Mungerilal" moments (translated - a famous Hindi television series "Mungerilal ke Haseen Sapne" of the 80's about an ardent day-dreamer named Mungerilal played by the so-versatile actor Raghubir Yadav. Coming to food, today's post is about my constant struggle with making dosa to my liking. I am so talented (yes, sarcastic!) - in my 9 years of cooking, I have never repeated a dosa batter to my liking. Seriously, I am so frustrated with my batter that my blood pressure hits the ceiling everytime the first dosa is spread on the tawa!When Maa visited us, she taught me a trick that gives me good crispy-thin dosa irrespective of whether the batter is from Mars or Venus. :)

Trick is very simple - instead of spreading the batter in concentric circle, work on it in straight lines to spread the batter evenly. End result is paper thin crispy dosa of uniform thickness - bye bye thick edges! Trust Maa to solve any problem :)



Urad dal:Parboiled rice in 1:2 ratio
Fenugreek seeds - 1 tsp for every cup of urad dal


Soak urad dal and parboiled rice separately overnight.
Blend into a batter with fenugreek seeds.
Add salt and let it sit for 3-4 hrs
Heat a non-stick pan.
Spread a spoon of batter and using a flat spatula, spread the batter in straight lines evenly spreading it.
Drop a few drops of oil (R likes his with mustard oil while I like Canola oil)
When the dosa looks golden-brown and cooked, turn it over for a few mins (optional).

Serve with Chutney or Potato Curry - however, you like your dosa! Hope you have a nice sunny day! :)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Cherry Blossom 2012 "Sakura Season"

Washington Monument across the lawn

"In the shadow of the cherry blossom complete strangers there are none."
- The 19th century haiku master Kobayashi Issa
Ever since I have moved to DC, Cherry Blossom is a special part of the year for me that I eagerly look forward to. Have always been lucky to spend it with family and friends and build some much-cherished lifetime memories.It signals the end of the cold dark winter with the soft pink hues of the delicate blossoms.

Japanese people believe the Japanese cherry blossom captures and defines all that is vulnerable about being human. The sakura season gives us a timely reminder, once a year, that life is fleeting and time is precious. This is a time to take stock and evaluate what you have achieved, and what you are going to do next, on your own life path. In essence, the cherry blossom cycle is seen as a metaphor for life.

Jefferson Memorial across the Potomac

First year (2003) was with the newly weds Joe-Merlin and Jose-Lynn, my very first friends here. I had just arrived here newly wed excited to start the new life as well as homesick in Feb. My first visit to the National Mall could not have been in any better time of the year! Anti-climax was when me and hubby had to rush back coz I got allergic to the pollens :( But that experience has never deterred me from going back year after year. The cherry blossom flower viewing is termed as "hanami" in Japanese and I have had the opportunity to enjoy the same over the past couple years - it's special and hope to enjoy it for many more years with all my dear ones atleast once!

An angle I learned from my dad - thanks, Baba, as always!

The next year (2004) was when my undergrad buddies visited me from New York and we got to hang out together - catching up after years but could only talk to all the fun-times in school.

Tulip Garden in the National Mall, DC - Trying a new angle on my SLR which surprisingly turned out good - I love it!

The year after (2005) I believe I and R went down to DC on an impromptu trip only to realize that the blooms were delayed - what a disappointment! But we did have a nice walk by the Potomac in the cold breeze and got to check out newer areas of DC!

Blossoms by the Potomac Tidal Basin

"all the more I wish to see
in those blossoms at dawn
the face of a god"
- The Haiku Poems of Matsu Basho

One year was with SIL and her family. Another year was with my good friends Prajakta, Meenal and Ekta and their families. In the years, we did not go to DC - we enjoyed the "equally serene" colors in our neighborhood with some warm BBQ in a chilly evening. Last year (2011) I missed it due to the cold weather and instead of the outside weather, our friends Bobby and Lori who were visiting us and we went shopping during the day and bowling in the evening - not bad at all! :)

Tulip Garden in the National Mall, DC

This year was with my buddy Siri and her two most adorable and well-behaved sons Neanth and Satvik. I hope they had the great time that I most definitely had. Got to check out the most colorful Tulip Garden upfront and close for the very first time - clickety clack could be my middle name! I was click-happy with my SLR camera that was "actually" being used for the very first time since it's purchase about 3 years back!

Tulip Garden in the National Mall, DC

Cherry Blossom festivities are on till April 15th weekend - we are celebrating 100 years of Cherry Blossom celeb this year. Details are available here. Hope you get to visit and have a great rollicking time with your loved ones!

Tulip Garden in the National Mall, DC
It’s like their bowing over to give their quiet nod
To their talented creator,…to the Great Almighty God
- Tulips by Linda Hogeland

Tulip Garden in the National Mall, DC

A sunbeam caress the only flower from my garden,
What a nice feeling, what a pleasure,
Than to admire the beauty of a flower,
And closing eyes to dream about it.
-  The Only Flower You Are by Crisina Theodore
Washington Monument in the background

Tulip Garden in the National Mall, DC
Each time I see a tulip…. my heart is drawn to Him
- Tulips by Linda Hogeland 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Odiya cooking blogs list...and Happy Utkala Divas!

Ram Mandir, Bhubaneswar

Happy Utkala Divas!

Yes, as Russell Peters, the very well-known stand-up comedian would say "The comedy practically writes itself!", April 1st is Odiya New Year! For the uninformed, we Indians love celebrations and thus, each state in India representing an unique culture has it's very own New Year (yes, apart from Jan 1st).

For history buffs, the present day Odisha relinquished itself of being typo-written for more than 50 years as Orissa. Don't think this name change can be blamed on the past British rulers similar to Calcutta/Kolkata, Bombay/Mumbai, Madras/Chennai, Bengaluru/Bangalore - seems more like a typo, someone accept it! Prior to Orissa, there have been a few other names - King Ashoka's Kalinga is one (JUST hated it when a contestant in India's version of "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" that is, "Kaun Banega Crorepati" could not answer this!!!) and Utkala is another.

To be honest, I don't have as much regional sentiments as some of my acquaintances and relatives do. I am more of a "you are my friend if you are nice to me and can tolerate my peculiarities without being demeaning". Ok, enough of self-talk! So I was thinking about doing something special for April 1st and it stuck me that I should compile a list of my blogger friends with some kind of Odisha connection. So here I go...
  • Somoo's Home Cooked Oriya Food here
  • Sharmila's Kichu Khon here
  • Saswati's Potpourri here
  • Shibani's Anyone can cook here
  • Oriya Food and Recipe here
  • Odia Kitchen here
  • Full Orissa recipe here
  • Oriya Rasoi - Flavors from a Oriya Kitchen here
  • RCI Orissa Event recipes roundup here
  • Delicious Recipes 4m Pranati's kitchen here
If you have a cooking blog and you are an Odiya-speaking person or have some sort of connection to Odisha and/or want to connect with the others as an Odiya, please leave a comment and I will add your link.

Would love to hear from one and all..have a great ROCKING day!

Puri Beach, Puri

Shiva Temple, Naraj

Very popular sand sculptures of Puri Beach - this one is from an exhibition in Bhubaneswar

Lord Jagannath, Supreme diety of all Odiyas - the word juggernaut is derived from Him

Traditional wall art form and terracota decoration (no relation to Pannacota! ;))

Konark Temple, Konark - Note the intricate work!

Konark Sun Temple, Konark

Konark Temple, Konark - the familiar Chakra in the India flag, each wheel at Konark Sun Temple has a different design